From the time of Stradivari, the mysterious craft of violinmaking has been a closely guarded, lucrative, and entirely masculine preserve. In the 1950s Carleen Maley Hutchins was a grade school science teacher, amateur trumpet player, and New Jersey housewife. When musical friends asked her to trade a trumpet for a $75 viola, she decided to try making one, thus setting in motion a surprising career. A self-taught genius who went head to head with a closed and ancient guild, Hutchins carved nearly 500 stringed instruments over the course of half a century and collaborated on more than 100 experiments in violin acoustics. In answer to a challenge from a composer, she built the first violin octet—a family of eight violins ranging in size from an eleven-inch treble to a seven-foot contrabass, and in register across the gamut of the piano keyboard. She wrote more than 100 technical papers—including two benchmark Scientific American cover articles—founded an international society devoted to violin acoustics, and became the only American and the only woman to be honored in Cremona, Italy, the birthplace of Stradivari. Hutchins died in 2009 at the age of ninety-eight. The most innovative violinmaker of the modern age, she set out to explore two worlds she knew virtually nothing about—violins and acoustical physics. American Luthier chronicles the life of this unsung woman who altered everything in a world that had changed little in three centuries.
"For me, a truly compelling, fact-packed read all about how guitars are made, look, sound, and play. Atkinson admirably recounts a century of history, invention, and experimentation by experts and amateurs of a revolutionary instrument. Highly recommended for anyone who has a guitar, and for anyone who wants one."—KT Tunstall, singer-songwriter and guitarist
"Atkinson has put a fantastically exhaustive amount of work into this book for all of us global guitar nerds to enjoy. It’s so much fun to dive into it full immersion, and glean everything from details on iconic artist guitars to strange inventions from creatives on the fringe!"—Jennifer Batten, guitarist (Michael Jackson, Jeff Beck)
“A great resource for all guitar players, tinkerers, and enthusiasts. Atkinson’s well-researched book provides essential and fascinating facts of this unique instrument’s development over the course of more than a century.”—Paul Brett, rock guitarist, journalist, guitar designer
“Atkinson has dug deep into the history of the electric guitar to create a detailed view of the ways in which makers and musicians have tried—and in many cases succeeded—to move its design forward. This engaging new book will be required reading for anyone interested in the development of one of the most popular and revolutionary instruments ever created.”—Tony Bacon, guitar historian and author
An in-depth look at the invention and development of the electric guitar, this book explores how the electric guitar’s design has changed and what its design over the years has meant for its sound. A heavily illustrated history with amps turned up to eleven, Amplified celebrates this beloved instrument and reveals how it has evolved through the experiments of amateur makers and part-time tinkerers. Digging deep into archives and featuring new interviews with makers and players, it will find admirers in all shredders, luthiers, and fans of electric sound.
Growing out of the collaborative research of an American ethnomusicologist and Zimbabwean musician, Paul F. Berliner’s The Art of Mbira documents the repertory for a keyboard instrument known generally as mbira. At the heart of this work lies the analysis of the improvisatory processes that propel mbira music’s magnificent creativity.
In this book, Berliner provides insight into the communities of study, performance, and worship that surround mbira. He chronicles how master player Cosmas Magaya and his associates have developed their repertory and practices over more than four decades, shaped by musical interaction, social and political dynamics in Zimbabwe, and the global economy of the music industry. At once a detailed exposition of the music’s forms and practices, it is also an indispensable historical and cultural guide to mbira in a changing world.
Together with Berliner and Magaya's compendium of mbira compositions, Mbira’s Restless Dance, The Art of Mbira breaks new ground in the depth and specificity of its exploration of an African musical tradition, and in the entwining of the authors’ collaborative voices. It is a testament to the powerful relationship between music and social life—and the rewards of lifelong musical study, performance, and friendship.
The Art of the Violin
Pierre Marie Francois de Sales Baillot Northwestern University Press, 1991 Library of Congress MT262.B15313 1991 | Dewey Decimal 787.2143
Never before available in English, this classic work is a major contribution to the art and technique of violin playing and an important document in the history of performance practice. A contemporary of Kreutzer and Rode, Pierre Marie Francois de Sales Baillot provides in his treatise many insights into the style of nineteenth-century fingering, bowing, ornamentation, and expressiveness that are not apparent from the directions and markings found in scores of that time. Such information will be invaluable for performers interested in understanding the intentions of composers such as Viotti, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, and Mendelssohn.
This complete, unabridged translation, which includes an extensive introduction by the translator, Louise Goldberg, and a foreword by Zvi Zeitlin, will be indispensable for musicologists, performers, and lovers of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century classical music.
Twentieth-century composers created thousands of original works for solo percussion and percussion ensemble. Concise and ideal for the classroom, Artful Noise offers an essential and much-needed survey of this unique literature.
