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Style — the distinctive manner of presentation, construction, and execution in any art — is a topic of primary importance in music history. This highly regarded text by noted musicologist Richard Crocker (University of California, Berkeley) takes a much-needed fresh look at the subject and attempts to reshape some basic ideas in the light of modern research. Seeking the reasons for stylistic change within the history of style itself (rather than in the history of men or of ideas), this enlightening account shows how music, growing out of its own past, has shaped its own development.
Professor Crocker's exceptionally clear and systematic presentation enables students to easily follow the evolution of Western musical style from Gregorian Chant (ca. 750) to the atonal music of the mid-20th century. The book stresses the continuity of basic musical principles over long periods of history, while it explores in detail moments of high stylistic achievement and the composers who exemplified them.
Drawing of the earliest written records, Crocker begins his description and analysis of Western music's changing style with a discussion of Frankish Gregorian Chant, laudes and melismas, and polyphony — the leading medium of musical development after 1150. The author traces the progression of new polyphonic forms from the Parisian motet of the 13th and 14th centuries through Italian song forms to the Franco-Flemish style of the 15th and 16th centuries. This sweeping survey then documents the emergence of the Classic Style after 1550, embodied in the music of such composers as Palestrina and Byrd, moves through new Italian dramatic styles (1600–1650) and on to the harmonic and polyphonic contributions of the 17th- and 18th-century masters.
With perception and insight, Crocker traces the creation of the German symphonic style, epitomized in the works of Mozart, Beethoven, and Brahms, and deals with the parallel development of operatic style. An illuminating examination of new styles after 1900, including the serial music of Schoenberg, Webern, and Berg, concludes this exhaustive study.
Over 140 music examples complement Crocker's lucid text, and lists of Selected Study Materials for each chapter are given at the back of the book. This work will be welcomed by music students at all levels, music scholars, and the interested layman as well.
Unabridged and slightly corrected republication of the McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York, 1966 edition.
Part I. Chant, 700-1150
1. Before the beginning: Gregorian chant
2. New Frankish forms, 700-1000
3. Versus and related forms, 1000-1150
-Theory and polyphony
Part II. Part music on a discant basis, 1150-1600
4. Parisian leadership in part music, 1150-1300
5. Expansion of part music, 1300-1450
-Stabilization in motet and song form
-French and English developments
6. Franco-Flemish mass and motet, 1450-1500
7. Diffusion of Franco-Flemish Style, 1500-1600
-After Josquin: varied applications
-After 1550: The classic style
Part III. Part music on a triadic basis, 1600-1750
8. New Italian dramatic styles, 1600-1650
-North of the Alps
9. Trends toward clarity, 1640-1690
-North of the Alps
10. International style and national tastes, 1680-1750
-North of the Alps
-Italy and the European scene
Part IV. Extension of triadic form, 1750-1900
11. German symphony and international opera, 1750-1780
12. Haydn and Mozart, 1770-1800
13. Expansion of the symphony, 1800-1830
14. Symphonic derivatives and other music, 1830-1850
15. Between Brahms and Wagner, Debussy, 1850-1900
Part V. Beyond the triad, 1900-1964
16. New music after 1900
-Parisians and others; Bartók
-Vienna: Schoenberg and Webern
-Toward a common practice
Selected study materials
-Sources of musical examples
-Selected study materials