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Norton Anthology of Western Music: Ancient to Baroque v. 1 (Norton Anthology of Western Music Volume I Series, Volume1) [Paperback]

Claude V Palisca
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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The Norton Anthology of Western Music: Ancient to Baroque v. 1 The Norton Anthology of Western Music: Ancient to Baroque v. 1 4.0 out of 5 stars (3)
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4 Sep 1996 Norton Anthology of Western Music Volume I Series, Volume1
The "Norton Anthology of Western Music (NAWM)" provides a comprehensive collection of 152 scores illustrating every significant trend and genre of Western music from antiquity to modern times. For this Third Edition, Claude Palisca has added some 30 important pieces from the mainstream repertory. Among these selections are 9 twentieth-century works (American composers newly represented include Ruth Crawford seeger, William Grant Still, Elliot Carter, Milton Babbitt, Gunther Schuller, and George Rochberg) and 6 compositions by women, ranging in time from those of the medieval mystic Hildegard of Bingen to those of the contemporary Russian Sofia Gubaidulina.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 632 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Co.; 3rd Revised edition edition (4 Sep 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393969061
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393969061
  • Product Dimensions: 25.1 x 17.3 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,682,038 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is a very specialized overview of the history of music from a musicological rather than cultural-historical point of view. The book contains many music excerpts and does not inform much about composers and their history. It does not offer an overview of composers and music styles during ancient to baroque period, so, beware when you buy this book, that you are buying an extremely specialized musicologist item.
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Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Not as good a quality as I expected and the packaging seems excessive. However it was very quick which is great.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended 19 April 2009
By W Mason
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Absolutely brilliant reference work. The historical journey through music this presents is superb, very detailed and absorbing. Great for students of music but also valuable for the browser who likes to dip in and out. I use it daily.
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Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  14 reviews
38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A comprehensive anthology of scores 23 Nov 2001
By Konstantinos Zampopoulos - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is the first volume of the Norton Anthology of Western Music Third Edition). It covers Music of the Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque periods, while the second volume deals with Music from the Classical, Romantic Contemporary and Modern Periods. The book offers a selection of scores (86 in total) from several composers and it spans over a period of more than two millennia (earliest score from 408 B.C., latest from 1752 A.D.). The scores that are included are representative of most composers that made an impact through these two millennia (at least according to the editors): Leonin, Perotin, Machaut, Landini, Dunstable, Duffay, Ockeghem, Des Prez, Willaert, Gesualdo, Monteverdi, Dowland, Byrd, Palestrina, Luis de Victoria, Orlando di Lasso, Caccini, Peri, Gabrielli, Schutz, Froberger, Frescobaldi, Scarlati, Purcell, Buxtehude, Lully, Couperin, Corelli, Vivaldi, Rameau, J.S. Bach and G. F. Handel. In this volume, 60 eponymous composers (and several anonymous) are included. The only noticeable absence on a first reading of the index is perhaps that of Boccherini. However, given the restrictions of space that are inherent to any written medium, the Anthology still manages to remain quite comprehensive. On the other hand, very few, if any, comments or analyses of the scores are offered for each of the pieces (always following the music). Pieces that involve vocals (i.e. excerpts from operas, cantatas, masses) are supplemented with an English translation, besides the original text. The scores themselves are 'full' scores and not piano reductions. Naturally, this causes some scores that involve richer orchestration (i.e. the excerpt from Bach's B Minor Mass "Et expecto resurrectionem") to be printed in small fonts, which in turn may take its toll in the readability of the music. However, since most pieces of the period involve smaller orchestras, the problem is not as much of a deal as it is with volume two. Additionally, if one always remembers the restrictions of space that accompany any written medium, it is clear that it is a decision to be made- it's either small fonts or fewer scores.
Two notes of warning: first, the book, much like volume two, is not accompanied by any music. It contains simply the printed scores. A good choice for supplementing the two volume set, is Hannig's Concise History of Western Music with its 4 CD set. Although the CD set does not contain all music of the two volumes, it does contain a good portion of it and has a user friendly, easy to understand cross-reference system with the two volumes. Second note of warning: as any anthology, this one, too, is merely a representative sample. It is not a 'Greatest Hits' collection-for example you won't find Pachelbel's "Canon in D", Vivaldi's "Four Seasons", Bach's Brandemberg Concertos or his Passions or Handel's "Messiah" in it. Only one complete score of a larger scale piece is included, that of Bach's cantata "Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme" (BWV 140). Otherwise, the anthology consists of excerpts of larger pieces (whole movements or introductions for example), and shorter complete pieces (i.e. Bach's Praeludium et Fuga in A minor, BWV 543), that from the editors perspective present a more or less complete landscape of Music up to where Vol. 2 picks up from (Late Baroque/Early Classical). Naturally, omissions are inevitable, especially when one looks for balance. The four stars (and not five) are mainly because of the choice of scores at some points, at the choice (or omission) of composers at others, and, mainly, for the lack of more comprehensive commentaries and analyses of the pieces.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a collection of scores to the CD selections 16 Mar 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Both volumes of the (paperback) Anthology (N.B.: 3d ed. goes with 5th ed. of the "History" text) are primarily fully reproduced (though reduced in size) scores to the music reproduced audiophonically on the CD's in Volumes 1 and 2 of "Recorded Anthology." The Anthology, according to its 3d ed. preface, now contains almost no text of its own. The "History" text (clothbound and yes, definitive) contains minimal examples in musical notation and refers to these two volumes frequently. Despite the above review being included with this volume, be advised that the study guide by J. Peter Burkholder is to the "History" text, not primarily to the Anthologies, which also supplement the History (along with the CD's).
23 of 33 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too Much Information, Too Little Space 2 Sep 2004
By A. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
As is typical with surveys of music written before 1800, this volume devotes way too little time and space to a period of music history spanning almost 2000 years, and yet volume two deovtes roughly the same amount of space to two hundred years of music history (ca. 1800-present). One gets the impression that a series of relatively inconsequential composers filled in the blanks until Bach and Handel, and that's grossly unfair not only to the composers of those works (and the works themselves), but also to those who wish to learn something about music written before Mozart, Beethoven, Verdi and Puccini.