Percussionist Thomas Siwe organizes and analyzes the groundbreaking musical literature that arose during the twentieth century. Focusing on innovations in style and the evolution of the percussion ensemble, Siwe offers a historical overview that connects the music to scoring techniques, new instrumentation and evolving technologies as well as world events. Discussions of representative pieces by seminal composers examines the resources a work requires, its construction, and how it relates to other styles that developed during the same period. In addition, Siwe details the form and purpose of many of the compositions while providing background information on noteworthy artists. Each chapter is supported with musical examples and concludes with a short list of related works specifically designed to steer musicians and instructors alike toward profitable explorations of composers, styles, and eras.
Banjo Roots and Branches
Edited by Robert B. Winans University of Illinois Press, 2018 Library of Congress ML1015.B3B34 2018 | Dewey Decimal 787.8809
The story of the banjo's journey from Africa to the western hemisphere blends music, history, and a union of cultures. In Banjo Roots and Branches, Robert B. Winans presents cutting-edge scholarship that covers the instrument's West African origins and its adaptations and circulation in the Caribbean and United States. The contributors provide detailed ethnographic and technical research on gourd lutes and ekonting in Africa and the banza in Haiti while also investigating tuning practices and regional playing styles. Other essays place the instrument within the context of slavery, tell the stories of black banjoists, and shed light on the banjo's introduction into the African- and Anglo-American folk milieus.
Wide-ranging and illustrated with twenty color images, Banjo Roots and Branches offers a wealth of new information to scholars of African American and folk musics as well as the worldwide community of banjo aficionados.
Contributors: Greg C. Adams, Nick Bamber, Jim Dalton, George R. Gibson, Chuck Levy, Shlomo Pestcoe, Pete Ross, Tony Thomas, Saskia Willaert, and Robert B. Winans.
Using a replica of Beethoven’s Erard piano, scholar and performer Tom Beghin launches a striking reinterpretation of a key period of Beethoven’s work.
In 1803 Beethoven acquired a French piano from the Erard Frères workshop in Paris. The composer was “so enchanted with it,” one visitor reported, “that he regards all the pianos made here as rubbish by comparison.” While Beethoven loved its sound, the touch of the French keyboard was much heavier than that of the Viennese pianos he had been used to. Hoping to overcome this drawback, he commissioned a local technician to undertake a series of revisions, with ultimately disappointing results. Beethoven set aside the Erard piano for good in 1810.
Beethoven’s French Piano returns the reader to this period of Beethoven’s enthusiasm for all things French. What traces of the Erard’s presence can be found in piano sonatas like his “Waldstein” and “Appassionata”? To answer this question, Tom Beghin worked with a team of historians and musicians to commission the making of an accurate replica of the Erard piano. As both a scholar and a recording artist, Beghin is uniquely positioned to guide us through this key period of Beethoven’s work. Whether buried in archives, investigating the output of the French pianists who so fascinated Beethoven, or seated at the keyboard of his Erard, Beghin thinks and feels his way into the mind of the composer, bringing startling new insights into some of the best-known piano compositions of all time.
Banjo music possesses a unique power to evoke a bucolic, simpler past. The artisans who build banjos for old-time music stand at an unusual crossroads ”asked to meet the modern musician's needs while retaining the nostalgic qualities so fundamental to the banjo's sound and mystique. Richard Jones-Bamman ventures into workshops and old-time music communities to explore how banjo builders practice their art. His interviews and long-time personal immersion in the musical culture shed light on long-overlooked aspects of banjo making. What is the banjo builder's role in the creation of a specific musical community? What techniques go into the styles of instruments they create? Jones-Bamman explores these questions and many others while sharing the ways an inescapable sense of the past undergirds the performance and enjoyment of old-time music. Along the way he reveals how antimodernism remains integral to the music's appeal and its making.
Early seventeenth-century Italy saw a revolution in instrumental music. Large, varied, and experimental, the new instrumental repertoire was crucial for the Western tradition—but until now, the impulses that gave rise to it had yet to be fully explored. Curious and Modern Inventions offers fresh insight into the motivating forces behind this music, tracing it to a new conception of instruments of all sorts—whether musical, artistic, or scientific—as vehicles of discovery.
Rebecca Cypess shows that early modern thinkers were fascinated with instrumental technologies. The telescope, the clock, the pen, the lute—these were vital instruments for leading thinkers of the age, from Galileo Galilei to Giambattista Marino. No longer used merely to remake an object or repeat a process already known, instruments were increasingly seen as tools for open-ended inquiry that would lead to new knowledge. Engaging with themes from the history of science, literature, and the visual arts, this study reveals the intimate connections between instrumental music and the scientific and artisanal tools that served to mediate between individuals and the world around them.
An icon of global Punjabi culture, the dhol drum inspires an unbridled love for the instrument far beyond its application to regional vernacular music. Yet the identities of dhol players within their local communities and the broadly conceived Punjabi nation remain obscure.
