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New sounds : a listener's guide to new music /

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Format: Book
Language: English
Published: Harper & Row, 1987
Edition: First edition.
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Review by Choice Review

Recent decades have witnessed an explosion of commercially successful musical styles and a proliferation of compositions lying outside or between traditional stylistic classifications. Schaefer, host of National Public Radio's syndicated ``New Sounds'' program, provides a compendium of this recent music in which he engagingly examines an array of compositions and composers, successfully mixing background material on new trends with readable description of compositions. The text is primarily written for nonspecialists, and Schaefer's bias is clearly toward new music that is easily accessible or ``enjoyable''; that is, music with a tonal center, although not necessarily in the traditional tonal sense. Discussion is devoted to trends such as minimalism (Terry Riley, Steve Reich, Philip Glass), New Age (Brian Eno, Kitaro), concert hall music (John Adams, David Del Tredici, Joseph Schwantner, George Crumb), electronic music (Wendy Carlos, Vangelis), world music (Paul Winter), ethnic music (Ravi Shankar), Windham Hill (George Winston), and others (composers from Laurie Anderson to Frank Zappa). Each chapter is followed by an extensive and valuable discography that includes insightful annotations. A delectable cornucopia of new trends, recommended for all collections.-W.P. Dougherty, Plymouth State College

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Booklist Review

The host of the radio program that lends its name to this book turns out to be as marvelous a popular explicator of his subject in print as over the airwaves. That subject is the different kinds of music that bridge the gap between atonal concert pieces and jazz at one extreme and mass-market pop and rock at the other. These include the so-called minimalism of concert composers like Steve Reich and Philip Glass; the folkish jazz (or jazzy folk) vended by the Windham Hill record label; the novel-to-Westerners sounds of ethnic Indian, Indonesian, and African music; the expansive folk-song arrangements of groups such as the Chieftains; the extended vocal techniques of Meredith Monk and David Hykes; and the many forms of electronic, jazz, and concert musics that have re-embraced tonality. In a dozen chapters, Schaefer discusses as many broad categories of new music and provides generous, annotated discographies of each. He is knowledgeably, smartly, unabashedly opinionated, scoring even musicians he loves when he thinks they have underachieved. An eminently enjoyable guide that belongs in every active music collection (both reference and circulating copies may be necessary). Appended: list of record label abbreviations, key to sources of records. To be indexed. RO. 780'.904 Music 20th century History and criticism [CIP] 86-45695

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.

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