Origins and Development of Musical Instruments describes the creation, use, and development of musical instruments from the Old Stone Age to the present day. Musical instruments, from the simplest whistles to the most complex organs, conch trumpets to sousaphones, archers' and musical bows to violins and pianos, the most basic straw reeds to the modern MIDI systems, and pairs of stones struck together to synthesizers, are all described here by instrument collector and expert Jeremy Montagu. Montagu speculates on how these instruments originated in the earliest days of humanity and relates how they moved from one culture to another through history, all the while changing and developing until they became the instruments we know today. The book also surveys the present uses of instruments throughout the world.
Each chapter is devoted to a different type of instrument. Intervals and additional sections enhance the volume with information on musicians, the Medieval Renaissance, the ideal accompaniment, archaeology, symbiotic and newly created instruments, classification of instruments, scales and music, and some of the problems of acoustics. This comprehensive volume is illustrated with over 120 photos capturing several hundred instruments from all over the world; many of them from the author's own collection of over 2,500 instruments. A copious bibliography of sources, three indexes, and a series of maps make this a priceless resource.
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Jeremy Montagu, now retired, was the curator of the Bate Collection of Musical Instruments and lecturer in the Faculty of Music at University of Oxford. He has authored several books on musical instruments, including Timpani & Percussion (2002), Reed Instruments: An Annotated Catalogue (Scarecrow Press, 2001), and Musical Instruments of the Bible (Scarecrow Press, 2002).Review:
...it is a concise, intelligent, contemporary equivalent, evincing the benefits of six decades of thought on the place of musical instruments in human life. It is also an antidote to flash but vapid presentations...as a readable organological treatise of modest size, this book is unsurpassed. Essential. (. CHOICE, April 2008)
It is a pleasure to read a comprehensive book on the subject of the origin and development of musical instruments, especially when written by an expert on the subject....I highly recommend this volume... (American Reference Books Annual, March 2008)
A welcome addition to the field of organology.... It is clear that he not only loves his subject, but also has knowledge of it from many different vantage points.... A fine textbook for a semester survey of musical instruments...as well as a fine resource for laypersons who wish to know more about musical sounds in many cultures throughout many periods. (Susan Forscher Weiss Notes: Quarterly Journal of the Music Library Association, March 2009)
Montagu's publication is broad in its scope, and represents a study of the cultural, social and technological developments of the world's instruments. The quality of writing keeps the reader fully engaged. Each chapter introduces the terminology relating to instruments of a specific type and provides explanations that should be comprehensible to a non-specialist. This book contains material that will be widely referenced and will be of immense value to anyone wishing to gain an informed overview of the field. (Galpin Society Journal)
Montagu provides an exceptional discussion....Montagu is masterful in his presentation of intricate organological material that crosses boundaries of time and space....Beautifully written and chocked full of a lifetime of research. (Music Research Forum)
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