A History of Western Choral Music, Volume 1

A History of Western Choral Music, Volume 1

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A History of Western Choral Music explores the various genres, key composers, and influential works essential to the development of the western choral tradition. Author Chester L. Alwes divides this exploration into two volumes which move from Medieval music and the Renaissance era up to the 21st century. Volume I surveys the choral music of composers including Josquin, Palestrina, Purcell, Handel, and J.S. Bach while detailing the stylistic, textual, and extramusical considerations unique to the topics covered. Consideration of Renaissance music includes both sacred and secular works, specifically addressing the growth of sacred music, the rise of secular music, and the proliferation of sacred polyphony from Josquin to Palestrina. Discussion of the Baroque era is organized by geographic location, exploring the spread of Baroque style from Italy to German, France, and England. Volume I concludes by examining the aesthetic underpinnings of the early Classical and Romantic eras. Framing discussion within the political, religious, cultural, philosophical, aesthetic, and technological contexts of each era, A History of Western Choral Music offers readers specialized insight into major composers and works while providing a cohesive understanding of choral music's place in Western history.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 504 pages
  • 188.98 x 265.18 x 35.05mm | 788g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 40 figures, 215 tables, 435 musical examples
  • 0195177428
  • 9780195177428

About Chester L. Alwes

A native of Louisville, KY, Chester Alwes has served the music faculties of the College of Wooster, the University of Rochester/Eastman School of Music and, from 1982-2011, the University of Illinois as Urbana-Champaign. At Illinois, Alwes developed a national reputation as a specialist in the history and performance practice of choral literature. Alwes has authored numerous articles in a variety of journals and is a composer, editor, and arranger with works published by Oxford University Press, Roger Dean Music, Mark Foster Music, et al. At Illinois, Alwes has overseen the successful completion of over thirty dissertations on the choral music of various periods and styles.show more

Review quote

An unprecedented survey for courses in choral literature, these two volumes offer discussion of classic, iconic works and lessons from the author's unique, expert perspective. * N. L. Gilbert, Source * ... a welcome addition to the literature on choras music. Choral directors of all levels will appreciate this book for its clear narrative and methods of analysis whether they use it as a textbook, a reference work, or a guide to programming. * Andrew Crow, The Choral Scholar *show more

Table of contents

Table of Contents ; Illustrations ; Abbreviations ; 1. Western Choral Music-Medieval Foundations ; a. The Liturgical Year and the Monastic Hours ; b. The Mass ; c. Modality ; d. Modality in Polyphonic Music ; e. The Origins of Polyphony ; f. The Ars Nova ; g. Isorhythm ; h. Guillaume de Machaut (ca. 1300-1377) ; i. Conclusion ; j. End Notes ; 2. Sacred Choral Music of the Renaissance, I (1425-1525) ; a. Early Fifteenth Century Motet ; b. Origins of the Cyclic Mass ; c. Masses of Guillaume DuFay ; d. The Ockeghem Generation ; e. Josquin des Prez: Masses ; f. Josquin's Motets ; g. Conclusion ; h. End Notes ; 3. Secular Choral Music of the Renaissance (1440-1625) ; a. French Chanson ; b. The Psalter ; c. The German Lied ; d. Italian Secular Music ; 1. Verdelot and Arcadelt ; 2. Cypriano de Rore (1516-1565) ; 3. Marenzio, Wert and Gesualdo ; 4. Gastoldi and the Balletto ; e. Musica Transalpina: The Englishshow more