Nelson Higher Education

Higher Education

Music in Western Civilization, Media Update, 1st Edition

  • includes Resource Center Printed Access Card
  • Craig Wright
  • Bryan R. Simms
  • ISBN-10: 049557273X
  • ISBN-13: 9780495572732
  • 912 Pages | Hardcover
  • COPYRIGHT: 2010 Published
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About the Product

Wright/Simms was the first book in a generation that students could read and fully understand--on their own. Building on that excellence, the new MUSIC IN WESTERN CIVILIZATION, MEDIA UPDATE continues to revolutionize the teaching of music history by presenting music in its cultural context in a way that is clear and easy to understand. Offering superior scholarship, this innovative text places music in the context of the politics, personalities, arts, and humanities of each period of Western history. The importance of the cultural setting of many composers and genres is evidenced by such chapters as "Richard Strauss in Berlin," "Johann Sebastian Bach: Vocal Music in Leipzig," and "Music in Medieval Paris: Polyphony at Notre Dame." Both flexible and comprehensive, the text includes 83 brief chapters--allowing instructors to pick and choose which material they wish to emphasize--and covers all major composers, styles, and genres. It discusses a full 224 pieces, with additional commentary and complete musical scores included in an accompanying two-volume Anthology prepared by Timothy Roden. Recordings of all 224 pieces are collectively available on the accompanying CD sets, and student exercises and analysis questions are found in a companion student workbook. The MEDIA UPDATE also adds coverage of important composers, compositions, trends, and primary sources. Its Web-based Resource Center includes a repository of additional material--music, composer biographies, primary source readings, musical debates--that enables instructors to further customize their courses to best fit their needs.


  • MUSIC IN WESTERN CIVILIZATION, MEDIA UPDATE combines superior scholarship with pedagogy that helps students master the difficult and exhaustive material covered in the music history course. Its lively narrative discusses the "place" of music history. Short chapters make material easier for students to study and enable instructors to pick and choose the repertoire they wish to emphasize. And features like chapter summaries and review material in the text and the anthology--as well as workbook exercises and additional review material--ensure student understanding.

  • The 224 compositions are discussed in the context of the people, events, and ideas important to each period of Western cultural history. Approximately 50 additional compositions are discussed on the Web. In addition, the high-quality recordings of all 224 pieces are available on CD in various volumes for flexibility in assignments.

  • Making the text extremely student friendly, marginal icons refer readers to The Big Picture (chronological overview of each part); In Their Own Words (primary source readings); More Music (additional musical selections with introductions, scores, and online playlist); Musical Debates; and Other Notable Composers (biographies and musical selections including many from female composers). Correlating the text with the Anthology and CDs, Listening Cue boxes with a CD icon provide the name of the composer, the piece, its date of composition, CD number and track, and the Anthology page number.

  • Full-color photographs, maps, and timelines give students a sense of music's place within the arts and humanities in the West, while 11 Musical Interludes enrich the discussion with insights into such issues as the evolution of music theory as well as editing and performing music today. Illustrating the relevance of music history to modern performance, boxed inserts throughout provide first-person accounts like "Carl Czerny Meets Beethoven," primary source documents, letters, opera synopses, and more.

  • Incorporating female musicians throughout, MUSIC IN WESTERN CIVILIZATION, MEDIA UPDATE offers detailed discussions of the work of more female composers and performers than any other text. It also explores such related topics as "Domestic Keyboard Music for Women" in the 18th century.


"[The writing] was the book's principle strength. It is a truly accessible book. . . . Students might even become better writers by reading this textbook! . . . It's probably alone in its field in this respect, and I can't praise it enough. . . . Students can learn with this book, and I don't say that about many textbooks."
— Charles Dill, University of Wisconsin, Madison.