Gibb Schreffler draws on two decades of research to investigate dhol's place among the cultural formations within Punjabi communities. Analyzing the identities of musicians, Schreffler illuminates concepts of musical performance, looks at how these concepts help create or articulate Punjabi social structure, and explores identity construction at the intersections of ethnicity, class, and nationality in Punjab and the diaspora. As he shows, understanding the identities of dhol players is an ethical necessity that acknowledges their place in Punjabi cultural history and helps to repair their representation.
An engaging and rich ethnography, Dhol reveals a beloved instrumental form and the musical and social practices of its overlooked performers.
Fiddling for Norway is an engrossing portrait of a fiddle-based folk revival in Norway, one that in many ways parallels contemporary folk institutions and festivals throughout the world, including American fiddling. It is a detailed case study in the politics of culture, the causes and purposes of folk revivals, and the cultivation of music to define identity.
The book begins with an investigation of the people and events important to Norwegian folk fiddling, tracing the history of Norwegian folk music and the growth and diversification of the folk music revival. The narrative takes us to fiddle clubs, concerts and competitions on the local, regional, and national levels, and shows how conflicting emphases—local vs. national identity, tradition vs. aesthetic qualities—continue to transform Norwegian folk music. Goertzen utilizes a large anthology of meticulously transcribed tunes to illustrate personal and regional repertoires, aspects of performance practice, melodic gesture and form, and tune relationships. Ethnomusicologists and readers who fiddle will enjoy both the music and the stories it tells.
For the Love of It is a story not only of one intimate struggle between a man and his cello, but also of the larger struggle between a society obsessed with success and individuals who choose challenging hobbies that yield no payoff except the love of it.
"If, in truth, Booth is an amateur player now in his fifth decade of amateuring, he is certainly not an amateur thinker about music and culture. . . . Would that all of us who think and teach and care about music could be so practical and profound at the same time."—Peter Kountz, New York Times Book Review
"[T]his book serves as a running commentary on the nature and depth of this love, and all the connections it has formed in his life. . . . The music, he concludes, has become part of him, and that is worth the price."—Clea Simon, Boston Globe
"The book will be read with delight by every well-meaning amateur who has ever struggled. . . . Even general readers will come away with a valuable lesson for living: Never mind the outcome of a possibly vain pursuit; in the passion that is expended lies the glory."—John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune
"Hooray for amateurs! And huzzahs to Wayne Booth for honoring them as they deserve. For the Love of It celebrates amateurism with genial philosophizing and pointed cultural criticism, as well as with personal reminiscences and self-effacing wit."—James Sloan Allen, USA Today
"Wayne Booth, the prominent American literary critic, has written the only sustained study of the interior experience of musical amateurism in recent years, For the Love of It. [It] succeeds as a meditation on the tension between the centrality of music in Booth's life, both inner and social, and its marginality. . . . It causes the reader to acknowledge the heterogeneity of the pleasures involved in making music; the satisfaction in playing well, the pride one takes in learning a difficult piece or passage or technique, the buzz in one's fingertips and the sense of completeness with the bow when the turn is done just right, the pleasure of playing with others, the comfort of a shared society, the joy of not just hearing, but making, the music, the wonder at the notes lingering in the air."—Times Literary Supplement
It whispers, it sings, it rocks, and it howls. It expresses the voice of the folk—the open road, freedom, protest and rebellion, youth and love. It is the acoustic guitar. And over the last five decades it has become a quintessential American icon. Because this musical instrument is significant to so many—in ways that are emotional, cultural, and economic—guitar making has experienced a renaissance in North America, both as a popular hobby and, for some, a way of life.
In Guitar Makers, Kathryn Marie Dudley introduces us to builders of artisanal guitars, their place in the art world, and the specialized knowledge they’ve developed. Drawing on in-depth interviews with members of the lutherie community, she finds that guitar making is a social movement with political implications. Guitars are not simply made—they are born. Artisans listen to their wood, respond to its liveliness, and strive to endow each instrument with an unforgettable tone. Although professional luthiers work within a market society, Dudley observes that their overriding sentiment is passion and love of the craft. Guitar makers are not aiming for quick turnover or the low-cost reproduction of commodities but the creation of singular instruments with unique qualities, and face-to-face transactions between makers, buyers, and dealers are commonplace.
In an era when technological change has pushed skilled artisanship to the margins of the global economy, and in the midst of a capitalist system that places a premium on ever faster and more efficient modes of commerce, Dudley shows us how artisanal guitar makers have carved out a unique world that operates on alternative, more humane, and ecologically sustainable terms.
Guitars inspire cult-like devotion: an aficionado can tell you precisely when and where their favorite instrument was made, the wood it is made from, and that wood’s unique effect on the instrument’s sound. In The Guitar, Chris Gibson and Andrew Warren follow that fascination around the globe as they trace guitars all the way back to the tree. The authors take us to guitar factories, port cities, log booms, remote sawmills, Indigenous lands, and distant rainforests, on a quest for behind-the-scenes stories and insights into how guitars are made, where the much-cherished guitar timbers ultimately come from, and the people and skills that craft those timbers along the way.
