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Series: Vernon Series in Music

Classical Music in a Changing World (Audio CD Edition)

Crisis and Vital Signs

Edited by Lawrence Kramer, Fordham University and Alberto Nones, Conservatory of Music of Gallarate; Associazione Europea di Musica e Comunicazione (AEMC), Italy

May 2021 / ISBN: 978-1-64889-213-4
Availability: Available 4 weeks
116pp. ¦ $52 £39 €44

In recent years classical music has become a test case for debates over the future of culture. As times have changed, the value traditionally placed on this music has been challenged on social rather than aesthetic grounds. Lovers of classical music have been asked how its privileged history can be reconciled with growing demands for social justice and social inclusiveness. They have been asked how the music’s standing as one of the great accomplishments of the West can be reconciled with the many injustices on which those accomplishments in part depended. How can the future of classical music escape the darker shadows of its past? ‘Classical Music in a Changing World: Crisis and Vital Signs’ addresses the crisis provoked by such questions in two complementary ways. Several of the chapters show how the classical music world is already grappling with the crisis, and finding vital signs beyond the borders of the music’s traditional European strongholds: in Turkey from Ottoman times to the present, in Colombia, and in a Black American film. Other chapters identify areas that still need improvement, especially on behalf of female and LGBTQ+ musicians, and suggest how advances can be made both on concert stages and in schools. This volume, which opens with an introduction by Alberto Nones that contextualizes the book and outlines the main arguments of its chapters, contains an essay by Lawrence Kramer that examines the place of classical music in the history of consciousness—a history now changing rapidly—and concludes with a Postscript written by the two editors. The writing in this volume will be accessible to a wide audience, including scholars and students, professionals and amateurs, performers and listeners. Teachers will find it a source of lively classroom debate, and scholars a source of learning outside the usual arenas. The book’s “vital signs” include the accompanying CD, which features vibrant music-making from a diverse range of performers and composers.

Classical Music in a Changing World

Crisis and Vital Signs

Edited by Lawrence Kramer, Fordham University and Alberto Nones, Conservatory of Music of Gallarate; Associazione Europea di Musica e Comunicazione (AEMC), Italy

May 2021 / ISBN: 978-1-64889-151-9
Availability: In stock
116pp. ¦ $40 £30 €34

In recent years classical music has become a test case for debates over the future of culture. As times have changed, the value traditionally placed on this music has been challenged on social rather than aesthetic grounds. Lovers of classical music have been asked how its privileged history can be reconciled with growing demands for social justice and social inclusiveness. They have been asked how the music’s standing as one of the great accomplishments of the West can be reconciled with the many injustices on which those accomplishments in part depended. How can the future of classical music escape the darker shadows of its past? ‘Classical Music in a Changing World: Crisis and Vital Signs’ addresses the crisis provoked by such questions in two complementary ways. Several of the chapters show how the classical music world is already grappling with the crisis, and finding vital signs beyond the borders of the music’s traditional European strongholds: in Turkey from Ottoman times to the present, in Colombia, and in a Black American film. Other chapters identify areas that still need improvement, especially on behalf of female and LGBTQ+ musicians, and suggest how advances can be made both on concert stages and in schools. This volume, which opens with an introduction by Alberto Nones that contextualizes the book and outlines the main arguments of its chapters, contains an essay by Lawrence Kramer that examines the place of classical music in the history of consciousness—a history now changing rapidly—and concludes with a Postscript written by the two editors. The writing in this volume will be accessible to a wide audience, including scholars and students, professionals and amateurs, performers and listeners. Teachers will find it a source of lively classroom debate, and scholars a source of learning outside the usual arenas. The book’s “vital signs” include the accompanying audio tracks (available for download at: https://vernonpress. com/book/1281), which feature vibrant music-making from a diverse range of performers and composers.

