Dancing with the Muses: A Historical Approach to Basic Concepts of Music
M. Zachary Johnson
'An expansion of teaching materials created for students at the Mannes College in New York, this book draws on the author''s years of experience as teacher, composer, writer, lecturer and listener.
"Dancing with the Muses" deals with the phenomenon of of living linear motion in music. It teaches: melody and melodic coherence; the elements and basis of melody in interval, scale and time; the art of combining lines in a musical fabric; and the basic nature of harmony.
The book teaches concepts by means of the stories from history which gave rise to them. The historical approach makes the material more vividly meaningful and memorable. It answers the questions: Where do these concepts come from? How did they come to be? Why are they what they are? Why are they worth knowing?
Designed for efficiency, the book is a concise, essentialized presentation, an overview of the fundamentals of the field rather than an encyclopedia of detail.
In contrast with more academic, technical books, "Dancing with the Muses" considers music as an expressive human art form. The book continually addresses not only the definition of the musical elements, but also their emotional effect.
Find out why the human brain requires the diatonic scale as the basis of musical intelligibility. Delve into the controversy over the “primacy of melody” versus the “primacy of harmony”--Which comes first? Hear the dramatic story of the heretical monk who invented musical staff notation and solfege singing. Learn what makes the notes of a melody fit together—and where the very concept of melodic “fitting together” comes from. Meet the great innovators in the history of our knowledge about music, including Pythagoras, Zarlino & Helmholtz.
* * *
Composer M. Zachary Johnson''s music has been described as “the first serious Romantic music to be produced by a composer who is part, not of the 19th-century past, but of the 21st-century future.” Reviewing his music, About.com music guide Aaron Green wrote: "If this is the direction classical music is heading, well, I''d say the future will be full of wonderful music."
Johnson''s saxophone compositions--including Serenade, Scherzo, Adagio, Grand Sonata--are rapidly becoming part of the instrument''s standard repertoire. They are played regularly in recitals throughout the world.
Having composed extensively for large instrumental ensemble, Johnson is expanding into musical theater/opera.
Learn more about the author at:
- Second Edition
- EPUB Ebook