About the Author

Craig Wright

Craig M. Wright received his Bachelor of Music degree at the Eastman School of Music in 1966 and his Ph.D. in musicology from Harvard University in 1972. He began his teaching career at the University of Kentucky and for the past forty years has been teaching at Yale University, where he is currently the Henry L. and Lucy G. Moses Professor of Music. At Yale, Wright’s courses include his perennially popular introductory course, Listening to Music (also part of the offerings of Open Yale Courses); his large lecture course Exploring the Nature of Genius; and most recently his Coursera course Introduction to Classical Music. He is the author of numerous scholarly books and articles on composers ranging from Leoninus to Bach. Wright has also been the recipient of many awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Einstein and Kinkeldey Awards of the American Musicological Society, and the Dent Medal of the International Musicological Society. In 2004, he was awarded the honorary degree Doctor of Humane Letters from the University of Chicago. And in 2010 he was elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, joining fellow inductee, banjo player Steve Martin. In addition to LISTENING TO MUSIC and LISTENING TO WESTERN MUSIC, EIGHTH EDITION, Wright has also published THE ESSENTIAL LISTENING TO MUSIC, SECOND EDITION; LISTENING TO MUSIC, CHINESE EDITION (Schirmer Cengage Learning/Three Union Press, 2012), translated and simplified by Profs. Li Xiujung (China Conservatory, Beijing) and Yu Zhigang (Central Conservatory, Beijing), both of whom worked with Wright at Yale; and MUSIC IN WESTERN CIVILIZATION, MEDIA UPDATE (Schirmer Cengage Learning, 2010), with coauthor Bryan Simms. He is currently at work on a volume titled MOZART’S BRAIN: EXPLORING THE NATURE OF GENIUS.

Bryan R. Simms

Bryan R. Simms (Bachelor of Arts, Yale University, 1966; Ph.D., Yale University, 1971) has taught since 1976 at the University of Southern California, where he has been director of graduate studies and is currently chair of the department of musicology. He is the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Fulbright Foundation. He is the author of books and articles on topics in twentieth-century music and music theory, including MUSIC OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY (Schirmer 1996) and, most recently, THE ATONAL MUSIC OF ARNOLD SCHOENBERG, 1908-1923 (Oxford University Press).

Table of Contents

1. Music in Ancient Greece.
2. Antiquity to the Middle Ages: Music in Rome, Jerusalem, and the Early Christian World.
3. Chant in the Monastery and Convent.
4. Music Theory in the Monastery: John of St. Gall and Guido of Arezzo.
5. Later Medieval Chant: Tropes, Sequences, and the Liturgical Drama of Hildegard of Bingen.
6. Troubadours and Trouvères.
7. Early Polyphony.
8. Music in Medieval Paris: Polyphony at Notre Dame.
9. Inside the Cathedral Close and University: Conductus and Motet.
10. In the Parisian Master's Study: Music Theory of the Ars Antiqua and Ars Nova.
11. Music at the Court of the French Kings: The Ars Nova.
12. Fourteenth-Century Music in Reims: Guillaume de Machaut.
13. Avignon, Symbolic Scores, and the Ars Subtilior.
Musical Interlude 1: From Medieval Manuscript to Modern Performance.
14. Music in Florence, 1350-1425.
15. Music at the Cathedral of Florence.
16. Music in England.
17. Music at the Court of Burgundy.
18. Music at the French Royal Court.
19. Music in the Low Countries.
Musical Interlude 2: Music in the Late Renaissance.
20. Popular Music in Florence, 1470-1540: Carnival Song and Lauda, Frottola, and Early Madrigal.
21. Josquin Desprez and Music in Ferrara.
Musical Interlude 3: Music Printing During the Renaissance.
22. Music in Renaissance Paris.
23. Renaissance Instruments and Instrumental Music.
Musical Interlude 4: Music Theory in the Renaissance.
24. Music in Three German Cities: The Protestant-Catholic Confrontation.
25. Rome and the Music of the Counter-Reformation.
26. Music in Elizabethan England, Part I: Early Vocal Music.
27. Music in Elizabethan England, Part II: Later Vocal Music and Instrumental Music.
28. The Later Madrigal in Ferrara and Mantua: Gesualdo and Monteverdi.
29. Early Baroque Music.
30. The Birth of Opera: Florence, Mantua, and Venice.
31. The Concerted Style in Venice and Dresden.
32. Religious Music in Baroque Rome.
Musical Interlude 5: A Baroque Christmas in the Andes of South America.
33. Instrumental Music in Italy.
34. Instrumental Music in Germany and Austria.
35. Music in Paris and at the Court of Versailles: Vocal Music.
36. Music in Paris and at the Court of Versailles: Instrumental Music.
Musical Interlude 6: From Ancient to Modern: Aspects of Baroque Music Theory.
37. Music in London, Part I: Henry Purcell.
38. Music in London, Part II: George Frideric Handel.
39. Johann Sebastian Bach: Instrumental Music in Weimar and Cöthen.
40. Johann Sebastian Bach: Vocal Music in Leipzig.
41. Music in the Age of Enlightenment: Opera.
42. Music in the Age of Enlightenment: Orchestral Music.
43. Music in the Age of Enlightenment: Keyboard Music.
44. Classical Music in Vienna.
45. Joseph Haydn: Instrumental Music.
46. Joseph Haydn: Late Symphonies and Vocal Music.
47. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Instrumental Music.
48. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Vocal Music.
49. The Early Music of Beethoven.
50. Beethoven's Middle Period: 1802-1814.
51. After the Congress of Vienna: Beethoven's Late Music.
Musical Interlude 7: Romanticism.
52. Franz Schubert.
53. Music in Paris Under Louis Philippe: Berlioz and Chopin.
54. Leipzig and the Gewandhaus: Mendelssohn and the Schumanns.
55. German Opera in the Nineteenth Century: Weber and Wagner.
56. Opera in Italy: Rossini and Verdi.
57. Nationalism and Virtuosity: Franz Liszt.
58. Vienna in the Late Nineteenth Century: Brahms and Bruckner.
59. Music and Ballet in Nineteenth-Century Russia: Mussorgsky and Tchaikovsky.
60. Vienna at the turn of the Twentieth Century: Gustav and Alma Mahler.
61. England at the End of the Romantic Period: Elgar and Vaughan Williams.
62. Opera in Milan After Verdi: Puccini, Toscanini, and Verismo.
63. Paris of the Belle Epoque: Debussy, Fauré, and Lili Boulanger.
Musical Interlude 8: Music Since 1900.
64. Richard Strauss in Berlin.
65. Music in Russian During the Silver Age: Igor Stravinsky.
66. Atonality: Schoenberg and Scriabin.
67. French Music at the Time of World War I: Ravel and Satie.
68. Music in Paris After World War I: Stravinsky and the Six.
69. Vienna in the Aftermath of War: Twelve-Tone Methods.
70. Musical Theater in Germany in the 1920s: Berg and Weill.
71. Béla Bartók and Hungarian Folk Music.
72. Early Jazz.
73. Paul Hindemith and Music in Nazi Germany.
74. Music in Soviet Russia: Prokofiev and Shostakovich.
75. Self-Reliance in American Music: Ives, Seeger, and Nancarrow.
76. American Composers Return from Europe: Copland and Barber.
77. Tin Pan Alley and the Broadway Musical.
Musical Interlude 9: After World War II.
78. Reflections on War: Britten, Penderecki, and Others.
79. Twelve-Tone Music and Serialism After World War II.
80. Alternatives to Serialism: Chance, Electronics, Textures.
81. Harlem in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s: Big Bands, Bebop, and Cool Jazz.
Musical Interlude 10: The Birth of Rock.
Musical Interlude 11: Music in the Movies.
82. Music of the 1960s and 1970s: Live Processes, Minimalism, Metric Modulations.
83. Returning to the Known: Music of the Recent Past.

