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

3.7  ·  Rating Details ·  74 Ratings  ·  9 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
Jun 30, 2009 Katie Baltrush rated it really liked it
Shelves: music-textbook
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
May 28, 2011 Dave rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jan 31, 2012 Chris rated it it was ok
Shelves: music, history
What is it about this book that makes it so forgettable? That was a nice ice-cream. What flavour was it?
Theophilo Pinto
Oct 26, 2015 Theophilo Pinto rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Este é um livro que fala bastante da glória da música... e menos da glória dos músicos! Como bom inglês, Blanning começa falando do concerto feito pelos 50 anos do reinado da rainha Elizabeth e que atraiu artistas como Brian May, Elton John, Paul McCartney e outros tocando no palácio de Buckingham. A ideia é mostrar que, se antes os músicos eram pouco mais que criados no palácio, agora eles sobem no teto, dão show transmitido via satélite e, até por isso, são sagrados cavaleiros e 'Sirs'.

Para f
Dec 17, 2013 Dr_Savage rated it it was ok
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
This is one of those books that is packed so full of facts, some that were interesting, and some not so, hat it is hard to take everything in in one go. Of course this is completely subjective. I liked that the "triumph of music" was outlined over five different areas, allowing Blanning the space to explore topics from different angles. My interest waned for most of the last section, entitled Liberation, which seemed more a play by play of national movements and battles in the 19th century than ...more
Sep 28, 2009 pianogal rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, music
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.
Aug 18, 2016 Jbondandrews rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed reading this book. It was informative and an interesting read. It made me think of my ancestor John Charles Bond Andrews and to a lesser extent my great grandfather Percival James Walmsley.
Jan 27, 2009 Eric rated it really liked it
Shelves: music, history
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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Timothy Charles William Blanning Blanning, FBA is a retired Professor of Modern European History at the University of Cambridge. His work focuses on the history of Europe from the 17th century to the beginning of the First World War.
More about Timothy C.W. Blanning...

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