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The Cambridge History of Twentieth-Century Music
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  • 4 b/w illus. 1 music example
  • Page extent: 838 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 1.28 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 780/.9/04
  • Dewey version: 21
  • LC Classification: ML197 .C26 2004
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Music--20th century--History and criticism

Library of Congress Record


 (ISBN-13: 9780521662567 | ISBN-10: 0521662567)

The Cambridge History of Twentieth-Century Music, first published in 2004, is an appraisal of the development of music in the twentieth century from the vantage-point of the twenty-first. This wide-ranging and eclectic book traces the progressive fragmentation of the European 'art' tradition, and its relocation as one tradition among many at the century's end. While the focus is on Western traditions, both 'art' and popular, these are situated within the context of world music, including a case study of the interaction of 'art' and traditional musics in post-colonial Africa. An international authorship brings a wide variety of approaches to music history, but the aim throughout is to set musical developments in the context of social, ideological, and technological change, and to understand reception and consumption as integral to the history of music.

• The first complete view of music across the twentieth century • Sets musical developments in their social, ideological and technological contexts • Takes a broad view of 'music', including performance and reception as well as composition


Introduction: trajectories of twentieth-century music Nicholas Cook with Anthony Pople; 1. Peripheries and interfaces: the Western impact on other music Jonathan Stock; 2. Music of a century: museum culture and the politics of subsidy Leon Botstein; 3. Innovation and the avant-garde, 1900–20 Christopher Butler; 4. Music, text and stage: the tradition of bourgeois tonality to the Second World War Stephen Banfield; 5. Classic jazz to 1945 James Lincoln Collier; 6. Flirting with the vernacular: America in Europe, 1900–1945 Susan C. Cook; 7. Between the wars: traditions, modernisms, and the 'little people from the suburbs' Peter Franklin; 8. Brave new worlds: experimentalism between the wars David Nicholls; 9. Proclaiming a mainstream: Schoenberg, Berg, and Webern Joseph Auner; 10. Rewriting the past: classicisms of the inter-war period Hermann Danuser; 11. Music of seriousness and commitment: the 1930s and beyond Michael Walter; 12. Other mainstreams: light music and easy listening, 1920–70 Derek B. Scott; 13. New beginnings: the international avant-garde, 1945–62 David Osmond-Smith; 14. Individualism and accessibility: the moderate mainstream, 1945–75 Arnold Whittall; 15. After swing: modern jazz and its impact Mervyn Cooke; 16. Music of the youth revolution: rock through the 1960s Robynn Stilwell; 17. Expanding horizons: the international avant-garde, 1962–75 Richard Toop; 18. To the millennium: music as twentieth-century commodity Andrew Blake; 19. Ageing of the new: the museum of musical modernism Alastair Williams; 20. (Post-)minimalisms, 1975–2000: the search for a new mainstream Robert Fink; 21. History and class consciousness: pop music towards 2000 Dai Griffiths; 22. 'Art' music in a cross-cultural context: the case of Africa Martin Scherzinger; Appendix 1. Personalia Peter Elsdon with Björn Heile; Appendix 2. Chronology Peter Elsdon and Peter Jones.


'Its pluralist narrative finds room for pop, jazz and easy listening alongside classical mainstreams and avant-garde orthodoxies. The non-interventionist stance makes for lively debate between contributors, reflecting the revisionist brand of musicology where the importance of any musical culture must be constantly contested.' The Independent

'It can be warmly recommended as a worthwhile institutional purchase and as an encouragingly good read.' Music teacher

'There is no doubt that this hefty single-volume history of music in the twentieth century is a brave and ambitious undertaking … fascinating … authoritative … compelling critical reappraisal … passionate … thought-provoking and challenging in their reassessment of the concept of the mainstream in twentieth-century music histories, and in their rethinking of how to tell selected aspects of those histories.' Twentieth-Century Music


Nicholas Cook, Anthony Pople, Jonathan Stock, Leon Botstein, Christopher Butler, Stephen Banfield, James Lincoln Collier, Susan C. Cook, Peter Franklin, David Nicholls, Joseph Auner, Hermann Danuser, Michael Walter, Derek B. Scott, David Osmond-Smith, Arnold Whittall, Mervyn Cooke, Robynn Stilwell, Richard Toop, Andrew Blake, Alastair Williams, Robert Fink, Dai Griffiths, Martin Scherzinger, Peter Elsdon, Björn Heile, Peter Jones

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