Gibson and Warren interview hundreds of people to give us a first-hand account of the ins and outs of production methods, timber milling, and forest custodianship in diverse corners of the world, including the Pacific Northwest, Madagascar, Spain, Brazil, Germany, Japan, China, Hawaii, and Australia. They unlock surprising insights into longer arcs of world history: on the human exploitation of nature, colonialism, industrial capitalism, cultural tensions, and seismic upheavals. But the authors also strike a hopeful note, offering a parable of wider resonance—of the incredible but underappreciated skill and care that goes into growing forests and felling trees, milling timber, and making enchanting musical instruments, set against the human tendency to reform our use (and abuse) of natural resources only when it may be too late. The Guitar promises to resonate with anyone who has ever fallen in love with a guitar.
The string quartets of Ludwig van Beethoven, the signal achievement of “that noble genre,” have rewarded the engagement of scholars, performers, and audiences for almost two hundred years. This book and its accompanying recording invite you to experience three of these profound and beautiful works of music from the inside, with a leading Beethoven scholar and a premier performing ensemble as your guides. Lewis Lockwood provides historical and biographical background along with musical analysis, drawing on the most important insights of recent scholarship on Beethoven’s life and works. The members of the Juilliard String Quartet share the fruits of decades of performing and teaching these compositions through annotated scores and recordings of the first movements of three representative quartets, including the rarely heard original version of Opus 18 no. 1. And all parties join in lively and illuminating conversations that range from details of bowing and articulation to Beethoven’s development as a composer to the social history of the nineteenth century. Inside Beethoven’s Quartets illustrates how scholarly knowledge can inform a performance, as well as how performers’ interpretive choices can illuminate this sublime music.
Around 1930, a group of guitar designers in Southern California fitted instruments with an electromagnetic device called a pickup--and forever changed the face of popular music. Taken up by musicians as diverse as Les Paul, Muddy Waters, Jimi Hendrix, and the MC5, the electric guitar would become not just a conduit of electrifying new sounds but also a symbol of energy, innovation, and desire in the music of the day. Instruments of Desire is the first full account of the historical and cultural significance of the electric guitar, a wide-ranging exploration of how and why the instrument has had such broad musical and cultural impact.
Instruments of Desire ranges across the history of the electric guitar by focusing on key performers who have shaped the use and meaning of the instrument: Charlie Christian, Les Paul, Chet Atkins, Muddy Waters, Chuck Berry, Jimi Hendrix, the MC5, and Led Zeppelin. The book traces two competing ideals for the sound of the instrument: one, focusing on tonal purity, has been favored by musicians seeking to integrate the electric guitar into the existing conventions of pop music; the other, centering on timbral distortion, has been used to challenge popular notions of "acceptable" and "unacceptable" noise. Instruments of Desire reveals how these different approaches to sound also entail different ideas about the place of the body in musical performance, the ways in which music articulates racialized and gendered identities, and the position of popular music in American social and political life.
In his nearly forty-year career, Johann Scheibe became Leipzig's most renowned organ builder and one of the late Baroque's masters of the craft. Johann Sebastian Bach and Johann Kuhnau considered Scheibe a valued colleague. Organists and civic leaders shared their high opinion, for Scheibe built or rebuilt every one of the city's organs.
Drawing on extensive research and previously untapped archival materials, Lynn Edwards Butler explores Scheibe's professional relationships and the full range of his projects. These assignments included the three-manual organ for St. Paul’s Church, renovations of the organs in the important churches of St. Thomas and St. Nicholas, and the lone surviving example of Scheibe's craft, a small organ in the nearby village of Zschortau. Viewing Scheibe within the context of the era, Butler illuminates the music scene of Bach's time as she follows the life of a gifted craftsman and his essential work on an instrument that anchored religious musical practice and community.
Interest in the authentic performance of early music has grown dramatically in recent years, and scholarly investigation has particularly benefited the study of keyboard music of the classical period. In this landmark publication, the most comprehensive study written on Haydn's keyboard sonatas, a leading Haydn scholar presents novel ideas, corrects misconceptions, and offers new hypotheses on long-debated issues of early music research.
Laszlo Somfai begins with a thorough study of Haydn's keyboard instruments and their development. After recommending instruments appropriate for modern use, he discusses performance practice and style, explains the peculiarities of Haydn's manuscripts in the context of eighteenth-century notation, and provides specific suggestions for playing ornaments, improvising, slurring, and dynamics. He also investigates Haydn's sonata genres within their historical context and discusses the problems of establishing a chronology of their composition. Finally, Somfai analyzes the organization and style of each musical form. The book includes an index listing the sonatas by date of first publication, and an extensive bibliography.
Dottie Dodgion is a jazz drummer who played with the best. A survivor, she lived an entire lifetime before she was seventeen. Undeterred by hardships she defied the odds and earned a seat as a woman in the exclusive men’s club of jazz. Her dues-paying path as a musician took her from early work with Charles Mingus to being hired by Benny Goodman at Basin Street East on her first day in New York. From there she broke new ground as a woman who played a “man’s instrument” in first-string, all-male New York City jazz bands. Her inspiring memoir talks frankly about her music and the challenges she faced, and shines a light into the jazz world of the 1960s and 1970s.
