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How did the organ become a church instrument? How did it develop from an outdoor, Mediterranean noisemaker to an instrument which has become the embodiment of Western music and responsible for many of that music's characteristics? In this fascinating investigation, Peter Williams speculates on these questions and suggests some likely answers. He considers where the organ was placed and why; what the instrument was like in 800, 1000, 1200 and 1400; what music was played, and how. He re-examines the known references before 1300, covering such areas as the history of technology, music theory, art history, architecture, and church and political history. Central to the story he uncovers is the liveliness of European monasticism around 1000 AD and the ability and imagination of the Benedictine reformers. Professor Williams's approach is new in both tactics and strategy, giving an interdisciplinary idea of musical development relevant to those both in and out of music.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780521617079
ISBN-10: 0521617073
Format: Paperback
(246mm x 189mm x 22mm)
Pages: 416
Imprint: Cambridge University Press
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publish Date: 9-Jun-2005
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Author Biography - Peter Williams

Peter Williams (1937-2016) held the first Chair in Performance Practice in Britain at the University of Edinburgh, where he was first Director of the Russell Collection of Harpsichords and latterly Dean of Music. He was also the first Arts and Sciences Distinguished Chair at Duke University, North Carolina. He authored many books, including The European Organ (1966), Bach: The Goldberg Variations (Cambridge, 2001), Figured Bass Accompaniment (1970), The Chromatic Fourth during Four Centuries of Music (1998) and The Organ Music of J. S. Bach (Cambridge, 2003).

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