The universally acclaimed and award-winning Oxford History of Western Music is the eminent musicologist Richard Taruskin's provocative, erudite telling of the story of Western music from its earliest days to the present. Each book in this superlative five-volume set illuminates-through a representative sampling of masterworks-the themes, styles, and currents that give shape and direction to a significant period in the history of Western music. Music in the Late Twentieth Century is the final installment of the set, covering the years from the end of World War II to the present. In these pages, Taruskin illuminates the great compositions of recent times, offering insightful analyses of works by Aaron Copland, John Cage, Milton Babbitt, Benjamin Britten, Steve Reich, and Philip Glass, among many others. He also looks at the impact of electronic music and computers, the rise of pop music and rock 'n' roll, the advent of postmodernism, and the contemporary music of Laurie Anderson, John Zorn, and John Adams.
Laced with brilliant observations, memorable musical analysis, and a panoramic sense of the interactions between history, culture, politics, art, literature, religion, and music, this book will be essential reading for anyone who wishes to understand this rich and diverse period.
The Oxford History of Western Music is a magisterial survey of the traditions of Western music by one of the most prominent and provocative musicologists of our time. This text illuminates, through a representative sampling of masterworks, those themes, styles, and currents that give shape and direction to each musical age. Taking a critical perspective, this text sets the details of music, the chronological sweep of figures, works, and musical ideas, within the larger context of world affairs and cultural history. Written by an authoritative, opinionated, and controversial figure in musicology, The Oxford History of Western Music provides a critical aesthetic position with respect to individual works, a context in which each composition may be evaluated and remembered. Taruskin combines an emphasis on structure and form with a discussion of relevant theoretical concepts in each age, to illustrate how the music itself works, and how contemporaries heard and understood it. It also describes how the context of each stylistic period-key cultural, historical, social, economic, and scientific events-influenced and directed compositional choices.
Unlike earlier surveys, Taruskin provides greater attention to the full range of 20th century music, including American music as part of the mainstream tradition of western music, women in music, and popular music.