The best book on music history I have read. Goodall does a magnificent job of showing how musical styles and trends involved within their respective cultural contexts. Of particular interest is how the notation and scale system evolved as musicians liberated themselves from church dominated patronage to asserting themselves as individuals. Though it is now often consigned to elite or at least esoteric status, the author takes pains to show that "Classical Music" was the mainstream preference for centuries and still leaves its stamp on many genres. It also keeps the technical music talk to a minimum so the narrative flows in an enjoyable manner.
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Why did prehistoric people start making music? What does every postwar pop song have in common? A “masterful” tour of music through the ages (Booklist, starred review).
From Mozart to Motown and beyond, this “racily written, learned, and often shrewdly insightful” social history reveals music’s role in our societies as well as its power to affect us on a personal level (The Daily Telegraph).
Once a building block of communication and social ritual, today music is also a worldwide tangle of genres, industries, and identities. But how did we get from single notes to multilayered orchestration, from prehistoric instruments like bone flutes to modern-day pop? In this dynamic tour, acclaimed composer and broadcaster Howard Goodall leads us through the development of music as it happened, idea by idea. In Goodall’s telling, each innovation that we now take for granted―harmony, notation, dance music, recording―strikes us anew. And along the way, Goodall gives listeners a crash course in how music works on a technical level.
The story of music is the story of human ambition: the urge to invent, to connect, to rebel. Offering “a lively zip through some forty-five millennia, jumping back and forth between classical, folk, and pop,” Howard Goodall’s beautifully accessible and entertaining ode to joy is a groundbreaking look at just how far we’ve come (The Sunday Times, London).The Story of Music - eBook
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