• Dancing with the Muses, A Historical Approach to Basic Concepts of Music.

    From the author's website, "Johnson draws on his experience as composer and music teacher to explain the basic concepts of music in terms of dramatic stories from history, which helps the reader understand where the ideas came from and why they are what they are. In contrast to many purely technical books on music, "Dancing with the Muses" continually explains the emotional/expressive effects of the musical elements."

    I heartily recommend "Dancing with the Muses: A Historical Approach to Basic Concepts of Music" to anybody with an interest in music. The book is designed to teach all the fundamental concepts in music while providing the rich historical context in which each of these concepts developed. It is lucid and accessible to even a high school audience, and does it all while being a slim 188 page book!

    -- Shrikant Rangnekar
  • How to Listen to and Understand Great Music by Robert Greenberg. Forty-eight lectures covering the development and theory of music from the ancient world through modern times. The author correctly points out that music reflects contemporary philosophy, but his grasp of philosophy is weak and a student will profit from first studying Peikoff's History of Philosophy. With the caution that one should not take the author's evaluations uncritically, the facts are all there for a discerning listener, well-illustrated and well-organized.
  • The Sense of Music by Victor Zuckerkandl.
  • A History of Western Music by Donald Jay Grout, Claude V. Palisca (Contributor). A complete history of western music, from ancient Greece to modern times. The musical explanations presume the ability to read music and familiarity with the main elements of music. This not an explanation of music but a history of its development.


Music Lesson, from an Attic red figure vase signed Douris

Music Lesson, from an Attic red figure vase signed Douris