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The Encyclopedia of Music – Max Wade-Matthews & Wendy Thompson

June 26, 2015

TEOMBeautifully produced and a joy to dip into, we get mainly double-page spreads on most topics. There are photographs galore, informatively captioned.

I like music but don’t consider myself to be very musical. I did a double lesson of music appreciation every Wednesday morning when I was in the Sixth Form in order to avoid games lessons and this book has continued my musical education.

The book starts off with the history of music-making, ancient civilisations and their music, different ways of producing sound – strings, bows, reeds, valves etc. Baroque, classical, romantic, modern etc. are explained. Brass and military bands, jazz rock and pop, TGCfamous conductors and orchestras are all featured.

We are introduced to the composers who wrote mainly for the church, such as Palestrina, Victoria, Lassus and Gesualdo. Also the early ones like Duffay and Guillame with their parody masses such as L’homme armee.

Schumann broke of an engagement when he found that the girl was illegitimate only to get engaged to a mere 15-year-old.I didn’t know that Gershwin died at the age of 39 from a brain tumour.

It gets a bit repetitive towards the end when it squeezes modern composers in.

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