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 New Publications, New Music Book Publications - 20th June 2022

New Books 20th JuneWelcome to our latest selection of new music books. Our picks this time round include an exploration of music in the twentieth century by conductor John Mauceri; an examination of the poetry behind Franz Liszt's piano music; a collection of letters from John Cage; an analysis of Messiaen's birdsong-inspired piano work, Catalogue d'oiseaux; graphic music analyses by Joseph N. Straus of thirty-three post-tonal works; a guide for performers on singing musical theatre; a paperback reissue of a classic text on fourteenth-century mensuration and proportion signs; a visual history of music for children; a history of ballroom dancing; and a handbook to critical improvisation studies.

John Mauceri; Yale University Press; Hardback

Probing why so few works have been added to the canon since 1930, this book examines the trajectories of great composers who, following World War I, created voices that were unique but superficially simpler. It contends that the fate of composers during World War II is inextricably linked to the political goals of their respective governments, resulting in the silencing of experimental music in Germany, Italy, and Russia, the exodus of composers to America, and the sudden return of experimental music.

Available Format: Book

Paul Roberts; Rowman & Littlefield; Hardback

This book recasts Franz Liszt as a composer of poetic feeling rather than just a purveyor of technical brilliance, through a vivid exploration of his most beloved pieces and the literature that inspired them, from Petrarch's love poetry to the sensibilities of Byron, Senancour, Goethe, and others. It shows how Liszt created a new concept of musical expression in his piano works, comparable to the emotional and dramatic power of the opera and novel.

Available Format: Book

Laura Kuhn (editor); Wesleyan University Press; Paperback

This selection of over five hundred letters gives us the life of John Cage with all the intelligence, wit, and inventiveness that made him such an important composer and performer. The missives range from lengthy reports of his early trips to Europe in the 1930s to his years with the dancer Merce Cunningham, and shed new light on his growing eminence as an iconic artist of the American avant-garde. Cage's joie de vivre resounds in every phase of his career, including correspondence with Peter Yates, David Tudor, and Pierre Boulez, among others.

Available Format: Book

Roderick Chaderick & Peter Hill (authors); Cambridge University Press; Paperback

Now available in a paperback edition, this book gives a detailed account of the evolution of Olivier Messiaen's Catalogue d'oiseaux for piano solo, from its initial conception in 1953 to its completion and premiere at the end of the decade. It illuminates the Catalogue from a variety of angles including ts historical significance and also as a study of how mimicry of nature can be transformed into music of mesmeric originality.

Available Format: Book

Joseph N. Straus; Oxford University Press; Paperback

This book consists of analyses of thirty-three musical passages or entire short works in a variety of post-tonal styles. Musical examples, plus a companion website full of analytical videos, carry the burden of the argument, with rarely more than a few sentences of prose at a time. In writing these analyses, Straus imagined teaching these pieces to a class of undergraduate or graduate students, seated at the piano, pointing at the score, and listening as they go.

Available Format: Book

Broadway vocal coach, voice teacher, and researcher Amanda Flynn provides the skills singers need to successfully sing musical theatre repertoire. The book is updated and expanded for musical theatre performance in the current era, covering a broader array of topics and including more in-depth discussion than the original edition.

Available Format: Book

Anna Maria Busse Berger; Oxford University Press; Paperback

In the fourteenth century, composers and theorists invented mensuration and proportion signs that allowed them increased flexibility and precision in notating a wide range of rhythmic and metric relationships. This study, now available in paperback, represents the first attempt to see the origin of musical mensuration in the context of other systems, analysing the exact meaning of every mensuration and proportion sign from the fourteenth to the sixteenth century, and offering revisions of many views concerning the significance and development of early time signatures.

Available Format: Book

Dorling Kindersley; Hardback

Charting the history of music, this new edition has been updated with the latest facts, including information on streaming music, and includes specially-commissioned photography. Spectacular galleries display families of instruments from around the world, while special features showcase the evolution of key instruments, such as the piano and the guitar, and profile iconic innovators such as Mozart, Billie Holiday, and David Bowie.

Available Format: Book

Hilary French; Reaktion Books; Hardback

In the early twentieth century, public ballrooms were built throughout the country, providing a glamorous setting for dancing. The new English style, defined in the 1920s and followed by the films of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in the '30s, ensured that ballroom dancing continued to be the most popular British pastime until the 1960s, rivalled only by the cinema. This book explores the vibrant history of ballroom dancing: the dances, lavish venues, competitions and influential instructors.

Available Format: Book

George E. Lewis & Benjamin Piekut (editors); Oxford University Press; Paperback

Improvisation informs a vast array of human activity, from creative practices in art, dance, music, and literature to everyday conversation and the relationships to natural and built environments that surround and sustain us. Now available in paperback, the two volumes of this handbook gather scholarship on improvisation from an immense range of perspectives, with contributions from more than sixty scholars.

Volume Two also available.

Available Format: Book