Vivid and always entertaining, The Lady Swings tells Dottie Dodgion's story with the same verve and straight-ahead honesty that powered her playing.
Growing out of the collaborative research of an American ethnomusicologist and Zimbabwean musician, Paul F. Berliner and Cosmas Magaya’s Mbira’s Restless Dance documents the repertory for a keyboard instrument known generally as mbira. At the heart of this work lies the analysis of the improvisatory processes that propel mbira music’s magnificent creativity.
Mbira’s Restless Dance is written to be played. This two-volume, spiral-bound set features musical transcriptions of thirty-nine compositions and variations, annotated with the master player’s advice on technique and performance, his notes and observations, and commentary by Berliner. Enhanced with extensive website audiovisuals, Mbira’s Restless Dance is in effect a series of masterclasses with Magaya, suitable for experienced mbira players and those learning the fundamentals.
Together with Berliner's The Art of Mbira, in which he provides an indispensable historical and cultural guide to mbira in a changing world, Mbira's Restless Dance breaks new ground in the depth and specificity of its exploration of an African musical tradition, and in the entwining of the authors’ collaborative voices. It is a testament to the powerful relationship between music and social life—and the rewards of lifelong musical study, performance, and friendship.
After the establishment of the Turkish Republic, Turkey's secularized society disdained the ney, the Sufi reed flute long associated with Islam. The instrument's remarkable revival in today's cities has inspired the creation of teaching and learning sites that range from private ney studios to cultural and religious associations and from university clubs to mosque organizations.
Banu Şenay documents the years-long training required to become a neyzen—a player of the ney. The process holds a transformative power that invites students to create a new way of living that involves alternative relationships with the self and others, changing perceptions of the city, and a dedication to craftsmanship. Şenay visits reed harvesters and travels from studios to workshops to explore the practical processes of teaching and learning. She also becomes an apprentice ney-player herself, exploring the desire for spirituality that encourages apprentices and masters alike to pursue ney music and its scaffolding of Islamic ethics and belief.
New Musical Figurations exemplifies a dramatically new way of configuring jazz music and history. By relating biography to the cultural and musical contours of contemporary American life, Ronald M. Radano observes jazz practice as part of the complex interweaving of postmodern culture—a culture that has eroded conventional categories defining jazz and the jazz musician. Radano accomplishes all this by analyzing the creative life of Anthony Braxton, one of the most emblematic figures of this cultural crisis.
Born in 1945, Braxton is not only a virtuoso jazz saxophonist but an innovative theoretician and composer of experimental art music. His refusal to conform to the conventions of official musical culture has helped unhinge the very ideologies on which definitions of "jazz," "black music," "popular music," and "art music" are founded.
New Musical Figurations gives the richest view available of this many-sided artist. Radano examines Braxton's early years on the South Side of Chicago, whose vibrant black musical legacy inspired him to explore new avenues of expression. Here is the first detailed history of Braxton's central role in the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, the principal musician-run institution of free jazz in the United States. After leaving Chicago, Braxton was active in Paris and New York, collaborating with Philip Glass, Steve Reich, Frederic Rzewski, and other composers affiliated with the experimental-music movement. From 1974 to 1981, he gained renown as a popular jazz performer and recording artist. Since then he has taught at Mills College and Wesleyan University, given lectures on his theoretical musical system, and written works for chamber groups as well as large, opera-scale pieces.
The neglect of radical, challenging figures like Braxton in standard histories of jazz, Radano argues, mutes the innovative voice of the African-American musical tradition. Refreshingly free of technical jargon, New Musical Figurations is more than just another variation on the same jazz theme. Rather, it is an exploratory work as rich in theoretical vision as it is in historical detail.
Kartomi first moves through a culture-specific inspection of several societies in Europe, Asia, and Africa, and then, synthesizing current ethnomusicological trends, proceeds to make a large-scale comparative study of classification schemes and the concepts which govern them.
Gifted harpist Edna Phillips (1907–2003) joined the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1930, becoming not only that ensemble's first female member but also the first woman to hold a principal position in a major American orchestra. Plucked from the Curtis Institute of Music in the midst of her studies, Phillips was only twenty-three years old when Leopold Stokowski, one of the twentieth century's most innovative and controversial conductors, named her principal harpist. This candid, colorful account traces Phillips's journey through the competitive realm of Philadelphia's virtuoso players, where she survived--and thrived--thanks to her undeniable talent, determination, and lively humor.
