The Orchestra: A Very Short Introduction

The Orchestra: A Very Short Introduction

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In this Very Short Introduction, D. Kern Holoman considers the structure, roots, and day-to-day functioning of the modern philharmonic society. He explores topics ranging from the life of a musician in a modern orchestra, the recent wave of new hall construction from Berlin to Birmingham, threats of bankruptcies and strikes, and the eyebrow-raising salaries of conductors and general managers. At the heart of the book lies a troubling pair of questions: Can
such a seemingly anachronistic organization long survive? Does the symphony matter in contemporary culture? Holoman responds to both with a resounding yes. He shows that the orchestra remains a potent political and social force, a cultural diplomat par excellence. It has adapted well to the digital
revolution, and it continues to be seen as an essential element of civic pride. In a time of upheaval in how classical music is created, heard, distributed, and evaluated, the orchestra has managed to retain its historic role as a meeting place of intellectual currents, an ongoing forum for public enlightenment.

ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 168 pages
  • 118 x 174 x 10mm | 130g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 10 b/w halftones
  • 0199760284
  • 9780199760282
  • 413,785

Table of contents

Chapter 1: Philharmonia ; Chapter 2: Musicians ; Chapter 3: Venue ; Chapter 4: Money ; Chapter 5: Conductors ; Chapter 6: Repertoire ; Chapter 7: Commentary ; Chapter 8: Records ; Chapter 9: Peace ; Epilogue: Civics ; References ; Further Reading ; Index
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Review quote

"The Orchestra: A Very Short Introduction is a savvy, modern, and entertaining introduction to the 21st-century world of orchestras. It combines an insider's perspective with a general overview of the subject-definitely a must for all music lovers." --Alan Gilbert, music director, New York Philharmonic

"The Orchestra: A Very Short Introduction should be required reading for everyone who cares about classical music in today's world. Presented in a refreshingly nontraditional format, Holoman's book is absolutely comprehensive, brimming with surprising insight, wit and vibrancy. Perhaps inspired by the words of the philosopher Seneca whom he quotes-'True pleasure is serious business'-the author succeeds in making a serious and important subject a complete pleasure to explore in this superb book."--JoAnn Falletta, Music Director, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and Virginia Symphony; Principal Conductor, Ulster Orchestra

"Holoman's series of witty quips, anecdotes, and one-liners will keep one reading to the book's much too rapid conclusion." -- Music Media Monthly
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About D. Kern Holoman

D. Kern Holoman is Distinguished Professor of Music at the University of California, Davis, and conductor emeritus of the UCD Symphony Orchestra.
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Rating details

46 ratings
3.36 out of 5 stars
5 7% (3)
4 46% (21)
3 28% (13)
2 17% (8)
1 2% (1)
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