In Language of the Spirit, renowned music scholar Jan Swafford I was so disappointed in his assessment of early music that I didn’t give it much of a chance, but this book actually functions really well in giving people new to classical music a basic idea of what’s going on. His own preferences are here, but the too-typical snobbery about the stuff he doesn’t prefer is absent and unmissed. This is essential reading for anyone looking for a somewhat-better-than-basic education in classical music. The author does an excellent job of meeting the goal in this overview of the genre. Language of the Spirit is a short and breezy survey of the Western musical tradition from earliest times to the present. Buy Language of the Spirit: An Introduction to Classical Music by Jan Swafford, Tom Perkins (Narrator) online at Alibris. from the Yale School of Music.His teachers included Earl Kim at Harvard, Jacob Druckman at Yale, and Betsy Jolas at Tanglewood. Language of text Publication date Language of text:English. Ranging from Gregorian chant to Handel's Messiah, from Vivaldi's The Four Seasons to the postmodern work of Philip Glass, Swafford is an affable and expert guide to the genre. Instead, our system considers things like how recent a review is and if the reviewer bought the item on Amazon. In Language of the Spirit, renowned music scholar Jan Swafford argues that we have it all wrong: classical music has something for everyone and is accessible to all. ‎For many of us, classical music is something serious—something we study in school, something played by cultivated musicians at fancy gatherings. He has a tendency just to string adjectives together when reviewing musical works that he likes, but I can't complain too much. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required. Some of the music I have on CD, so I took this opportunity to listen to them again. In Language of the Spirit, renowned music scholar Jan Swafford He has written biographies of Charles Ives, Brahms, and Beethoven, all well received, as well as a guide to classical music. Language of the Spirit is a short and breezy survey of the Western musical tradition from earliest times to the present. If you are new to this Western Classical music thing, the book rates 5 stars: it is well-written, chockful of miscellaneous anecdotes and WILL expose you to some awesome music if you follow the listening recommendations. It is easy to understand and very readable. For many of us, classical music is something serious-something we study in school, something played by cultivated musicians at fancy gatherings. Ranging from Gregorian chant to Handel's Messiah, from Vivaldi's The Four Seasons to the postmodern work of Philip Glass, Swafford is an affable and expert guide to the genre. Could be an excellent text book. The book is written with the novice in mind ( I have no musical training and no knowledge of music history). The author spends a great deal of effort trying to justify the hostility of composers to the interests of audiences while they simultaneously demand respect, money, and honor for their often ugly and discordant music that actively spites the expectations and standards of audiences and tends not to find a paying audience for predictable and understandable reasons. Reviewed in the United States on June 10, 2019. I appreciate he went in chronological order to give the reader an idea of how music changed. A must have book if you love music history. Mr. Swafford masterfully gives a brief yet concise history of the origins and development of classical music in addition to colorfully written glimpses of the most influential composers of the different periods. A really great introduction to western classical music. The first, as it makes the book a very useful pedagogical tool, particularly in the era of instant accessibility to music through the internet; and the second, because it acknowledges that objectivity can only go so far when writing about art and artists. Please try again. Language of the spirit : an introduction to classical music . Brilliant introduction to the major composers of classical music. His dry sense of humor and little anecdotes bring his subjects and time periods to light quickly and without pretension. I would recommend this to the casual listener or someone wanting to get their pallets wet. Twenty-seven of the chapters are composer summaries, which are fresh, perceptive, wise and stimulating. The book is mostly very readable, although I did find some of the technical discussion to be a bit of a challenge. Informative. I took more than a year to read this book: Chapter by chapter, listening to the composer's suggested listening in each chapter. 