Drawing on extensive interviews with Phillips, her family, and colleagues as well as archival sources, One Woman in a Hundred chronicles the training, aspirations, setbacks, and successes of this pioneering woman musician. Mary Sue Welsh recounts numerous insider stories of rehearsal and performance with Stokowski and other renowned conductors of the period such as Arturo Toscanini, Fritz Reiner, Otto Klemperer, Sir Thomas Beecham, and Eugene Ormandy. She also depicts Phillips's interactions with fellow performers, the orchestra management, and her teacher, the wily and brilliant Carlos Salzedo. Blessed with a nimble wit, Phillips navigated a plethora of challenges, ranging from false conductors' cues to the advances of the debonair Stokowski and others. She remained with the orchestra through some of its most exciting years from 1930 to 1946 and was instrumental in fostering harp performance, commissioning many significant contributions to the literature.
This portrait of Phillips's exceptional tenure with the Philadelphia Orchestra also reveals the behind-the-scenes life of a famous orchestra during a period in which Rachmaninoff declared it "the finest orchestra the world has ever heard." Through Phillips's perceptive eyes, readers will watch as Stokowski melds his musicians into a marvelously flexible ensemble; world-class performers reach great heights and make embarrassing flubs; Greta Garbo comes to Philadelphia to observe her lover Leopold Stokowski at work; and the orchestra encounters the novel experience of recording for Walt Disney's Fantasia. A colorful glimpse into a world-class orchestra at the height of its glory, One Woman in a Hundred tells the fascinating story of one woman brave enough and strong enough to overcome historic barriers and pursue her dreams.
Pipe organs were once a central (and sometimes hotly debated) part of Manitoba's cultural life. The Organ in Manitoba portrays that history--the instruments, builders, players and critics--from the date of the earliest known installations to the 1990s, and includes information on musical organizations such as the Royal Canadian College of Organists. It documents over a century of evolution and changes, from concepts of tonal design to styles of musical commentary and tastes, and includes an inventory of installations and specifications for over 100 organs. Well-illustrated with photographs and excerpts from historical reviews and other documents, it will be of interest to musicians, teachers, and music, church, and cultural historians.
The Organs of J. S. Bach is a comprehensive and fascinating guide to the organs encountered by Bach throughout Germany in his roles as organist, concert artist, examiner, teacher, and visitor. Newly revised and updated, the book's entries are listed alphabetically by geographical location, from Arnstadt to Zschortau, providing an easy-to-reference overview.
Includes detailed organ-specific information:
high-quality color photographs
each instrument's history, its connection to Bach, and its disposition as Bach would have known it
architectural histories of the churches housing the instruments
identification of church organists
Lynn Edwards Butler's graceful translation of Christoph Wolff and Markus Zepf's volume incorporates new research and many corrections and updates to the original German edition. Bibliographical references are updated to include English-language sources, and the translation includes an expanded essay by Christoph Wolff on Bach as organist, organ composer, and organ expert.
The volume includes maps, a timeline of organ-related events, transcriptions of Bach's organ reports, a guide to examining organs attributed to Saxony's most famous organ builder Gottfried Silbermann, and biographical information on organ builders.
Publication of this volume is supported by the American Bach Society.
Percussion is an attempt—in the author’s words—to make sense of "senseless beating," to grasp how rhythm makes sense in music and society. Both a scholar and a former professional drummer, John Mowitt forges a striking encounter between cultural studies and new musicology that seeks to lay out the "percussive field" through which beating—specifically the backbeat that defines early rock-and-roll—comes to matter for raced, urban subjects. For Mowitt, percussion is both an experience of embodiment—making contact in and on the skin—and a provocation for critical theory itself. In delimiting the percussive field, he plays drumming off against the musicological account of the beat, the sociological account of shock and the psychoanalytical account of fantasy. In the process he touches on such topics as the separation of slaves and drums in the era of the slave trade, the migration of rural blacks to urban centers of the North, the practice and politics of "rough music," the links between interpellation and possession, the general strike, beating fantasies, and the concept of the "skin ego." Percussion makes a fresh and provocative contribution to cultural studies, new musicology, the history of the body and critical race theory. It will be of interest to students of cultural studies and critical theory as well as readers with a serious interest in the history of music, rock-and-roll and drumming.
Ask guitar players about their instruments, and you’re likely to get a story—where the guitar came from, or what makes it unique, or why the player will never part with it. Most guitarists have strong feelings about their primary tool, and some are downright passionate about their axes. Chuck Holley is a professional photographer and writer who loves music and listening to musicians talk about their trade. For several years, he has been photographing guitarists with their prized instruments and collecting their stories. This beautifully illustrated book presents these stories in revelatory photographs and words.
The guitarists included in this book range from high-profile performers, including Rosanne Cash, Guy Clark, Laurence Juber, Jorma Kaukonen, JD Souther, Bill Frisell, Dave Alvin, and Kelly Willis, to renowned studio musicians and band members. Holley’s beautifully composed photographs portray them with their favorite guitar, including detail shots of the instrument. Accompanying the photographs are the musicians’ stories about the Gibsons, Fenders, Martins, and others that have become the guitar in their lives, the one that has a special lineage or intangible qualities of sustain, tone, clarity, and comfort that make it irreplaceable. Several musicians talk about how the guitar chose them, while others recount stories of guitars lost or stolen and then serendipitously recovered. Together, these photographs and stories underscore the great pleasure of performing with an instrument that’s become a trusted friend with a personality all its own.