New to this edition

  • Completely updated, MUSIC IN WESTERN CIVILIZATION, MEDIA UPDATE is more comprehensive than ever! In response to reviewer feedback and numerous surveys, the updated text adds coverage of important composers, compositions, and movements. New material is included in the book as well as online.
  • The expansive Web-based Resource Center includes additional music, composer biographies, primary source readings, musical debates, a regionally based concertgoers' guide, and more! Students can find flashcards, links to performance videos and online musical examples, and other helpful tools. For instructors, the site is a rich clearinghouse to share teaching ideas, tips, and information. Icons in the book alert readers when and where to turn to the Web-based Resource Center for relevant musical selections and instructional resources.
  • Printed music related to all new musical selections in the UPDATE is included in the online Resource Center.
  • In response to instructor requests, the authors added measure numbers and took painstaking steps to ensure the accuracy of the accompanying Anthology. These adjustments significantly increase the usefulness of the Anthology, which is an essential part of the learning package.


All supplements have been updated in coordination with the Main title.
Please see Main title page for new to this edition information.

Instructor Supplements

Workbook  (ISBN-10: 0495006319 | ISBN-13: 9780495006312)

Prepared by Timothy Roden of Ohio Wesleyan University, the workbook helps students maximize their study time with a set of analytical questions for each musical selection in the CD set and Anthologies as well as Sterling Murray's guide to researching and writing about music.

Student Supplements

Workbook  (ISBN-10: 0495006319 | ISBN-13: 9780495006312)

Maximize your study time with this comprehensive workbook! Prepared by Timothy Roden of Ohio Wesleyan University, the workbook contains a set of analytical questions for each musical selection in the CD set and Anthologies as well as Sterling Murray's guide to research in and writing about music.