The Language of Music

The Language of Music

Deryck Cooke / Jul 23, 2019

The Language of Music First published in this original study argues that the main characteristic of music is that it expresses and evokes emotion and that all composers whose music has a tonal basis have used the sa

  • Title: The Language of Music
  • Author: Deryck Cooke
  • ISBN: 9780198161806
  • Page: 272
  • Format: Paperback
  • First published in 1959, this original study argues that the main characteristic of music is that it expresses and evokes emotion, and that all composers whose music has a tonal basis have used the same, or closely similar, melodic phrases, harmonies, and rhythms to affect the listener in the same ways He supports this view with hundreds of musical examples, ranging fromFirst published in 1959, this original study argues that the main characteristic of music is that it expresses and evokes emotion, and that all composers whose music has a tonal basis have used the same, or closely similar, melodic phrases, harmonies, and rhythms to affect the listener in the same ways He supports this view with hundreds of musical examples, ranging from plainsong to Stravinsky, and contends that music is a language in the specific sense that we can identify idioms and draw up a list of meanings The book s final section analyzes two symphonies, Mozart s Fortieth and Vaughan Williams s Sixth, to explore the nature of musical inspiration and the process whereby the notes actually convey emotion from composer to listener.

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    About "Deryck Cooke"

      • Deryck Cooke

        Deryck Cooke Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the The Language of Music book, this is one of the most wanted Deryck Cooke author readers around the world.


    736 Comments

    1. Cooke espouses the belief that there is a communication in music between composer and listener on the subconscious or semi-conscious level. He identifies basic melodic terms used and the feelings that they communicate. I hooked my Yamaha keyboard up while reading and played the sample scores for full effect. I wish I had known about this book a few years ago when I was obsessed on defining the moods of certain chord sequences! This book came to my attention from the "Further Reading" list in A N [...]


    2. This is a truly wonderful book. I happened upon a copy in a used book store and it immediately grabbed my attention. I had wondered about the possibility of music being a language, and speaking to a deep and emotional part of human nature, but had never seen the idea developed or argued at length. Within just the first few pages, however, I knew I'd found something special. Cooke argues that Western (mostly classical) music is truly a language, but one that speaks to the emotions and not to the [...]


    3. This book is widely regarded as a classic in musical aesthetics. Its thesis is that the fundamental characteristic of music is the expression and evocation of emotion. The author mostly concentrates in premodern music although also gives examples by Bartok, Stravinsky and even Schoenberg (he humbly realizes in the Preface that his theory does not generally apply to twelve tone and atonal music even when he declares to admire also that music). The book provides a "vocabulary" of music illustrated [...]


    4. I only read this because it looked interesting in a bibliography for another book, but the author of that one must have picked the most readily understandable parts for his book, so there wasn't anything else really great in this one. Same old stuff you've heard if you've ever read a music book.



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