9780714536149 / 0714536148

Music-Society-Education (A Platform book)


Publisher:Riverrun Pr



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SYNOPSIS: This is probably the most original and controversial book on music to appear in English for many years. The author argues that the musical tradition of Western Society has become stultified, that music is heard in artificial conditions and is increasingly irrelevant to modern life, however much pleasure it may give to a small elite. In contrast he examines the very different role that music plays in Eastern, African and less industrialized cultures, where whole villages and communities participate directly in music-making and where music is not an artificial ritualised oasis outside normal life, but an essential part of everyday experience. From a radical analysis of musical history and its styles over the last 400 years, he draws new conclusions, showing how the present nature and the future of a society can be deduced from its music and how changing musical patterns directly effect change in society. The author examines composers and schools of music that are often unknown to modern musicians and music lovers, such as the early American music of William Billings, the experiments of Harry Partch and the music of Bali and Africa. He is often critical of modern musical institutions that he feels have betrayed the goals that the best modern composers once tried to achieve. Above all, he criticizes the present role of music in education and clearly states what he believes needs to be done to make music accessible and relevant. Music-Society-Education is both a new sociology of music and a fascinating exploration of the different world traditions and their functions, never before examined so radically or so readably, and a book that every interested layman can follow without difficulty. The publishers believe it will greatly influence the musical thinking and teaching of the future. Christopher Small was born in New Zealand in 1927 where he obtained first a science degree and later a B.Mus. from the Victoria University of Wellington. He taught in...

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