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by Alfred Einstein

A Short History Of Music

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A Short History Of Music


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Sections on primitive music, ancient civilizations, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, & modern times, plus 159 pages providing models of old, hard-to-find musical examples.

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Paperback
Published
February 1st 1954
by Random House Trade


(first published 1936)

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Original Title
A Short History of Music

ISBN
039470004X
(ISBN13: 9780394700045)

Edition Language
English

  • A Short History of Music/American Edition
  • Breve storia della musica
  • 111x148
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Tom Schulte

Sep 08, 2014

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I must confess, I bought this years ago under the mistaken assumption that it was authored by Albert Einstein . It sat on my shelf for a couple of decades, and now I have read it. My copy has neatly inscribed in it “Sow not your seed in anger, nor in hatred nor in fears, for he who sows in anger shall for certain reap in tears.” I find this kind of creepy and I think it is from novelist Fred Mustard Stewart .

any hoot, for this author the history of music is the history of Western classical music a
I must confess, I bought this years ago under the mistaken assumption that it was authored by Albert Einstein . It sat on my shelf for a couple of decades, and now I have read it. My copy has neatly inscribed in it “Sow not your seed in anger, nor in hatred nor in fears, for he who sows in anger shall for certain reap in tears.” I find this kind of creepy and I think it is from novelist Fred Mustard Stewart .

any hoot, for this author the history of music is the history of Western classical music and is written for the lay musicologist that can glibly move from monody to the Phrygian mode, as the author basically introduces. In the gamut from ancient civilizations to Bartok, I find the mini biographies most interesting. It is also at this point the author steps out from behind the podium to wax poetic to praise genius:

“…only those who know certain major movements of [Mozart’s], such as the finale of the A major Quartet or the wild, disconsolate mirth of the Quintet in D, written a year before his death, and have rightly understood the daemonic fatalism with which they glow, will see the true significance of the clarity and joyousness Mozart could set off on such a dark background. For them the magical, athematic melodies, which
are a characteristic of the later Mozartian rondo form and seem to bid the wheel of inexorable destiny
stand still for once, will become a joy that will never fade.”

“There comes a point in the Mass, in the Agnus Dei, at which the burden of the message devolves upon pure instrumental music; while in the symphony, out of the orchestral complex, human voices emerge at last, as
the final and most explicit utterance of the composer’s purpose…”

“The successors of Verdian opera are little works, of no significance in the historic tale, for their composers were little men.” (Ouch!)

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About Alfred Einstein

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