Period Piece

By Williams, Peter | Musical Times, Winter 2001 | Go to article overview

Period Piece


Williams, Peter, Musical Times


Period piece

PETER WILLIAMS

Music of the baroque David Shulenberg Oxford UP (New York & Oxford, 2001); xiv, 349pp; L25. ISBN 0 19 512232 1.

Music of the baroque: an anthology of scores David Schulenberg Oxford UP (New York & Oxford, 2001); x, 370pp; L22.50 pbk. ISBN 0 19 512233 X.

This is one of a large number of books currently being produced by the world's bigger publishers for the highereducation market: textbooks `designed for undergraduate and graduate students' (can they be both?) and, I earnestly hope, subsidising the important monographs of permanent value that university presses once regarded as their prime concern. There is a large number of potential authors for such books, specialists only too happy with commissions of this kind, which can be fun to write, allow one to contribute to the advancement of the young, and bring in bigger royalties or fees than half a dozen scholarly monographs.

The most blatant textbooks in this last respect are those for `Music 101', the `Introduction to Western Music' courses of American liberal arts colleges, lucrative course-books complete with recordings students can play in their own dorm, laying out for them the conventional lines of music history. Quite what is `music history' and how really valid is the idea that it has `lines of development', with 'masterworks' and `transitional figures', can be no more than touched upon, of course. The most lastingly valuable textbooks in my experience are those focusing on technical areas, guide-books for acquiring skills (such as figured-bass playing) and requiring you to do something for yourself. A textbook for a history period such as the so-called baroque, comes somewhere between these two kinds, and its value hangs on the particular author's apercus.

I say `so-called baroque' because as soon as you use this word - which, as a matter of fact is meaningless, a mistake of nineteenth-century German Musikwissenchaft (musicology) as it attempted to imitate German Kunstwissenschaft (art-history) - you signal an approach both to 'history' and to 'music', and there is nothing for it but to go through the 'periods' and their 'masterworks' from Monteverdi-and-a-bit-before to Bachand-a-bit-after, making a `balanced selection' to show the `main lines of development' even though some of the best pieces of the period will have had no influence whatever on music history or its lines of development. And there must be a nod to New Musicology with some obligatory criticism of racial stereotyping or a few spotlights on women composers. Undergraduates who don't know music from the inside or haven't been shown how to integrate their playing with their thinking can gain a lot from such a book, but one has to recognise the snags.

Since there are so many terms to explain and background facts to get over it will be hard to avoid inculcating pre-set ideas of history on the reader. This is one of the snags: it will be only a part-history, and whole areas of very active music-making - unwritten street-- music, popular song, hymns, 'vernacular' instrumental music, music societies, cathedral evensongs - will barely

feature if at all, despite the fact that most musical experiences of most people will have been in these categories. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Period Piece
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.