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Oxford History of Western Music: (5 Vol set) Paperback – 27 Aug 2009

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Product details

  • Paperback: 3856 pages
  • Publisher: OUP USA (27 Aug. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195386302
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195386301
  • Product Dimensions: 38.1 x 21 x 26 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 231,084 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

This monumental, nearly 4,000-page history from one of today's outstanding musicologists deserves a place on everybody's shelf. (Philip Borg-Wheeler, Classical Music)

The discounted price represents extraordinarily good value for what I would happily recommend as book of the decade. (Philip Borg-Wheeler, Classical Music)

Book of the decade. (Philip Borg-Wheeler, Classical Music.)

This monumental 4,000 page history from one of today's outstanding musicologists deserves a place on everybody's shelf. (Philip Borg-Wheeler, Classical Music)

Marvellously awash with judicious reflection on the latest scholarship...a compelling easy-to-read narrative. (The Economist)

About the Author

Richard Taruskin is professor of musicology at the University of California, Berkeley. In addition to this work, Taruskin is also the author of such books as Music in the Western World: A History in Documents (1985), Text & Act (OUP, 1995), and Stravinsky and the Russian Traditions (1996). He is a frequent contributor to the New York Times, New Republic, and many other scholarly journals.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By J. Still on 14 Nov. 2011
Format: Paperback
I have always been a fan of Taruskin's writing. He balances enormous erudition with a sense of what it means to make music and to be moved by it, so while he has all the tools to analyze and be theoretical when he needs them, it's only ever in the service of meaningful understanding. 'Text and Act' and 'Defining Russia Musically' are two of my favourite books, and ones which I recommend constantly to others.

I hadn't expected this History to be such a darned good read: I started with the 19th century because that's where my specialization takes me, and I was hooked from the first page, to the extent that I now have to ration myself. He writes so clearly and so engagingly, that it's more like reading a thriller than a history book. It's a wonderfully well-balanced book: his style is friendly, explanatory, humorous. But if you want it, there's deep musical analysis with examples. It's like Alex Ross's 'The Rest of Noise' but for a mixed audience of scholars, music lovers, children, whoever - it works on several levels at once, and you can choose (as I sometimes do) to leave out the more analytical/theoretical stuff and just enjoy the story.

As a ballet specialist myself, I am grateful to Taruskin for writing one of the only mainstream chapters on ballet music in the early 20th century volume. I happened to see that chapter browsing in a bookshop and instantly bought the book. At £45 for the whole set, this has to be one of the best bargains in the world of books, so I just went to Amazon and bought the rest. Now I've got the other volumes, I can't put them down.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Dr. Manuel Ivo Cruz on 29 Mar. 2011
Format: Paperback
This is an amazing achievement. Richard Taruskin has profound knowledge of seemingly everything, and is able to communicate his extraordinary insights in a way that actually makes for exciting reading! Some of his concerns are transversally applied, in revealing ways, to different times and subjects, resulting in a very coherent and convincing view of the whole. His ongoing investigations into the history of Modernity are, finally, pulling some important bits of OUR history out of the intense 20th century political wars: invaluable revelations inside our own received wisdom.
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By wevard on 12 Dec. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The books were in perfect condition upon arrival. It'll take me years to read them but from the first page I knew it the level of information I was looking for and in a narrative form. Recommended to all who wish to learn a lot about history of western music, with analysis and direct references to people and our world now a days.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By aleknowak on 26 Mar. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book itself does not need any more positive reviews. All praise already has been written and it's well deserved. The purchase was very smooth and quick, and the price is amazing.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Helen on 22 April 2012
Format: Paperback
I am studying a Music degree at Bristol and this is the perfect set of books for referring to during the course and when writing essays. Better value than anywhere else, as well!
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