THE VOICE OF MUSIC by Robins Beckles Willson


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A wordy, windy presentation of whatever the author thinks ""you"" should know about the voice, musical instruments, reproduction, notation, types of music (primitive to pop), historical periods, composers, and performers--in that general order. The common element of this encyclopedic kaleidoscope is a heavy guiding hand: ""Most large towns and cities have visits from symphony orchestras, so you can hear large scale works performed live, as well as on records; and you can study how a conductor contrives to draw from so many players his own personal interpretation of what the composer wished to be heard."" Though American examples are adduced, the context is implicitly British: ""During the Commonwealth and Protectorate (1649-60) the Puritans made objection to what they considered over-elaborate church music,"" begins the 17th-century section, which goes on to describe the resurgence of music under the Restoration. Meanwhile, major composers are wrapped up in a few puerile sentences (""Cesar Franck lived and taught so long in France it is often forgotten that he was born in Belgium. His Symphony in D Minor and Symphonic Variations are popular concert pieces today""). Whatever a young person's interests or needs, there are better balanced, more informative, and less condescending books available.

Pub Date: Sept. 9th, 1977
Publisher: Atheneum