The Music of Joni Mitchell

The Music of Joni Mitchell

3.67 (31 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

List price: US$115.00

Currently unavailable

We can notify you when this item is back in stock

Add to wishlist

AbeBooks may have this title (opens in new window).

Try AbeBooks

Description

Joni Mitchell is one of the foremost singer-songwriters of the late twentieth century. Yet despite her reputation, influence, and cultural importance, a detailed appraisal of her musical achievement is still lacking. Whitesell presents a through exploration of Mitchell's musical style, sound, and structure in order to evaluate her songs from a musicological perspective. His analyses are conceived within a holistic framework that takes account of poetic nuance, cultural reference, and stylistic evolution over a long, adventurous career. Mitchell's songs represent a complex, meticulously crafted body of work. The Music of Joni Mitchell offers a comprehensive survey of her output, with many discussions of individual songs, organized by topic rather than chronology. Individual chapters each explore a different aspect of her craft, such as poetic voice, harmony, melody, and large-scale form. A separate chapter is devoted to the central theme of personal freedom, as expressed through diverse symbolic registers of the journey quest, bohemianism, creative license, and spiritual liberation. Previous accounts of Mitchell's songwriting have tended to favor her poetic vision, expansive verse structures, and riveting vocal delivery. Whitesell fills out this account with special attention to musical technique, showing how such traits as complex or conflicting sonorities, dualities of harmonic mode, dialectical tensions of texture and register, intricately layered instrumental figuration, and a variable vocal persona are all essential to her distinctive identity as a songwriter. The Music of Joni Mitchell develops a set of conceptual tools geared specifically to Mitchell's songs, in order to demonstrate the extent of her technical innovation in the pop song genre, to give an account of the formal sophistication and rhetorical power characterizing her work as a whole, and to provide grounds for the recognition of her intellectual stature as a composer within her chosen field.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 288 pages
  • 149.86 x 226.06 x 10.16mm | 362.87g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 75 music examples
  • 0195307577
  • 9780195307573

Review quote

...an invaluable contribution to the study of contemporary popular music that stretches far beyond the disciplines of musicology. * Martin James, Times Higher Education *show more

About Lloyd Whitesell

Lloyd Whitesell teaches music history at McGill University. He is the author of articles on Benjamin Britten, Maurice Ravel, Bernard Herrmann, and minimalism, and co-editor of the book Queer Episodes in Music and Modern Identity. His research interests include queer studies, popular music, film music, modernism, music and literature, and theories of the audience.show more

Table of contents

1. Introdction: Pop Song and Art Song ; 2. Sound and Style ; 3. Voices and Personae ; 4. Harmonic Palette ; 5. Melodic Turns ; 6. Thematic Threads ; 7. Collections and Cycles ; 8. A Tribute ; Appendix ; Select Bibliographyshow more

Rating details

31 ratings
3.67 out of 5 stars
5 23% (7)
4 39% (12)
3 29% (9)
2 3% (1)
1 6% (2)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X