The Making of the Musical World
A Story in Sound
Andrew Killick [+–]
University of Sheffield
While music from different times and places circulates in an ever-increasing profusion of cross-influences and blends, writing and teaching about music continue to be largely compartmentalized into classical, popular, and traditional, with music from outside the Western world usually treated as a set of self-contained “music cultures.” This book, in contrast, treats all the world’s music as belonging to the same world and forming part of the same story. It traces a continuous narrative thread, not in linear chronological order but back and forth between the known and the unknown. Features of music are first discussed in the familiar context of popular music, then traced to the sometimes surprising cultural sources from which they came and examined in terms of how they work both musically and culturally in their original context. In the process, we build up a set of concepts and terms for understanding how musical sounds are put together, each concept being explained at the point in the story where it is needed, with learning supported by online materials including audio recordings and study guides. We discover that cross-cultural influences in music are nothing new and that whatever music we know and love today is in a real sense an outgrowth of all the world’s music.
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