Roots of the Classical: The Popular Origins of Western Music

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OUP Oxford, Dec 9, 2004 - Music - 576 pages
Roots of the Classical identifies and traces to their sources the patterns that make Western classical music unique, setting out the fundamental laws of melody and harmony, and sketching the development of tonality between the fifteenth and eighteenth centuries. The author then focuses on the years 1770-1910, treating the Western music of this period - folk, popular, and classical - as a single, organically developing, interconnected unit in which the popular idiom was constantly feeding into 'serious' music, showing how the same patterns underlay music of all kinds.
 

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Contents

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Page 7 - The real trouble with this world of ours is not that it is an unreasonable world, nor even that it is a reasonable one. The commonest kind of trouble is that it is nearly reasonable, but not quite. Life is not an illogicality; yet it is a trap for logicians. It looks just a little more mathematical and regular than it is; its exactitude is obvious, but its inexactitude is hidden; its wildness lies in wait.
Page v - ... he first intended. He alters his mind as the work proceeds, and will have this or that convenience more, of which he had not thought when he began. So has it happened to me.
Page xii - A man coins not a new word without some peril and less fruit; for if it happen to be received, the praise is but moderate; if refused, the scorn is assured.
Page 16 - New ideas are thrown up spontaneously like mutations ; the vast majority of them are useless crank theories, the equivalent of biological freaks without survival-value. There is a constant struggle for survival between competing theories in every branch of the history of thought. The process of "natural selection", too, has its equivalent in mental evolution : among the multitude of new concepts which emerge only those survive which are well adapted to the period's intellectual milieu.

About the author (2004)

Peter Van der Merwe spent two years at the South African College of Music in Cape Town but is largely self-taught. He is now working as a qualified librarian. He published his first book, 'Origins of the Popular Style' with OUP in 1989.

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