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Music Theory, History & Criticism

Listen to ThisListen to This
Alex Ross
Following the promise of the international bestseller, The Rest is Noise, comes this new collection of essays about music. Whether his subject is Mozart or Bob Dylan, Alex Ross shows how music expresses the full complexity of the human condition. Witty, passionate, and brimming with insight, Listen to This teaches us how to listen more closely. Hardcover, 364 pp. $31.00.

The Great American Book Musical: A Manifesto - A Monograph - A Manual	The Great American Book Musical: A Manifesto, A Monograph, A Manual

Denny Martin Flinn
By analyzing the scores, lyrics, librettos, and choreography of innovative and revolutionary shows such as Oklahoma!, On the Town, A Chorus Line, West Side Story, My Fair Lady, and Dreamgirls, as well as looking at what propelled certain shows to success (and what caused some to flop), The Great American Book Musical provides the current generation with a thorough history and practical guide to the creation of Great American Book Musicals of their own. Softcover, 261 pp. $24.94.


Oliver Sacks
With his trademark compassion and erudition, Oliver Sacks, whom the The New York Times has called "the poet laureate of medicine," explores the place music occupies in the brain and how it affects the human condition. Softcover, 425 pp. $19.95.

Music in Canada: Capturing Landscape and DiversityMusic in Canada: Capturing Landscape and Diversity

Elaine Keillor
A survey of "musics" in Canada -- the country's multiplicity of musical genres and rich heritage -- is complemented by vignettes highlighting topics such as Inuit throat games, the music of k.d. lang, and orchestras in Victoria. Traversing Canada's geographical landscape to discover corresponding musical landscapes, Music in Canada illuminates the past but also looks to the future to examine the context within which Canadian music will continue to develop. Hardcover, 499 pp. $59.95.

The Rest is Noise: Listening to the 20th CenturyThe Rest is Noise: Listening to the 20th Century

Alex Ross
The Rest Is Noise takes the reader inside the labyrinth of modern sound. It tells of maverick personalities who have resisted the cult of the classical past, struggled against the indifference of a wide public, and defied the will of dictators. Whether they have charmed audiences with pure beauty or battered them with pure noise, composers have always been exuberently of the present, defying the stereotype of classical music as a dying art. Hardcover, 624 pp. $33.00.

Broadway North: The Dream of a Canadian Musical TheatreBroadway North: The Dream of a Canadian Musical Theatre
Mel Atkey
Did you know that the idea behind the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes was first tried out in Toronto? That Canada produced the world's longest-running annual revue? Or that Anne of Green Gables has played more performances at the Charlottetown Festival than South Pacific did in its original Broadway production? All this and more is illuminated in Mel Atkey's enthusiastic tribute to Canadian musical theatre. Softcover, 309 pp. $29.95.

Classical Destinations: An Armchair Guide to Classical Music

Simon Callow
Classical Destinations takes the reader to many of Europe's greatest cities, and back to the times when they influenced and inspired some of the most important names in classical music. On the pages of this book, one can visit Venice when it was home to Vivaldi, Salzburg as Mozart's prodigious talents emerged, Leipzig during the time of Mendelssohn and Schumann, Prague as growing Czech nationalism gripped Smetana, and the Vienna where Beethoven faced incurable deafness. Based on the television series of the same name, Classical Destinations is a unique combination of the past and the present, providing lovers of classical music with the ultimate traveller's guide. Hardcover, 237 pp. $38.95.

The Great Instrumental WorksThe Great Instrumental Works
M. Owen Lee
This delightful book is for anyone who enjoys any of the lively arts of opera, drama, film, literature, or popular song and who wants to find out what is really going on in the symphonies of Mozart, the string quartets of Beethoven, and the orchestral works of Debussy and Ravel, to name a few. As Father M. Owen Lee examines the works of 50 composers here, he imparts the basics of classical music with such wit and panache, dropping such charming biographical tidbits, you will be amazed -- as you laugh out loud -- at how much fun you're having. At the same time you will find out how music can express feelings that are too deep for words. Includes 2 CDs. Softcover, 266 pp. $36.95.

Spreadin' Rhythm AroundSpreadin' Rhythm Around
Black Popular Songwriters, 1880-1930

David A. Jasen & Gene Jones
This is the classic work on a little-studied subject in American music history: the contribution of African American songwriters to the world of popular song. Richly illustrated with rare photographs from sheet music, newspapers, and other unique sources, the book describes an entire era of performance when black singers, dancers, and actors were active on the New York stage. For anyone interested in the history of jazz, pop song, or Broadway, this book will be a revelation. Softcover, 435 pp. $33.50.