4.5 stars. In most instances, his states are close to mine (I can't say he was right, because taste is personal). Sold by CE_BOOKHOUSE and ships from Amazon Fulfillment. As you read. Concise, well-written overview of different eras in classical music history, with basic social/historical context provided for major composers, as well as some suggested listening. Ive been using this for my classes and Im finding it to be much better than I originally remember from my first reading. Prime members enjoy FREE Delivery and exclusive access to music, movies, TV shows, original audio series, and Kindle books. I previously enjoyed his long and insightful works on Brahms and Beethoven as well as his Vintage Guide to Classical Music. Sein Schreibstil ist eine herrliche Mischung aus Fakten in der Musik verbunden mit dem gesamt geschichtlichen Zusammenhang in dem die jeweilige Musik entstanden ist und das macht es so spannend! He earned his Bachelor of Arts magna cum laude from Harvard College and his M.M.A. Mr. Swafford manages to provoke these feelings with a level of knowledge, wit, and humors that keeps the reader raptly engaged and eargerly turning the pages. Language of the Spirit: An Introduction to Classical Music 9:00, 20th July 2017. According to Swafford it is intended to be a basic reference not a scholarly work. Could be an. Ranging from Gregorian chant to Handel's Messiah, from Vivaldi's The Four Seasons to the postmodern work of Philip Glass, Swafford is an affable and expert guide to the genre. Well written. We don’t share your credit card details with third-party sellers, and we don’t sell your information to others. He’s clearly in love with what he writes about and accepting of variations and experiments. A preeminent composer, music scholar, and biographer presents an engaging and accessible introduction to classical music For many of us, classical music is something serious -- something we study in school, something played by cultivated musicians at fancy gatherings. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. The book is best when he describes musical concepts and forms and explains how they work. Find helpful customer reviews and review ratings for Language of the Spirit: An Introduction to Classical Music at Amazon.com. Buy Language of the Spirit : An Introduction to Classical Music at Walmart.com Easy to follow, easy to find on Spotify and easing for the mind. This was a Goodreads giveaway. There will be things that non-classical musicians will not know, but for the most part, the author explains those in the context of the style most fitting. This book’s five main parts are Music from the Beginning (mostly middle ages and renaissance, preceded by brief discussions of Sumerian artefacts, ancient Greeks and Romans); Baroque, Classical, etc, to Modernism and Beyond. I cannot recommend it enough and will use it in the future as a reference tool in my writing. Online Library Language Of The Spirit An Introduction To Classical Musicto know more about this sublime art. April 11th 2017 Basic, $27 (304p) ISBN 978-0-465-09754-8. This book sets out what its supposed to do. Divided into (short) chapters about the life of various influential composers, but *the best part* is the suggested pieces, helpfully highlighted in *bold*: I read the book with my Amazon Prime Music, playing excerpts on my phone. This book was immensely disappointing, but for reasons that are not entirely surprising. This book is a summary of all of the beautiful music that makes up Classical today. Ranging from Gregorian chant to Handel's Messiah, from Vivaldi's The Four Seasons to the postmodern work of Philip Glass, Swafford is an affable and expert guide to the genre. Reviewed in the United States on May 21, 2017. Cool book if you enjoy classical music and want to gain an understanding of the bigger picture. In Language of the Spirit, renowned music scholar Jan Swafford argues that we have it all wrong: classical music has something for everyone and is accessible to all. We have new and used copies available, in 2 editions - starting at $8.95. It covers in an overarching yet concise manner the history and development of western classical music. He has written respected musical biographies of Charles Ives, Johannes Brahms, and … Swafford mainly goes composer by composer, gives a brief biography of their life and work, and offers recommendations on what to listen to. A preeminent composer, music scholar, and biographer presents an engaging and accessible introduction to classical music For many of us, classical music is something serious -- something we study in school, something played by cultivated musicians at fancy gatherings. I wish Swafford would have included women composers (the main reason I gave this book 4 stars and not 5). In Language of the Spirit, renowned music scholar Jan Swafford argues that we have it all wrong: classical music has something for everyone and is accessible to all. Language of the Spirit does exactly what its subtitle promises—to introduce the reader to Classical music, starting with the beginnings and ending in current times. Mr. Stafford the academic, jealous and angry at Mr. Glass popular (such that it is) following? Language of the Spirit: An Introduction to Classical Music. In this delightful primer to classical music, composer and music scholar Swafford (The Vintage Guide to Classical Music) conducts us breathlessly on a tour of the highlights of the history of classica Back when he was teaching high school music, he developed a reputation for being a great writer. Beautifully written, very informative. Subtitled An Introduction to Classical Music, Swafford embarks on a brief and quite navigable journey through his vision of music as a creative outlet of the human spirit, taking us along as his new best friends. PUBLISHERS WEEKLY JAN 9, 2017 In this delightful primer to classical music, In Language of the Spirit, renowned music scholar Jan Swafford argues that we have it all wrong: classical music has something for everyone and is accessible to all. A preeminent composer, music scholar, and biographer presents an engaging and