The universally acclaimed and award-winning Oxford History of Western Music is the eminent musicologist Richard Taruskin's provocative, erudite telling of the story of Western music from its earliest days to the present. Each book in this superlative five-volume set illuminates-through a representative sampling of masterworks- the themes, styles, and currents that give shape and direction to a significant period in the history of Western music.
This first volume in Richard Taruskin's majestic history, Music from the Earliest Notations to the Sixteenth Century , sweeps across centuries of musical innovation to shed light on the early forces that shaped the development of the Western classical tradition. Beginning with the invention of musical notation more than a thousand years ago, Taruskin addresses topics such as the legend of Saint Gregory and Gregorian chant, Augustine's and Boethius's thoughts on music, the liturgical dramas of Hildegard of Bingen, the growth of the music printing business, the literary revolution and the English madrigal, the influence of the Reformation and the Counter-Reformation, and the operas of Monteverdi. Laced with brilliant observations, memorable musical analysis, and a panoramic sense of the interactions between history, culture, politics, art, literature, religion, and music, this book will be essential reading for anyone who wishes to understand this rich and diverse period.