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A History of American Classical Music With Audio CD [Audiobook] [Hardcover]


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Book Description

Aug. 1 2007 Naxos Books
This richly detailed narrative tells the stories of America’s classical composers, set against significant events in American history.

Acclaimed music writer Barrymore Scherer follows the development of American classical music, from Gershwin, Copland, Bernstein, Joplin, and Sousa, to lesser-known names such as William Henry Fry and Alan Hovhaness. Scherer surveys the period from the Mayflower through the Europe-tribute years to the two world wars and onwards to the growing academic and concert confidence of the post-war period. Broadway, opera, musicals, bandstands, marching bands and piano players all get their place.

The book includes a CD of carefully chosen pieces. Readers also gain access to an exclusive website that offers new essays, the musical works in full, and more. This revolutionary book utilizes traditional and new media to provide a uniquely rounded portrait of the American classical scene and music.

Product Details

Product Description

From the Inside Flap

Think “American Classical Music” and what names come to mind? Gershwin, Copland, Bernstein? Joplin, Foster, Sousa? These all deserve their popularity, but America’s classical legacy includes riches unfamiliar to even the most educated music lovers.

A History of American Classical Music celebrates this legacy, from colonial times to today. In these pages you’ll meet American Romantics like Louis Moreau Gottschalk and Edward MacDowell, modernists like Charles Ives and John Cage, and figures from today’s cutting edge like John Adams, Philip Glass, and Michael Torke.

This multimedia history includes:
• 1 CD of music spanning more than a century of American classical music

Barrymore Laurence Scherer is a music critic for The Wall Street Journal, a contributing editor of Art & Auction magazine, and has been a commentator for NPR’s “Performance Today.” Named a Speaker in the Humanities by the New York Council for the Humanities, he has taught at Sarah Lawrence College, and as an independent scholar he has lectured extensively on opera, classical music, and the fine arts at the Metropolitan Opera, the New York Philharmonic, and museums and related venues around the country. Mr. Scherer is also the author of the critically acclaimed book Bravo! A Guide to Opera for the Perplexed.

From the Back Cover

A History of American Classical Music

Experience American classical music through great compositions on an audio CD.

This richly detailed narrative tells the stories of America’s classical composers and celebrates a legacy built up from Colonial times to the present, containing riches unfamiliar even to sophisticated music lovers. This development, tracked largely by key composers, is set against significant events in American history, putting neatly into context the achievements of the time.

Distinguished music writer Barrymore Laurence Scherer unfolds an enthralling history, illustrating the importance of not only renowned names, such as Gershwin, Copland, Bernstein, Joplin and Sousa, but also those in the shadows, such as William Henry Fry and John Knowles Paine. Broadway, opera, musicals, bandstands, marching bands, and piano players all get their place. Woven throughout the book are links to carefully chosen selections on the accompanying CD and website that bring these composers and musical movements to life.

Includes more than an hour of music

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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First Sentence
In 1780 the American Revolution was at a particularly low point, with American forces defeated at the battles of Camden and Long Island, and food and pay shortages driving many troops toward mutiny. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Engaging and Comprehensive Review of American Classical Music Oct. 31 2009
By KMWalker - Published on Amazon.com
I originally got this book because I wanted to learn more about Scott Joplin's opera _Treemonisha_. I appreciated that Mr. Scherer took the time to contextualize the breadth of Joplin's work when I could find few other resources that did. That attention to the forgotten and underappreciated contributors to American music is one of the strengths and joys of the book. I have learned a great deal about composers and musicians of whom I knew little. As well, Mr. Scherer nicely explains the political, social and cultural background that helped to shape them and their music. (Surprisingly, it acted as a nice history review, reminding me of key events like the War of 1812 and showing how they were linked to other events during that time period.)

Mr. Scherer's writing style is engaging. While he clearly has a scholarly understanding of his subject, he speaks in laymen's terms with a passion for the material that cannot help but elicit an enthusiastic response. I plan to incorporate some of the music into my high school American Lit classes. I'd like to give my students a broader understanding of the periods that we study. Overall, this is a great resource, and I'm glad that it's a part of my library.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An easy to read History of American Classical Music. Oct. 14 2013
By just an efriend - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Just buy it. I sampled it on my new Kindle (an old used Kindle). I was immediately thrilled that the content was organized, well-written, offered a clear timeline for events, and humorous asides that only enhance this work.

The author offers a clear writing style with historical events that shaped the artistic moment of a composer's life. Thoughtful and a find edition to my music book collection. I will likely purchase the hard copy...because it deserves a firm place on any musician's bookshelf.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars July 4 2014
By MauryK - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A fine summary with excellent illustrative tracks on the CD and online.

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