An Encyclopedia of Quotations About Music

An Encyclopedia of Quotations About Music

By: Nat Shapiro (author)Paperback

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Writing about music-about what it is and what it means-is akin to describing the act of love. Somehow, the reduction of the experience to an unblushingly detailed exposition of how, where, when, and why who does what to whom, from prelude to resolu- tion, loses everything in the translation. The other extreme, the one wherein the writer, in desperation, resorts to metaphor (with or without benefit of meter and rhyme), most often results in im- agery that is banal, vulgar, inane, obscure, pretentious, and almost always insufferably romantic. To achieve good and accurate writing about music is as rare an accomplishment as expert wine-tasting, lion-taming, diamond-cut- ting, truffie-finding and (if one just happens to be an unconverted Mohican brave) deer-tracking. Only the intuitive, the pure, the sensual, and the intrepid need apply. Professional musicians often evidence a fixed tendency either to rudely ignore or else to actively despise those of us who bravely try to understand, define, and describe their art. To many composers and instrumentalists, those outsiders (nonmusicians) who have the temerity to discuss anything more abstract than the digital dexterity of a fiddler, the particular vanity of a conductor, or the wage scales for overtime recording sessions are judged worthy only of contempt or-at the most-patronizing tolerance. "Music means itself," insists one of the contributors to the collection that follows, and many practitioners of the art of organ- ized sound would prefer to leave it at that.

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About Author

Nat Shapiro is a distinguished critic and historian of popular and classical music. He is the author of An Annotated Index of American Popular Songs (six volumes) and coauthor of The Jazz Makers and Hear Me talkin' to Ya (with Nat Hentoff). In addition he has produced hundreds of records--from Barbra Streisand and Lotte Lenya to Mahalia Jackson and Michel LeGrand.


One Music is Music Does Music Means.- Two Creators and Components.- 1. Melody, Harmony, and Rhythm.- 2. Composers and Composition.- 3. The Avant-Garde.- Three Exponents.- 1. Conductors and Conducting.- 2. Instruments and Instrumentalists.- 3. Pianos and Pianists, Violins and/or Fiddles, Woodwinds, and Guitars.- Violins and/or Fiddles.- Woodwinds.- Guitars.- 4. Concerts.- 5. The Music Trade.- Four Proponents and Opponents.- 1. Critics and Criticism.- 2. Musical Misanthropy.- Five Lift Every Voice.- 1. Words and/with/for/to Music.- 2. The Wings of Song.- 3. Singing and Singers.- 4. Opera and Opera Singers.- Six The Universal Art.- 1. The Medicine of a Troubled Mind.- 2. Emotions, Vapors, and Dispositions.- 3. The Food of Love.- 4. The Lingering Melody.- 5. Let Me Have Music Dying.- 6. Solitude.- 7. Warriors Fired with Animated Sounds.- 8. Consort Not with a Female Musician.- 9. Sing Me a Song with Social Significance.- 10. The Only Sensual Pleasure Without Vice.- 11. The Truth of Song.- 12. Tones in Time.- 13. Education.- 14. The Gift of God.- 15. The Soul of a Nation.- 16. The Sweetest Physic in the World.- 17. The Open-Air Art.- 18. A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread.- 19. Like the Birdies Sing.- 20. Sight and Sound.- Seven Music for the Millions.- 1. Jazz.- 2. Blues and Blacks.- 3. Rock.- 4. Popular and Light.- 5. Folk.- 6. Dance.- 7. Film and Theater.- Eight Metaphysics, Metaphor, and Miscellany.- 1. The Music of the Spheres.- 2. Music as Metaphor.- 3. Proverbs, Aphorisms, Wordplay, and Assorted Musical Saws.- Index of Names and Sources.- Index of Key Words and Phrases.

Product Details

  • publication date: 01/03/1981
  • ISBN13: 9780306801389
  • Format: Paperback, Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 418
  • ID: 9780306801389
  • weight: 457
  • ISBN10: 0306801388

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