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Jane Stuart Smith
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The Gift Of Music: Great Composers And Their Influences

3.81  ·  Rating Details  ·  111 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews

One of the finest achievements of Western culture is its brilliant heritage of classical music. A Gift of Music looks at the lives of the greatest composers who have given us this heritage, and especially at how their music was shaped by their beliefs.

The result is a remarkable and inspiring book, showing the importance of Christian faith for many composers, and the effec

Published (first published June 1980)
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Rob Welch
Apr 27, 2011 Rob Welch rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was a lovely overview of many of the greatest composers of all time. I've been wanting to read something like this, and it was a nice "dip of the finger" in the bouillabaisse. The authors of this book are unapologetically Christian, and discuss each composer in the light of his relationship to God. They do not dismiss non-believing composers, but rather remark with a detached sense of sadness about the relationship of the artist and the gift of Art given from above.
Jun 08, 2014 Beth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is not a run-right-out-and-get-it book. It is, however, a very interesting collection of succinct biographies of the world's great composers, what influenced them, and how they influenced music and the world, with a particular attention to their Christian connections. This book was loaned to me by someone who thought I might enjoy it, and they were right. It's an easy read and can easily be nursed along, reading a composer at a time as time allows. I appreciated learning more about the comp ...more
Annie Kate
Jun 08, 2016 Annie Kate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: homeschool, teen, history
A great introduction to the history of music, full of anecdotes and music recommendations. We used it for our homeschool and enjoyed it. Unfortunately, we had no access to the music itself (our living room computer is too old to play YouTube), but that would have made it much better, and we hope to do that in the future while reviewing the biographies.

The authors' knowledge of music is evident, but the writing itself is occasionally scattered.
Alayna Mitchell
Mar 14, 2016 Alayna Mitchell rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2012
Dry and boring. I've read other books on music that are way more interesting.
Covering many of the greats in the development of music, I found this book to be quite informative. There were some musical terms I, a novice in music literature, could not understand so I highlighted everything that I wanted to go back and look up. Every chapter covered a new influential musician/writer with suggestions for music listening so that a reader could gain both an appreciation and a better understanding of the musical tools used by each subject in the chapter. The fact that one of th ...more
Mar 05, 2013 Kerri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: homeschool
We are using this as our text for Composer Study in our homeschool. We have liked it. We usually read two or three paragraphs each week before we listen to a selection by that composer.

My children have found it interesting in small doses. I don't usually finish reading the entire chapter to them, but I try to hit the highlights. This is not to say that the book is not interesting. It hits the main points of the composers life and what they contributed to music as well as a bit of historical bac
Dawn Roberts
Great, short biographies of history's greatest composers.

We read this book aloud over the course of two years while studying history 1600-present. I loved the insight into the lives of these creative geniuses, and we tried to pair each reading with listening to a piece of their music.
Feb 12, 2009 Alex rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: poeple who love the classics and poeple who are just into music
really interesting. i am not very knowledgeable in classical music but that didnt matter. some of the facts and backrounds of these composers were shocking. very interesting. not dry reading. good author.
Jan 30, 2009 Rachel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good introduction to many of the great composers. Written from a Christian viewpoint. Includes recommended listening for each composer.
Oct 09, 2012 Eva rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
excellent resource on the lives of composers. Written from a Christian perspective, this book can add a new dimension to anyone's love for music.
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