Engaging, clear and informative, this is the story of western music - of its great composers and also of its performers and listeners, of changing ideas of what music is and what it is for. Paul Griffiths shows how music has evolved through the centuries, and suggests how its evolution has mirrored developments in the human notion of time, from the eternity of heaven to the computer's microsecond. The book provides an enticing introduction for students and beginners, using the minimum of technical terms, all straightforwardly defined in the glossary. Its perspective and its insights will also make it illuminating for teachers, musicians and music lovers. Suggestions for further reading and recommended recordings are given for each of the 24 short chapters.
Paul Griffiths has written extensively on twentieth-century music, particularly on new music and the avant garde, and is one of the most influential music critics of his generation.
Prehistory; Part I. Time Whole: 1. From Babylonians to Franks; Part II. Time Measured 1100-1400: 2. Troubadours and organists; 3. Ars nove and Narcissus's clock; Part III. Time Sensed 1400-1630: 4. Harmony, the light of time; 5. The radiance of the High Renaissance; 6. Reformation and heartache; 7. To speak in music; Part IV. Time Known 1630-1770: 8. Baroque mornings; 9. Fugue, concerto and operatic passion; 10. Rococo and reform; Part V. Time Embraced 1770-1815: 11. Sonata as comedy; 12. Revolution's momentum; Part VI. Time Escaping 1815-1907: 13. The deaf man and the singer; 14. Angels and other prodigies; 15. New Germans and old Vienna; 16. Romantic evenings; 17. Nightfall and sunrise; Part VII. Time Tangled 1908-75: 18. To begin again; 19. Forwards and backwards, and sideways; 20. The people's needs; 21. To begin again again; 22. Whirlwind; Part VIII. Time Lost 1975-: 23. Echoes in the labyrinth; 24. Interlude; Glossary; Further reading and listening.