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The Triumph of Music: The Rise of Composers, Musicians and Their Art
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The Triumph of Music: The Rise of Composers, Musicians and Their Art

3.72 of 5 stars 3.72  ·  rating details  ·  43 ratings  ·  6 reviews
A distinguished historian chronicles the rise of music and musicians in the West from lowly balladeers to masters employed by fickle patrons, to the great composers of genius, to today's rock stars. How, he asks, did music progress from subordinate status to its present position of supremacy among the creative arts? Mozart was literally booted out of the service of the Arc...more
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published November 1st 2008 by Belknap Press
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Katie Baltrush
Everyone who wants to know about the symbiotic (sp?) relationship between western music and societies should read this book. If, however, you don't care at all about this music stuff, it is fascinating anyway as a cultural study of the west pretty much since the Enlightenment. Blanning's view stands refreshingly in the probably truthful middle ground between two competing traditions: the dogmatic closed mindedness of classical music worshippers and the wanton trashing of all that is old in favor...more
Dave
I picked this one up just passing through the bookstore with little expectations. Actually, I expected I would simply skim through it. Instead, I faithfully turned the pages with much enjoyment and found myself thinking about it quite often.

The subject is given depth, humor, and is presented in a well structured and consumable manor. The author's narration is not bland and he inserts many great quotes, factoids, and anecdotes from the ages.

The 'Technology' chapter is probably my favorite but req...more
Chris
What is it about this book that makes it so forgettable? That was a nice ice-cream. What flavour was it?
Dr_Savage
While this book is well-written and fairly well-researched (leaving aside the end-notes which refer readers to Wikipedia articles), it is also eminently forgettable. The basic problem is that the central arguments advanced by the author are too obvious to be at all interesting. Yes, the status of composers and musicians has improved over the years; yes, music has evolved into an autonomous art-form since the eighteenth century; yes, music has become the religion of the massses; and yes, it has s...more
pianogal
Pretty good book if your looking for a broad overview of a wide range of topics. Thought the nationalism section at the back got a little "He said, She said". The author had a lot of good ideas, but I wish he would have written several more in depth books about the topics, instead of this one general effort.
Eric
A good, thorough survey of the evolution of music from its strictly religious medieval function to its modern pop culture explosion. Some great stories in here, although the author tips his hand a little too much about his disdain for popular or folk music.
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Professor of Modern European History at Cambridge University, now retired.
More about Timothy C.W. Blanning...
The Pursuit of Glory: Europe 1648-1815 The Romantic Revolution The Nineteenth Century: Europe 1789-1914 The Culture of Power and the Power of Culture: Old Regime Europe 1660-1789 The French Revolutionary Wars 1787-1802

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