This sensitive, scholarly portrayal of Shona musicians and the African Musical tradition is highly engaging and comprehensive in its range of data. Paul Berliner provides the complete cultural context for the music and an intimate, precise account of the meaning of the instrument and its music.
"Paul Berliner's The Soul of Mbira is probably the best ethnography ever written about an African musical tradition. It is a complete classic . . . . I know of no other instrument with the range of the mbira, and the book is equal to the instrument."—John Chernoff
"[The Soul of Mbira] illustrates the fact that Shona mbira music in its beauty, subtlety, and virtuosity demands the same kind of respect that we might hold for any other classical music."—David Reck, Parabola
"The book is a model of ethnomusicological thinking and investigation and it suggests a specific way of approaching a complex socio-musical system."—John Baily, Popular Music
"When next someone asks 'What is ethnomusicology?' or 'What do ethnomusicologists do?' I shall suggest this book. . . . This is a landmark in ethnomusicological literature. Berliner succeeds in conveying both the joy that goes with mbira playing and the mystic relationship between the player and his instrument. In short, this is humanized ethnomusicology."—K.A. Gourlay, Ethnomusicology
No other instrument has witnessed such a dramatic rise to popularity--and precipitous decline--as the accordion. Squeeze This! is the first history of the piano accordion and the first book-length study of the accordion as a uniquely American musical and cultural phenomenon.
Ethnomusicologist and accordion enthusiast Marion Jacobson traces the changing idea of the accordion in the United States and its cultural significance over the course of the twentieth century. From the introduction of elaborately decorated European models imported onto the American vaudeville stage and the instrument's celebration by ethnic musical communities and mainstream audiences alike, to the accordion-infused pop parodies by "Weird Al" Yankovic, Jacobson considers the accordion's contradictory status as both an "outsider" instrument and as a major force in popular music in the twentieth century.
Drawing on interviews and archival investigations with instrument builders and retailers, artists and audiences, professionals and amateurs, Squeeze This! explores the piano accordion's role as an instrument of community identity and its varied musical and cultural environments. Jacobson concentrates on six key moments of transition: the Americanization of the piano accordion, originally produced and marketed by sales-savvy Italian immigrants; the transformation of the accordion in the 1920s from an exotic, expensive vaudeville instrument to a mass-marketable product; the emergence of the accordion craze in the 1930s and 1940s, when a highly organized "accordion industrial complex" cultivated a white, middle-class market; the peak of its popularity in the 1950s, exemplified by Lawrence Welk and Dick Contino; the instrument's marginalization in the 1960s and a brief, ill-fated effort to promote the accordion to teen rock 'n' roll musicians; and the revival beginning in the 1980s of the accordion as a "world music instrument" and a key component for cabaret and burlesque revivals and pop groups such as alternative experimenters They Might Be Giants and polka rockers Brave Combo.
Loaded with dozens of images of gorgeous instruments and enthusiastic performers and fans, Squeeze This! A Cultural History of the Accordion in America represents the accordion in a wide range of popular and traditional musical styles, revealing the richness and diversity of accordion culture in America.
The String Quartets of Beethoven
Edited by William Kinderman University of Illinois Press, 2020 Library of Congress MT145.B425S75 2006 | Dewey Decimal 785.7194092
”We do not understand music—it understands us.” This aphorism by Theodor W. Adorno expresses the quandary and the fascination many listeners have felt in approaching Beethoven's late quartets. No group of compositions occupies a more central position in chamber music, yet the meaning of these works continues to stimulate debate. William Kinderman's The String Quartets of Beethoven stands as the most detailed and comprehensive exploration of the subject. It collects new work by leading international scholars who draw on a variety of historical sources and analytical approaches to offer fresh insights into the aesthetics of the quartets, probing expressive and structural features that have hitherto received little attention. This volume also includes an appendix with updated information on the chronology and sources of the quartets and a detailed bibliography.
A creative genius and prolific inventor, Leon Theremin almost single-handedly launched the field of electronic music in 1920. The theremin--the only musical instrument that is played without being touched--created a sensation worldwide and paved the way for the modern synthesizer. But the otherworldly sound that entranced millions was only part of Theremin's epic life.
As a Soviet scientist, Theremin surrendered his life and work to the service of State espionage. On assignment in Depression-era America, he worked the engines of capitalist commerce while passing data on US industrial technology to the Soviet apparat. Following his sudden disappearance in 1938, Theremin vanished into the top-secret Soviet intelligence machine and was presumed dead for nearly thirty years. Using the same technology that spawned the theremin, he designed bugging devices and a host of other electronic wonders, including an early television and multimedia devices that anticipated performance art and virtual reality by decades.
Albert Glinsky's biography places the inventor at world events stretching from the Russian Revolution through the Cold War to perestroika. Throughout, he spins whimsy and treachery into an astonishing drama of one man's hidden loyalties, mixed motivations, and irrepressibly creative spirit.
