Anyone interested in the history and development of Western music will welcome this collection of outstanding musical examples illustrating the general course of musical style from the early Middle Ages to the mid-eighteenth century. Included are 50 carefully selected compositions of great historical importance — each masterful and beautiful in its own right.
Selections include chants, the organum, parts of masses, motets, chansons, canzonas, lute dances, madrigals, ricercari, and clavecin pieces. Among the pieces are exquisite motets by Josquin, Lassus, and Byrd; madrigals by Marenzio and Caccini; brilliant instrumental displays by Frescobaldi, Pachelbel, Couperin, and Domenico Scarlatti; choral music by Handel and Bach, and much more.
Each example is accompanied by notes that identify the place of the composition in the history of music and suggest ways for the reader to undertake a useful analysis of that music. Most examples are in easy-to-follow "short score" — i.e., in two staves, lending themselves to analysis and performance by the student singly or in informal ensembles. The music can be performed either vocally or at the keyboard, allowing the reader to gain unmatched insight into the character and significance of a rich cross-section of historic styles.
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