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Emotion and Meaning in Music (Phoenix Books) [Kindle Edition]

Leonard B. Meyer
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £16.00
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Book Description

"Altogether it is a book that should be required reading for any student of music, be he composer, performer, or theorist. It clears the air of many confused notions . . . and lays the groundwork for exhaustive study of the basic problem of music theory and aesthetics, the relationship between pattern and meaning."—David Kraehenbuehl, Journal of Music Theory


"This is the best study of its kind to have come to the attention of this reviewer."—Jules Wolffers, The Christian Science Monitor

"It is not too much to say that his approach provides a basis for the meaningful discussion of emotion and meaning in all art."—David P. McAllester, American Anthropologist

"A book which should be read by all who want deeper insights into music listening, performing, and composing."—Marcus G. Raskin, Chicago Review

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 9009 KB
  • Print Length: 315 pages
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press (1 Jun. 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #493,089 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars good 18 Feb. 2015
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
interesting book, good service
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9 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Emotional Meaning 6 Feb. 2007
Brilliant book. Easy to read and thought provoking. Well worth buying to add to the music library. For serious music scholars and those who like to read around the subject! I bought it!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.8 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
43 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece in its own right 15 Nov. 2005
By Jeffery Cotton - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
How many music theory books written over 45 years ago are still taken seriously, never mind still in print?

It was my great pleasure to study with Leonard Meyer at the University of Pennsylvania from '86 through '89. Even though I am a composer and not really a theorist any more, I consider him one of my most influential teachers. His writings and lectures deeply affected me as a composer in that his understanding of music -- how it works, how it affects us, how our individual cognitive processes come to bear on what we are hearing -- found its way into my aesthetic. Even though Dr. Meyer in later years came to argue with himself (this was tremendous fun, by the way: sitting in his lectures, listening to him tell himself why his earlier writings were so wrong), this is great stuff, written by a great man.

Be forewarned that in spite of the title, this is musically technical stuff: don't expect vague, poetic philosophizing. The analyses are intense and detailed and require a strong background in music theory and form.
40 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible insights into the nature of music 29 Oct. 2000
By Dr. Christopher Coleman - Published on
How very few thinkers on music dare even consider the topic of emotion and meaning in music shows the difficulty of the task Meyer sets himself. This is a truly important book--far beyond any history or theoretical tome I've ever read, this aims right at the heart of what music is about. It is very tough going--this was adapted from Meyer's doctoral dissertation, but it repays every effort made. Meyer's mind is enviably far-ranging; he uses examples from the visual arts to the hard sciences and philosophy to make his points. His later book, Explaining Music, is an easier read, still full of valuable insights but much more oriented toward a theoretical, quasi-Schenkerian approach to music. But for me, Emotion and Meaning in Music (along with his much later Style and Music) is much more significant, dealing with more profound and much less frequently discussed issues. This book has my HIGHEST recommndation.
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a truly innovative work 23 April 2004
By Michael F. Burdick - Published on
I see that the other reviewers here either hate this book or love it. I fall in the latter category. Having studied music theory extensively, this is the one book that actually deals with music as a communicating art, not as a bunch of symbols on paper. I think that any composer of music (pop, Classical, rock, etc.) could learn valuable pointers on how to write music that is interesting and moving to the listener. One of the problems with much 20th Century music is that it exists on paper as something interesting, but does not reach the ear as such. It appears that Leonard Meyer has been daring enough to admit that music can affect people's emotions and maintain their interest intellectually, rather than just existing as an exercise in note placement (alla Schenker or Forte).
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good 30 Jan. 2004
By Rosemary Lake - Published on
I found this book quite enlightening, as well as pleasant to read. Like Professor Tolkien's hobbitts, I enjoy books that tell me things I already intuited but had no terms for.
The book explains concepts by illustrations from several fields. If you are familiar with even one of the fields, it gives you immediate insights to the others.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent smooth reading 1 April 2007
By Passion4Music - Published on
I have yet to finish up with the book but it's a very clear thorough book. Meyer explains details that you thought couldn't be explained. I have intuited a lot of the material but it is so darn gratifying to see it written, to see I haven't made it up out of thin air!

Really a must read!!!
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