Nelson Higher Education

Higher Education

Music Listening Today, 6th Edition

  • Charles Hoffer
  • Darrell Bailey
  • ISBN-10: 1285857747
  • ISBN-13: 9781285857749
  • 448 Pages | Paperback
  • Previous Editions: 2013, 2010
  • COPYRIGHT: 2016 Published
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About the Product

Brief, approachable, and modular, best-selling MUSIC LISTENING TODAY, 6e delivers a complete course solution that develops students' listening skills, providing them with the chronological framework they need to understand and appreciate different styles, forms, and genres of music. It takes students on a journey through the history of music from the early Western period to the present day, teaching them how to listen as they go. Carefully chosen for their teachability, dozens of musical selections cover a range of styles and include music students will easily recognize. All musical selections are available online in streaming form in MindTap and as downloads. In addition, Active Listening Guides found in MindTap teach listening skills via highly visual, graphical representations of the music's progress and are accompanied by quizzes and additional commentary. Other MindTap tools provide access to a complete eBook, interactive quizzes, YouTube videos, flashcards, and more.


  • Easy to read in one sitting, the concise chapters provide instructors with the flexibility to tailor the course to suit the needs of a wide variety of students.

  • In addition to its coverage of popular music, the book offers a substantial sample of music from different cultures around the world.

  • Brief composer biographies offer cultural and social background that enriches the musical selections.

  • Placed at the beginning of each of the book's eight parts and illustrated with period art, historical timelines enable students to place the chronology of music within its cultural and historical contexts.

  • Listening Guide headings provide download number and date of work, as well as reminders about such elements as genre and form. Listening Guide timings are easy to follow, and commentary has been made even simpler for students with no musical training.


"I feel the greatest strength of the textbook, and the one that prompted my selection of it, was the balanced treatment of the key components: music fundamentals; history of western European art music; American popular music; and world music. Although I would welcome more expansive treatment of world music, this volume provides much better treatment than the cursory nod provided in most other music appreciation textbooks."
— W. Scott Ball, Southern Adventist University

About the Author

Charles Hoffer

Charles Hoffer is Professor of Music at the University of Florida in Gainesville. He formerly taught at Indiana University, served as president of the Music Educators National Conference, and is an established author of books and articles about music.

Darrell Bailey

Darrell Bailey is Professor of Music at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis. He taught at Oberlin Conservatory and the Indiana University School of Music in Bloomington and later was the founding director of the music program of the IU School of Music in Indianapolis. Subsequently, he founded the new media program at Indianapolis and was the founding executive associate dean of the first School of Informatics in the United States.

Table of Contents

1. Music Listening and You.
2. Rhythm.
3. Melody and Harmony.
4. Dynamics, Timbre, and Organization.
5. Orchestral Instruments.
6. Other Musical Instruments.
7. Early Western Music.
8. Medieval Music.
9. Renaissance Music.
10. The Baroque Period.
11. Oratorio and Cantata.
12. Opera in the Baroque.
13. Baroque Instrumental Music: Suite and Sonata.
14. Baroque Instrumental Music: Concerto and Fugue.
15. Classicism and Classical Music.
16. Sonata Form.
17. The Concerto.
18. Classical Opera.
19. Chamber Music.
20. Piano Sonatas.
21. The Symphony and Beethoven.
22. Romance and Romanticism.
23. Early Romantic Music.
24. Romantic Piano Music.
25. Program and Ballet Music.
26. Romantic Opera.
27. Late Romantic Music.
28. Nationalism.
29. Music in the Twentieth Century and Beyond.
30. Impressionism and Post-Romanticism.
31. The Mainstream.
32. Expressionism and Primitivism.
33. Neoclassicism and Tone Row Music.
34. New Sounds and New Techniques.
35. American Music before 1920.
36. Concert Music since 1920.
37. Popular Music and Jazz to 1950.
38. Popular Music since 1950.
39. Music for Stage and Film.
PART VIII: Music around the World.
40. Folk and Ethnic Music.
41. Folk Music of Europe and the Americas.
42. Music of Africa and the Middle East.
43. Music of Asia.
Listening Guides Indexed by Composer.
Index of Composer Biographies.
Music Credits.

New to this edition

  • The Sixth Edition's powerful listening program is cued in the text and integrated carefully in MindTap, which provides students with the listening and practice they need, where they need it.
  • Each chapter previews content for students with an easily reviewed set of Learning Objectives. In MindTap, each chapter opens with a highly engaging video, introduced by the authors, with questions geared for class discussion.
  • Each musical selection's Listening Guide provides a simplified set of timings, keyed to the music downloads packaged with the book. MindTap provides this music in three ways: streaming, in the form of an animated Active Listening Guide, and via carefully selected YouTube videos introduced by the authors.
  • Each musical selection is now accompanied by a Listening Practice Activity in MindTap, which gives students in-depth listening practice with each specific piece.
  • Each chapter in MindTap concludes with a revised Chapter Quiz including further listening items.


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

Instructor Supplements

Website  (ISBN-10: 1305115031 | ISBN-13: 9781305115033)

The Instructor Companion Site includes tools and resources that are password-protected and will help you facilitate your course.

Cengage Testing, powered by Cognero® Instant Access  (ISBN-10: 1305074971 | ISBN-13: 9781305074972)

Cengage Learning Testing Powered by Cognero is a flexible, online system that allows you to import, edit, and manipulate test bank content from the MUSIC LISTENING TODAY test bank or elsewhere; include your own favorite test questions; create multiple test versions in an instant; and deliver tests from your LMS, your classroom, or wherever you want.

Digital Music Download Printed Access Card for 4 CD Set  (ISBN-10: 1285874498 | ISBN-13: 9781285874494)

This Printed Access Card gives you access to Sony Music downloads that correspond to all the music discussed in the book, allowing you to download them directly to the iTunes® Player or your favorite music library.

Student Supplements

Digital Music Download Printed Access Card for 4 CD Set  (ISBN-10: 1285874498 | ISBN-13: 9781285874494)

This Printed Access Card gives you access to Sony Music downloads that correspond to all the music discussed in the book, allowing you to download them directly to the iTunes® Player or your favorite music library.