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Roots of the Classical

The Popular Origins of Western Music

Peter Van Der Merwe


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Other Editions of This Title:
Hardcover (2/1/2005)


Roots of the Classical identifies and traces to their source the patterns that make Western classical music unique, setting out the fundamental laws of melody and harmony, and sketching the development of tonality between the fifteenth and eighteenth centuries. The author then focuses on the years 1770-1910, treating the Western music of this period - folk, popular, and classical - as a single, organically developing, interconnected unit in which the popular idiom was constantly feeding into 'serious' music, showing how the same patterns underlay music of all kinds.

Oxford University Press, USA, 9780199214747, 558pp.

Publication Date: March 1, 2007

About the Author

Peter Van der Merwe was born in Cape Town of Boer and Irish stock. He has studied at the College of Music in his native city but is virtually self-taught as musician and musicologist. He divides his time between the study of music and work as a cataloguer at the municipal library in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. His first book, Origins of the Popular Style, was published by OUP in 1989.