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Musical Theatre

Body and SoulBody and Soul: Jazz and Blues in American Film 1927 - 63
Peter Stanfield
Alongside extensive, thought-provoking, and lively analysis of some of the most popular jazz and blues songs of the twentieth century, the book contains new work on blackface minstrelsy in early sound movies, racial representation and censorship, torch singers and torch songs, burlesque and strippers, the noir cityscape, the Hollywood Left, and hot jazz. Softcover, 213 pp. $33.95.

America's SongsAmerica's Songs: The Stories Behind the Songs of Broadway, Hollywood, and Tin Pan Alley
Phillip Furia & Michael Lasser
America's Songs tells the fascinating, funny, and sometimes poignant stories behind the greatest songs ever to emerge from the Broadway musical, Hollywood movies, and the music industry of Tin Pan Alley. In addition to recounting each song's inspiration, creation, and enduring popularity, America's Songs shows how these "standards" mirror American life from the years before World War I through the years after Vietnam. Softcover, 327 pp. $20.95.

The Cambridge History of American MusicDavid NichollsThe Cambridge History of American Music
David Nicholls
American music is an intricate tapestry of many cultures: Native, European, African, Asian, and other sources. This volume examines the multiple histories of American music along with the growth and influence of popular musics, including film and stage music, jazz, rock, and immigrant, folk, and regional musics. Also discussed is 20th-century art music, including the experimental, serial, and tonal traditions. Softcover, 637 pp. $67.95.

100 Modern Soundtracks100 Modern Soundtracks
BFI Screen Guides

Philip Brophy
This remarkable and unique perspective on film aesthetics examines the hitherto underexplored aural dimension of cinema. 100 Modern Soundtracks takes the unique approach of discussing the sonic virtues of canon classics such as Apocalypse Now, Citizen Kane, and Psycho alongside critically maligned movies like I Spit on Your Grave, Resident Evil, and The Haunting. Also included is a fascinating preface which introduces cinema's alternate dimension of sound design and film scoring. Softcover, 262 pp. $29.95.

Elvis Presley: The Man, The Life, The LegendElvis Presley: The Man, The Life, The Legend
Pamela Clarke Keogh
That voice, those eyes, that hair, the cars, the girls -- Elvis Presley revolutionized American pop culture when, at the age of twenty-one, he became the world's first modern superstar. This richly illustrated volume compellingly examines Elvis' life and style to reveal the generous, complex, spiritual man behind the pop culture icon. Hardcover, 263 pp. $49.95.

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Chanteuse in the CityChanteuse in the City
Kelley Conway
An icon of working-class feminity and the underworld, the realist singer signaled the emergence of new cultural roles for women as well as shifts in the nature of popular entertainment. Chanteuse in the City provides a genealogy of realist performance through analysis of the music hall careers and film roles of Mistinguett, Josephine Baker, Frehel, and Damia. Above all, this volume offers a fresh interpretation of 1930s French cinema, emphasizing its love affair with popular song and its close connections to the music hall and the cafe-concert. Softcover, 246 pp. $37.95.

The Concise Oxford Dictionary of MusicThe Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music
Michael Kennedy
This is the most comprehensive, authoritative, and up-to-date dictionary of music available in paperback. Including musical terms, works, composers, librettists, musicians, singers, and orchestras, it is a rich mine of information for lovers of music of all periods and styles. Softcover, 815 pp. $28.50.

The Blues: A Musical JourneyMartin Scorsese Presents The Blues: A Musical Journey
Various authors
This volume -- a companion piece to the groundbreaking seven-part documentary series -- is a literary sampler every bit as vibrant and original as the music and films that inspired it. In these pages one not only reads about the blues, one hears them, feels them, and lives them. In all, this is a unique and timeless tribute to the very essence of American music and culture. Hardcover, 287 pp. $42.95.

The Classical Music ExperienceThe Classical Music Experience
Julius H. Jacobson II, M.D.
This book tells the stories of forty-two of the world's most celebrated composers, ranging from Bach, Handel, Mozart, and Beethoven to Mahler, Tchaikovsky, Gershwin and Bernstein. It weaves five hundred years of history and music into a rich tapestry of sound and story unlike any other book of its kind. Included are two C.D.'s that allow you to sample some of the musical masterpieces described in the text. Hardcover, 318 pp. $59.95.

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Last modified July 18, 2012.
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