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on 17 July 2014
sadly the author is rather uninformed about MUSIC, so he packed the book with lots of what he probably thinks is factual research and is dismissive about some of the more crucial information because he doesn't realise their importance. There is no clear direction, either the author hasn't been able to step back far enough to see a clear picture, or doesn't have what it takes to understand the myriad musical phenomena. What he gives you is a lot of 'noise'. In the hands of a better informed and less shallow writer, a cohesive composition that features themes and variations and developments would have emerged, and I am still waiting for such a book.
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on 5 February 2010
This book is refreshingly different from any other book I have read about music. It is also beautifully written and VERY thoroughly researched. It is not a book to be read in a hurry. Luckily, it is divided into small sections each of which can be read as a satisfying chunk in its own right. What it reveals about the politics, personalities and evolution of music in the 20th century is astounding. Whether you like certain types of modern music ("classical", jazz, pop or unclassifiable)or not you will end up understanding how they were all derived and the direction in which they may each be going.

I have listened to and played music for over 50 years and found that this book has added enormously to my understanding and appreciation of the music I have loved and the music I have tended to avoid. It's almost a religious experience.

Thank you Alex Ross

Sincerely

JCPB
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on 4 October 2014
it's an excellent book
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on 16 August 2015
Just as required
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on 16 July 2010
Book was delivered quickly and as described. Haven't finished reading it yet but so far so good. Accompanying website is also very impressive, following the book with audio resources and additional information chapter by chapter. Fab for anyone with an interest in 20th century music or in fact any kind of music. It is much more than an analytical explanation of the music as it covers art and cultural context as well as a personal insight into the lives of the composers.
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on 2 March 2015
fantastic book
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VINE VOICEon 21 April 2009
An excellent end of year book for the review of the whole of modern and classical music in the 20th century.
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on 19 March 2010
This is a massive area, of course, and a massive book. For most readers, slimmer volumes will get you to the same place.

As regards editing, I feel that the book is unclear about who the reader is. For example, 'atonality' is discussed early on, without saying what it is (are we supposed to know?). Later - p55 - we get a rather poor explanation. For such things as this, the book is crying out for a website - not for excerpts from existing compositions, but for some simple examples of intervals, harmonies... played on piano.
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on 16 November 2015
Everything OK
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on 6 February 2014
Great book but arrived with the back cover and some pages folded and dirty. It seemed like something had stepped on it. It's a small defect but visible. Just didn't returned it because it was a Christmas gift and there wasn't the time to get a new. The other books on the package were in perfect conditions
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