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The Gift of Music (Expanded and Revised, 3rd Edition): Great Composers and Their Influence [Paperback]

By Jane Stuart Smith (Author), Betty Carlson (Author) & Francis A. Schaeffer (Foreword by)
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Item description for The Gift of Music (Expanded and Revised, 3rd Edition): Great Composers and Their Influence by Jane Stuart Smith, Betty Carlson & Francis A. Schaeffer...

The Gift of Music integrates the lives, philosophies, and music of the great composers, including Bach, Handel, Haydn and Mozart. Readers will be placed in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries as observers, not historians, as they explore the lives of these great men. This third edition has been expanded and revised.

Publishers Description

One of the finest achievements of Western culture is its brilliant heritage of classical music. A Gift of Music looks at the lives of the greatest composers who have given us this heritage, and especially at how their music was shaped by their beliefs.

The result is a remarkable and inspiring book, showing the importance of Christian faith for many composers, and the effect of this upon their music. But it also shows how the lack of faith has brought profound change in the meaning and form of contemporary music.

Thus A Gift of Music seeks to open up a whole new world of music--to encourage listening to the finest compositions with new understanding and pleasure, and to stretch our ears and imaginations. It is a book which will be greatly appreciated by those who already love classical music, and by others who want to explore this delightful world for the first time.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Crossway Books
Pages   317
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.92" Width: 6" Height: 0.89"
Weight:   0.95 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Nov 1, 1995
Edition  Revised  
ISBN  089107869X  
ISBN13  9780891078692  

Availability  0 units.

More About Jane Stuart Smith, Betty Carlson & Francis A. Schaeffer

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JANE STUART SMITH has sung in the major opera houses of Europe and America. She presently lives at L'Abri Fellowship in Switzerland, where she lectures in music.

BETTY CARLSON has studied at the Conservatory of Music in Lausanne, Switzerland, and now writes and works at L'Abri Fellowship. With Jane Stuart Smith, she coauthored Crossway's Favorite Men Hymn Writers and Favorite Women Hymn Writers.

EDITH SCHAEFFER is the widow of Francis Schaeffer, and with him co-founder of L'Abri Fellowship. Her many books include A Celebration of Children and The Life of Prayer. She passed away in 2013.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Biographies & Memoirs > General
2Books > Subjects > Entertainment > Music > General
3Books > Subjects > Entertainment > Music > History & Criticism
4Books > Subjects > Entertainment > Music > Musical Genres > Religious & Sacred Music > General
5Books > Subjects > Entertainment > Music > Reference > General
6Books > Subjects > Entertainment > Music > Theory, Composition & Performance > Songwriting
7Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Education > Homeschooling > General
8Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Authors, A-Z > ( S ) > Schaeffer, Francis
9Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Church History > General

Christian Product Categories
Books > Education (K-12) > General Education > General
Books > General Interest > Literature & The Arts > Music

Homeschool Catalog Product Categories
Books > Homeschool > Reading & Character Building > Biographies

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Reviews - What do customers think about The Gift of Music: Great Composers and Their Influence?

A wonderful book to explore the great composers  Feb 13, 2006
This is a superbly written book that contains 36 intriguing biographies and profiles of some of the great composers: from Baroque masters like Vivaldi and Bach ... through the pioneers of Classicism like Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven ... to the Romantic-era greats like Debussy and Liszt ... up to modern composers like Prokofiev and Bartok. The essays are crisp and flow like a good novel without getting bogged down in musicology terms (so good for young students and non-musical readers). Also their occassional comparisons through philosophy, art and Christian perspective makes for a deeper experience versus a overly "dry," academic treatment of mere dates and milestones. I have come to really appreciate this book's depth and have to admit this humble paperback is probably my favorite reference for studying a new composer (Schonberg's legendary "Lives of the Great Composers" being the other).

It would help to first say what this book is NOT: (1) A complete survey of the history of classical music, (2) A book on music theory or analysis of major works, (3) a presentation of ALL musical styles like Jazz, Pop, country etc. (4) A book ONLY about composers who were of Christian faith. Rather, the focus is on a sampling of the most famous composers of "classical music." Their lives and music are presented in factual, historical and non-judgmental way with the clear emphasis being on the gift of music they left the world. There are some references as to how their Christian faith influenced their music - which some will appreciate and others not. However, if your primary interest is the spiritual aspect of these men, then Patrick Kavanaugh's book, "The Spiritual Lives of the Great Composers," would be a better choice. But, where Kavanaugh offers more specific insights of the composers' spiritual lives (often quoted from letters written), authors Smith and Carlson in this book give a broader, more general overview of these composer's lives and most significant music that changed the world. Through their biographies and insights, Smith and Carlson show "people of faith" how purely instrumental music like classical music can be truly "Christian" and "spiritual" without any overt reference to diety (like in a church hymn). In doing so they show how classical music is a language not unlike how nature or the heavens speaks to us in their magnificance and unfathomable glory.

In common for both authors are musical academic backgrounds and working with the L'Abri Fellowship in Switzerland - a Christian center promoting the study and appreciation of music, philosophy and the arts. In the preface, the authors state their goal of this book: "There are many things in the Christian world which cause us to be sad. One of these is that for many classical music is a complete vacuum. This robs individual Christians and their children of one of the very rich areas of joy in this world. Most of all the purpose of this book is to encourage listening to the finest music with understanding and pleasure, and to stretch one's ears and imagination. The more we acquaint ourselves with that which is truly great and beautiful, the more we will dislike and turn away from that which is shallow and ugly."

If you have never listened to much classical music or casually studied its jewels or great composers, then this book is an ideal guide to grow in one's "understanding and pleasure" of such music. I started such a journey into the wonders of classical music over two years ago, and it has truly been one of the most personally rewarding things I have done - and one that will stay with me for decades (as classical music doesn't quite ever go out of style). So, I think the authors are right when they conclude the pursuit of the arts and the finest, most enduring music are part of a healthy, whole and - dare we say - enriching spiritual life. Even getting a couple of low-cost CD's of Bach and Mozart and just reading the chapter on these composers to start will go a long way ... and possibly begin a lifetime exploration and enjoyment of the gift these great composers left the world.
I can't put it down!  Jun 7, 2002
I greatly appreciate this book--it's a wonderful introduction to famous composers, plus a valuable resource for Christians who want to start or add to their collection of GOOD Christian music. Be a counter-cultural Christian--toss out the CCM and fire up Schutz, Bach, Handel, and the rest! Your mind and spirit (not to mention your neighbors) will thank you for it.
Excellent Source for Homeschool Music Education  Aug 28, 2000
This book is complete with each classical music composer, history of the life and works of music. It is written to aide people in historical facts of the composer, facts that are not normally shared in education. For example, many of the composers had a deep Christian influence in their music, and wrote for the Glory of God and stated so on origional music sheets. The book can be used for a complete classical music history education from early ages all the way up to senior high students. This is the only book needed for music education. It works extremely well in tying in facts in all areas of history. It is very well put together and informative.

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