Music in the Medieval West: Western Music in Context

SKU 978-0-393-92915-7
Medieval music in its cultural, social, and intellectual contexts.

Margot Fassler's Music in the Medieval West imaginatively reconstructs the repertoire of the Middle Ages by drawing on a wide range of sources. In addition to highlighting the ceremonial and dramatic functions of medieval music (both sacred and secular), she pays special attention to the exchange of musical ideas, the development of musical notation and other methods of transmission, and the role of women in musical culture.

Western Music in Context: A Norton History comprises six volumes of moderate length, each written in an engaging style by a recognized expert. Authoritative and current, the series examines music in the broadest sense—as sounds notated, performed, and heard—focusing not only on composers and works, but also on broader social and intellectual currents.

**Contents subject to change

1. The Making of the Middle Ages
2. The Foundations of the Western Middle Ages: Music and Music Theory in the Late Roman Empire
3. Chant and the Carolingians
4. The Office, the Mass Ordinary, and Varied Practices of Troping
5. Sound and Spaces, Theory and Practice in the Eleventh Century
6. Conquest, Changing Tastes, and Pilgrimage in the Twelfth Century
7. Poet-Composers in an Age of the Individual
8. The Thirteenth Century: "Then Truly Was the Time of Singing Come"
9. Music and Learning in the Thirteenth Century
10. Music and Narrative in Fourteenth-Century France
11. The Fourteenth Century in Italy and England
12. Epilogue: On the Edges

Like the other volumes in the series, Music in the Medieval West brings a fresh perspective to the study of music by emphasizing social, cultural, intellectual, and political contexts of the music. Margot Fassler looks far beyond the notes on the page or the details of composers’ lives to embrace audiences, performers, institutions, and social settings. For example, the text offers students an in-depth look at the work of musicians who, over 1,000 years ago, produced the richly ornamented chants preserved in a ninth-century manuscript from Metz in France.

Numerous themes unite the entire Western Music in Context series into a rich yet coherent narrative and help students tie together what they learn about music history, including:

  • The role of gender, race, and class in musical culture
  • The role of technology in composing and disseminating music from the advent of notation to the digital age
  • Music for public and private consumption
  • Relationships among composers, performers, and audiences
  • Music education for composers, performers, and the general public

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