If you're looking to learn something about music written before 1800, stay away from these kinds of surveys and point yourself in the direction of books focused more on particular subject areas -- for example, James Anthony's book on French Baroque music and Gary Tomlinson's book "Monteverdi and the End of the Renaissance" provide lucid breakdowns for those new to these genres, as well as those who already have some background in the subject matter.

There are a few books that are even more general than those I mentioned above but that still provide a clear outline of music from paricular eras. For example, Richard Hoppin's "Medieval Music" and the accompanying "Anthology of Medieval Music" is a fine place to begin a study of this period. Alan Atlas' "Renaissance Music: Music in Western Europe, 1400-1600", and Howard Mayer Brown's "Music in the Renaissance" (2nd Edition) are excellent surveys of the music of that period. For Baroque music, Claude Palisca's "Baroque Music" (3rd Edition) is a good primer, as is Manfred F. Bukofzer's "Music in the Baroque Era, from Monteverdi to Bach." Also advised is reading primary sources, since they often give the reader an idea of the intentions of the composers and are a great aid in understanding the motives behind historically-informed performances of this repetoire. For this, look to Oliver Strunk's "Source Readings in Music History: The Baroque Era."

(By the way, all of these books can be found on Amazon.com)
7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A thorough survey of western music from written sources. 28 April 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Editors Palisca and Grout present a thorough survey of western music from written sources, with a welcome emphasis on lesser-known works. They include neumes and other ancient methods of notation. Entirely scholarly and accompanied by beautifully executed recordings of each piece, this book is a must for every student of musicology, and a boon to anyone interested in ancient music.
5.0 out of 5 stars great 5 Aug 2013
By mike - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Like oh my god, I'm totally serious, like I think it was great or something. If only I had more words to describe my experience.
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