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Roots of the Classical


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Table of Contents

I. The Melodic Foundations 1: The subtle mathematics of music 2: The Ramellian paradigm 3: The children's chant 4: The pentatonic scale II. The Harmonic Revolution 5: Primitive harmony 6: The discovery of tonality 7: Rivals to tonality 8: Dissonance and discord 9: The evolution of tonality III. The Melodic Counter-Revolution 10: The rude, the vulgar, and the polite 11: The debt to the East The Phrygian Fringe Drones and ostinatos Outline, refrain, and sequence Modes and scales 12: The dances of central Europe The polka family The waltz 13: The nineteenth-century vernacular 14: Romanticism Romantic nationalism The symphonic tradition Wagner and the vernacular 15: Modernism 16: The popular style The late vernacular The blues and early jazz

About the Author

Peter Van der Merwe spent two years at the South African College of Music in Cape Town but is largely self-taught. He is now working as a qualified librarian. He published his first book, 'Origins of the Popular Style' with OUP in 1989.


'...a marvellously stimulating new book.' Martin Kettle, The Guardian ...looks beyond the traditional sources, examining the importance of styles from alternative repertoires such as children's song and dances of Central Europe. The Strengths of this book are the breadth of Van de Merwe's examples and his perspective, which is relatively free of the value judgements placed on the selected repertoires. Choice ...a marvellously stimulating and important book: a masterpiece of canny observation, a miracle of effective organization, a model of colourful, pungent writing, and an ear-opener that should be read and pondered by all scholars and musicians who deal with music of the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries in any and all of it genres. Music and Letters, Vol. 88, No. 1

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