Item description for Music, Society, Education (Music/Culture) by Christopher Small...
Cited by Soundpost as "remarkable and revolutionary" upon its publication in 1977, Music, Society, Education has become a classic in the study of music as a social force. Christopher Small sets out to examine the social implications of Western classical music, effects that until recently have been largely ignored or dismissed by most musicologists. He strives to view the Western musical tradition "through the mirror of these other musics [Balinese and African] as it were from the outside, and in so doing to learn something of the inner unspoken nature of Western culture as a whole."
As series co-editor Robert Walser writes, "By pointing to the complicity of Western culture with Western imperialism, Small challenges us to create a future that is more humane than the past. And by writing a book that enables us to rethink so fundamentally our involvements with music, he teaches us how we might get there."
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.75" Width: 5.5" Height: 8.5" Weight: 0.75 lbs.
Release Date Nov 30, 1996
ISBN 0819563072 ISBN13 9780819563071
Availability 1 units. Availability accurate as of May 25, 2017 11:46.
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More About Christopher Small
CHRISTOPHER SMALL was Senior Lecturer at Ealing College of Higher Education I London until 1986. He is author of Music of the Common Tongue (1987), Schoenberg (1978), and numerous essays and has composed for the screen, stage, and orchestra. He lives in Sitges Spain.
Christopher Small currently resides in Sirges. Christopher Small was born in 1927.
Reviews - What do customers think about Music, Society, Education (Music/Culture)?
I would give it more stars if I could Feb 27, 2007
Speaking as a practising creative musician, I would say that no other book has had such a profound effect on me. I've re-read it several times.
Two of Christopher Small's many excellent points particularly struck me: 1) the glories of Western classical music (and I love Beethoven as much as the next fella) shouldn't blind us to the fact that it is but a tiny strand of the awe-inspiring diversity of humanity's music, and 2) much of our listening experience in the West takes the form of passive consumption of musical product, whereas for the great bulk of the world's peoples (in traditional societies, at least) music is about participation and the process of making music, rather than the end product.
First published in 1976 ( I believe- don't have my copy handy to verify this) I feel Small's appraisal of the entirety of music of the world, and the unjustifiably exalted place that Western classical music holds in the mind of the general public (not just in the West, either) was way ahead of its time. Keep in mind that he was writing well before the explosion of interest in so-called "world music" that we saw in the 1980s.
Small's treatment of the concepts of process versus product in music performance opened my eyes in ways that still resonate for me, two decades after first reading this book.
I said earlier that I've re-read it several times; to be more precise that was a while ago now, and I hadn't actually read it for ten or more years. When I recently did, I was particularly struck by Small's idealism, something that many in today's cynical times might scoff at, to which I simply say that now more than ever they could do with a good dose of such idealism.
Do check out "Musicking" and "Music of the Common Tongue", both also excellent (in fact I think "Musicking" may be his greatest book) but start with this one.
Small - an ingorant author Mar 23, 2000
Small makes a few valid points, but he seems too closed-minded. He critizes Western music too much and sometimes his arguments are just plain stupid.
Groundbreaking Jan 15, 1999
Anyone with an interest in the emergence of Avant-Garde in Western classical music should read this book. Those with general interests in music -- in rock or jazz or "world" -- should also pick it up. Small's well-argued points about Western ideals and preconceptions of music -- especially its limitations -- are compelling. A classic in music scholarship!