Here are the traditions of harpsichord making as they might have been taught to young apprentices in five countries where the craft once flourished: Italy, Flanders, France, England, and Germany. The period covered ranges from approximately 1500, when concrete data became available, to 1800, after which the nature of the instrument is no longer of musicological significance.
The author’s aim is to “give enough information to make it possible for builders of harpsichords to base their work on certain knowledge of the designs and methods of earlier makers; to guide players of the harpsichord in their search for appropriate instruments, dispositions, and registrations in recreating the music of the past; and to serve as a useful body of information for historians and editors of early keyboard music.”
A chapter each is devoted to the five most important schools of harpsichord making. Over forty plates illustrate the most typical harpsichords of each country. Each set of drawings includes a plan drawn to scale, the interior of the instrument, and interesting details of action and construction. These are supplemented by reproductions of illustrations taken from early sources. The appendixes contain texts of relevant documents, including inventories of the shops of some prominent French makers and contemporary descriptions of instruments.
Frank Hubbard has drawn material from contemporary descriptions of instruments and the mechanical arts such as those found in encyclopedias, technical treatises, books on music theory, and manuals for craftsmen. In addition he has examined hundreds of instruments in European and American collections. His exceptional position as an internationally known harpsichord maker as well as a student of harpsichord history allows him to discuss technical as well as historical matters that would be outside the competence of a musicologist.
In 1979, Ed Stilley was leading a simple life as a farmer and singer of religious hymns in Hogscald Hollow, a tiny Ozark community south of Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Life was filled with hard work and making do for Ed, his wife Eliza, and their five children, who lived in many ways as if the second half of the twentieth century had never happened.
But one day Ed’s life was permanently altered. While plowing his field, he became convinced he was having a heart attack. Ed stopped his work and lay down on the ground. Staring at the sky, he saw himself as a large tortoise struggling to swim across a river. On his back were five small tortoises—his children—clinging to him for survival. And then, as he lay there in the freshly plowed dirt, Ed received a vision from God, telling him that he would be restored to health if he would agree to do one thing: make musical instruments and give them to children.
And so he did. Beginning with a few simple hand tools, Ed worked tirelessly for twenty-five years to create over two hundred instruments, each a crazy quilt of heavy, rough-sawn wood scraps joined with found objects. A rusty door hinge, a steak bone, a stack of dimes, springs, saw blades, pot lids, metal pipes, glass bottles, aerosol cans—Ed used anything he could to build a working guitar, fiddle, or dulcimer. On each instrument Ed inscribed “True Faith, True Light, Have Faith in God.”
True Faith, True Light: The Devotional Art of Ed Stilley documents Ed Stilley’s life and work, giving us a glimpse into a singular life of austere devotion.
The second edition is extensively expanded in its graded lists of studies and solos
This book,in its encyclopedic catalog of viola literature in print, and (perhaps most important) in its treatment of the musical and pedagogical aspects of teaching the viola. A work already unique has been augmented in all its major aspects. The excerpts that follow are from reviews of the out-of-print first edition.
Haydn’s music has been performed continuously for more than two hundred years. But what do we play, and what do we listen to, when it comes to Haydn? Can we still appreciate the rich rhetorical nuances of this music, which from its earliest days was meant to be played by professionals and amateurs alike?
With The Virtual Haydn, Tom Beghin—himself a professional keyboard player—delves deeply into eighteenth-century history and musicology to help us hear a properly complex Haydn. Unusually for a scholarly work, the book is presented in the first person, as Beghin takes us on what is clearly a very personal journey into the past. When a discussion of a group of Viennese sonatas, for example, leads him into an analysis of the contemporary interest in physiognomy, Beghin applies what he learns about the role of facial expressions during his own performance of the music. Elsewhere, he analyzes gesture and gender, changes in keyboard technology, and the role of amateurs in eighteenth-century musical culture.
The resulting book is itself a fascinating, bravura performance, one that partakes of eighteenth-century idiosyncrasy while drawing on a panoply of twenty-first-century knowledge.
The most comprehensive study ever undertaken of the musical instruments of native people in Northeastern North America, Visions of Sound focuses on interpretations by elders and consultants from Iroquois, Wabanati, Innuat, and Anishnabek communities. Beverley Diamond, M. Sam Cronk, and Franziska von Rosen present these instruments in a theoretically innovative setting organized around such abstract themes as complementarity, twinness, and relationship. As sources of metaphor—in both sound and image—instruments are interpreted within a framework that regards meaning as "emergent" and that challenges a number of previous ethnographic descriptions. Finally, the association between sound and "motion"—an association that illuminates the unity of music and dance and the life cycles of individual musical instruments—is explored.
Featuring over two hundred photographs of instruments, dialogues among the coauthors, numerous interviews with individual music makers, and an appended catalogue of over seven hundred instrument descriptions, this is an important book for all ethnomusicologists and students of Native American culture as well as general readers interested in Native American mythology and religious life.