978-0-7145-3614-9 / 9780714536149

Music-Society-Education (A Platform book)


Publisher:Riverrun Pr



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About the book:

The. importance and originality of this book has increasingly been recognized since its first publication in 1977. Written for the average reader, whether interested in music or not, the author has managed, in everyday language, to describe the nature, the function and the social role of music in radically new terms. As he sees it, music - of whatever kind - should not merely be performed by professionals for listeners, mostly unaware of the language and construction of the sounds they hear, but become an integral part of everyday life in which the listener participates. Music is presented as not simply a collection of masterpieces to be contemplated and admired but as a human activity which takes place always within a social context. Christopher Small looks beyond the world of conventional 'classical' and even 'avant garde' music, not only to Western popular traditions but also to African and Asian musics, in an attempt to elucidate the meaning of that activity, and shows us that we have much to learn from such societies and their music making, which is part of normal life and not confined to concert halls or to the enjoyment of a small segment of the population. From an examination of western music over the past 400 years he draws new-conclusions, showing how the nature of a society can be deduced from its music and how changing musical patterns can not only reflect but even affect changes . in society. The author examines musicians and schools of music that are less well known to music lovers today, such as the early American music of William Billings and the modern work of Harry Partch, and shows how the music contains a critique of modern musical institutions and of the ways in which they have betrayed the real social function of music. Above all, he examines critically the present role of music in education and clearly states what he believes is necessary to make both music and education accessible and relevant.

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