The Alphorn through the Eyes of the Classical Composer

Frances Jones

October 2020 / ISBN: 978-1-64889-044-4
Availability: In stock
336pp. ¦ $45 £34 €38

‘The Alphorn through the Eyes of the Classical Composer’ is the first and definitive book to be written about the alphorn in English. It has been written with English-speaking readers in mind, as it examines the extensive interest of primarily non-Swiss composers, writers and artists in the alphorn as a symbol of the Alps, the influence and significance of the alphorn in culture, literature and the arts across the globe, and the ways in which the instrument has been specifically utilised by the Swiss as the iconic representation of their country. This book also explores the use of the musical language of the alphorn call, to ascertain why and how such references as those of Berlioz or Beethoven can convey so much meaning. Dr Jones seeks out what it is that a composer brings into the concert hall, the theatre, the opera house, the church, or the drawing room by such a quotation, to what heritage they are referring, and upon what basis there are grounds for an assumption that such a reference will be understood by an audience. The book, which will be of interest to researchers in Swiss cultural studies and ethnomusicology, builds on Dr Jones’s research and PhD thesis. The six chapters deal with a variety of topics, including a basic introduction to the alphorn and an exploration of the promotion of the instrument as the symbol of Switzerland, as well as the reasons behind symbolic references to alphorn motifs by European and British composers in concert repertoire, jazz and film.

The Alphorn through the Eyes of the Classical Composer

Frances Jones

October 2020 / ISBN: 978-1-64889-060-4
Availability: In stock
336pp. [Color] ¦ $81 £60 €68

‘The Alphorn through the Eyes of the Classical Composer’ is the first and definitive book to be written about the alphorn in English. It has been written with English-speaking readers in mind, as it examines the extensive interest of primarily non-Swiss composers, writers and artists in the alphorn as a symbol of the Alps, the influence and significance of the alphorn in culture, literature and the arts across the globe, and the ways in which the instrument has been specifically utilised by the Swiss as the iconic representation of their country. This book also explores the use of the musical language of the alphorn call, to ascertain why and how such references as those of Berlioz or Beethoven can convey so much meaning. Dr Jones seeks out what it is that a composer brings into the concert hall, the theatre, the opera house, the church, or the drawing room by such a quotation, to what heritage they are referring, and upon what basis there are grounds for an assumption that such a reference will be understood by an audience. The book, which will be of interest to researchers in Swiss cultural studies and ethnomusicology, builds on Dr Jones’s research and PhD thesis. The six chapters deal with a variety of topics, including a basic introduction to the alphorn and an exploration of the promotion of the instrument as the symbol of Switzerland, as well as the reasons behind symbolic references to alphorn motifs by European and British composers in concert repertoire, jazz and film.

Blues in the 21st Century: Myth, Self-Expression and Trans-Culturalism

Edited by Douglas Mark Ponton, University of Catania, Italy and Uwe Zagratzki, University of Szczecin, Poland

March 2020 / ISBN: 978-1-62273-634-8
Availability: In stock
226pp. ¦ $49 £37 €42

The book is the fruit of Douglas Mark Ponton’s and co-editor Uwe Zagratzki’s enduring interest in the Blues as a musical and cultural phenomenon and source of personal inspiration. Continuing in the tradition of Blues studies established by the likes of Samuel Charters and Paul Oliver, the authors hope to contribute to the revitalisation of the field through a multi-disciplinary approach designed to explore this constantly evolving social phenomenon in all its heterogeneity. Focusing either on particular artists (Lightnin’ Hopkins, Robert Johnson), or specific texts (Langston Hughes’ Weary Blues and Backlash Blues, Jimi Hendrix’s Machine Gun), the book tackles issues ranging from authenticity and musicology in Blues performance to the Blues in diaspora, while also applying techniques of linguistic analysis to the corpora of Blues texts. While some chapters focus on the Blues as a quintessentially American phenomenon, linked to a specific social context, others see it in its current evolutions, as the bearer of vital cultural attitudes into the digital age. This multidisciplinary volume will appeal to a broad range of scholars operating in a number of different academic disciplines, including Musicology, Linguistics, Sociology, History, Ethnomusicology, Literature, Economics and Cultural Studies. It will also interest educators across the Humanities, and could be used to exemplify the application to data of specific analytical methodologies, and as a general introduction to the field of Blues studies.

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