accessible introduction to classical music For many of us, classical music is... Free shipping over $10. Read honest and unbiased product reviews from our users. Youll end up making a listening list. For many of us, classical music is something serious -- … He recommends that the reader listen to some of the pieces of music provided in the book. Language of the Spirit: an Introduction to Classical Music. This was a gift to my husband...a retired musician and conductor whose main avocation now is reading books on composers and all music. You will find treasures. There was an error retrieving your Wish Lists. and D.M.A. Please try your request again later. Very well written, informative, and passionate. In Language of the Spirit, rewned music scholar Jan Swafford argues that we have it all wrong: classical music has something for everyone and is accessible to all. The author does an excellent job of meeting the goal in this overview of the genre. These well written vignettes about orchestral music enhance my understanding. Not just good, but great. Witty, welcoming and vastly knowledgeable, Swafford fills 300 pages with a lively introduction to the best music on the planet. There is such a wide swath of years, styles and people covered here. Good guide to classical music. Jan Swafford gives an introduction to the different periods of classical music along with some of the important composers. A preeminent composer, music scholar, and biographer presents an engaging and accessible introduction to classical music For many of us, classical music is something serious-something we study in school, something played by cultivated musicians at fancy gatherings. However, it introduced me to Ligeti so was well worth the purchase. Ranging from Gregorian chant to Handel's Messiah, from Vivaldi's The Four Seasons to the postmodern work of Philip Glass, Swafford is an affable and expert guide to the genre. I appreciate he went in chronological order to give the reader an idea of how music changed. For those of us who like to casually listen to the classics, but know little about the music or composers, it is a real treat. by Basic Books. In Language of the Spirit, renowned music scholar Jan Swafford reveals the truth: over the centuries classical music has been myriad things, and within that rich history is something for everybody. In Language of the Spirit, renowned music scholar Jan Swafford argues that we have it all wrong: … In Language of the Spirit, renowned music scholar Jan Swafford argues that we have it all wrong: classical music has something for everyone and is accessible to all. "Reading Jan's Swafford's Language of the Spirit is like taking a road trip through the land of classical music with your wickedly smart but charmingly self-deprecating best friend in charge of the map, stopping by must-see landmarks and hidden by-ways that are clearly personal favorites. For many of us, classical music is something serious -- something we study in school, something played by cultivated musicians at fancy gatherings. Even while not listening to the music, those guides are good reading. But first and foremost he has taught music for nearly 40 years. Each brief essay includes a biographical sketch, commentary on the historical period and the relationship of the composer to his (and theyre all, alas, men) predecessors, contemporaries, and successors. Reviewed in the United States on April 23, 2017. Disclosure: Jan Swafford is a friend of mine from the early 1970s. Very readable introduction to classical music. Swafford provides witty commentary and intriguing anecdotes about the composers. Language of the Spirit: An Introduction to Classical Music provides a handy one-volume book that covers the subject in enough detail to satisfy my needs. In Language of the Spirit, rewned music scholar Jan Swafford argues that we have it all wrong: classical music has something for everyone and is accessible to all. If you have an interest in classical music, this book is a great introduction to its great composers and the genre as a whole. Jan Swafford (born September 10, 1946) is an American author and composer. Mr. Swafford is witty, down-to-earth, opinionated, and effortlessly erudite. I previously enjoyed his long and insightful works on Brahms and Beethoven as well as his Vintage Guide to Classical Music. Jan Swafford Basic Books Hardback, £22 ***** EDITOR’S CHOICE. In Language of the Spirit, renowned music scholar Jan Swafford argues that we have it all wrong: classical music has something for everyone and is accessible to all. According to Swafford it is intended to be a basic reference not a scholarly work. Free 2-day shipping on qualified orders over $35. Taking the time to listen to all the music he suggests and making a playlist turned this into a mini independent study. Discussing music ranging from Gregorian chant to Handel's Messiah, from Vivaldi's The Four Seasons to the minimalist work of Philip Glass, Swafford is an affable and expert guide to the genre. Come prepared to listen along – this is a written survey course with suggested listening. In order to navigate out of this carousel please use your heading shortcut key to navigate to the next or previous heading. Bring your club to Amazon Book Clubs, start a new book club and invite your friends to join, or find a club that’s right for you for free. 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