THE YOUNG PEOPLE'S BOOK OF MUSIC by Keith Spence

THE YOUNG PEOPLE'S BOOK OF MUSIC

Age Range: 10 - 14
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 An introduction to the history of western music (despite the exotic drums on the cover and some discussion of east and west in a chapter called, ``Blending of opposites''). Spence provides a good background on the development of (mostly) orchestral instruments, explains forms of classical music, including the symphony, opera, and even ballet, gives brief biographies of major composers and finishes up with discussion of modern music. One glossary explains musical terms, another offers brief annotations on 100 musical composers. Full-color reproductions, illustrations, diagrams, and scoring greatly supplement the text, as do lists (of a composer's works, of landmarks in musical history, of famous oratorios) in nearly every verso margin. What's unfortunate is that the recent explosion of music outside of western culture is pretty much ignored, unless it is mentioned as an adjunct to a European composer's work (for example, Debussy's ``discovery'' of Indonesian gamelan music). Further, there is little coverage of minority or female composers. Neil Ardley's Music (Knopf, 1989) focuses mainly on the musical instruments, but is more global in scope, and a little less stuffy. This is a good history of western classical music, though; add it to collections already owning sources on, for example, the history of jazz, world music, and other musical cultures. (glossaries, chronologies, further reading, index) (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: April 1st, 1995
ISBN: 1-56294-605-6
Page count: 144pp
Publisher: Millbrook
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 1995