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 New Publications, New Music Book Publications - 4th March 2019

New Books 4th March Welcome to our latest selection of new music books. Our picks this time round include books on the music of Bohuslav Martinů, Howard Skempton, Alfred Schnittke, and John Cage, introductions to the worlds of jazz and opera, a guide for singing early music, aspects of gender and sexuality in heavy metal music, and discussions of the songs of David Bowie and Joni Mitchell.

Classical & Opera

The 30-Second... series takes a revolutionary approach to learning about subjects you feel you should really understand. Every idea, no matter how complex, is explained in 300 words, all digestible in just 30 seconds. 30-Second Opera raises the curtain so that anyone can enjoy opera. Compiled by opera buffs, it serves up all you need to enjoy the spectacle, the music, and above all the voices.

Available Format: Book

Martinů and the Symphony is not only the first book in English intended to provide a deeper understanding of these glorious works - it is by far the most comprehensive work on the subject in any language. Each symphony is examined in turn, revealing what makes each creation so individual yet also part of a close-knit family of works, and identifying the elements of Martinů's style that produce his very personal vibrant and organic symphonic manner.

Available Format: Book

Looking at opera through the lens of cultural geography, this anthology rethinks the opera house's landscape, not as a static backdrop, but as an expression of territoriality. The essays in this anthology consider moments across the history of the genre, and across a range of geographical contexts: from the urban to the suburban to the rural, and from the "Old" world to the "New."

Available Format: Book

Howard Skempton has contributed to British musical life for more than half a century, as composer, performer and commentator. This book offers an intimate view of a composer's creative world and how others may interpret it. It is not a conventional "life and works" though it contains a timeline, authorised work list and discography for orientation. It includes manuscripts of six previously unpublished compositions and images of Skempton and his collaborators.

Available Format: Book

John Cage's quest to redefine music, intentionality, and expression reflect the similar transformation of music within the larger audiovisual experience of sound film. This volume examines key moments in Cage's career where cinema either informed or transformed his position on the nature of sound, music, expression, and the ontology of the musical artwork.

Available Format: Book

Gavin Dixon (editor)

Alfred Schnittke was arguably the most important Russian composer since Shostakovich, and his music has generated a great deal of academic interest in the years since his death. Schnittke Studies covers topics such as polystylism, the significance of the composer's Christian faith, and detailed formal analyses of key works, with connections drawn between the apparently divergent periods of the composer's career.

Available Format: Book

Focusing on music from the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, this book offers guidance on style and ornamentation, working with colleagues, and reading manuscripts. Author Martha Elliott shares advice on how to handle the different kinds of performance situations in which singers might find themselves, as well as where to find workshops and performance opportunities.

Available Format: Book

This book explores how the Enlightenment aesthetics of theatre as a moral institution influenced cultural politics and operatic developments in Vienna between the mid-eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries. Moralistic viewpoints were particularly important in eighteenth-century debates about German national theatre.

Available Format: Book

Jazz, Rock, & Pop

This book explains jazz in easy, short riffs that keep you engaged, taking readers from the African-American roots of jazz all the way to today's global mix of musicians and styles. Along the way, it looks at the shape, style, and instruments of jazz, at key personalities and recordings in the jazz canon, and at what might be expected next from this diverse musical form.

Available Format: Book

This exploration of the final four decades of David Bowie's musical career covers every song he wrote, performed or produced from 1976 to 2016. Starting with Low, the first of Bowie's Berlin albums, and finishing with Blackstar, his final masterpiece released just days before his death in 2016, each song is annotated in depth and explored in essays that touch upon the song's creation, production, influences and impact.

Available Format: Book

An unorthodox musician from the start, singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell's style of performing is unique. Anne Karppinen focuses on the kind of music Mitchell writes, the representation of men and women in her lyrics, how her style changes and evolves over time, and how cultural context affects her writing. She examines recorded performances of songs from Mitchell's first nine studio albums, and the contemporary reviews of these albums in Anglo-American rock magazines.

Available Format: Book

Scholars debate the current state of play concerning masculinities, femininities, queerness, and identity aesthetics in an area of music that is sometimes mistakenly treated as exclusively sustaining a masculinist hegemony. The book combines a broad variety of perspectives regarding gender in connection to the history of the genre, the range of metal sub-genres, heavy metal's multidimensional scope, men and women, sexualities, and various local and global perspectives.

Available Format: Book