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BY: Kendall Hunt
Name: Stan L. Breckenridge
School: California State University, Fullerton
Academic Title at School: Senior Lecturer
Author of Music Taste or Waste: Critical Listening Skills for Students, Teachers, and Parents (2015); Other titles: Popular Music in America: Forging the American Spirit (2016) and African American Music: Including Theater, Film, and Dance (2014)
I have a Ph.D. and M.A. in musicology from Claremont Graduate University, and a B.A. in music education from California State University, Fullerton. I not only consider my academic achievements as part of my educational background, but also my experiences as a professional musician as well. These combined accomplishments allow me to provide a more holistic view of music’s qualities and it's significance to education in general.
The catalyst for Music Taste or Waste: Critical Listening Skills for Students, Teachers, and Parents resulted from many discussions with students, teachers, and parents about their paucity of knowledge regarding today’s popular music scene as well as music in general. While there exists excellent books about classical, rock, jazz, popular and easy listening music, to name some, what was lacking is a basic book about understanding these and other styles using music terminology in a fun and easy-to-grasp approach. Furthermore, it became important to place and analyze very different styles and types of music in one book as a way to illustrate the effectiveness of music terminology, when learning about any style or type of music. In this book, terms such as melody, harmony, and rhythm, to name a few, are used to analyze styles such as reggaeton, film music, arias, symphonic metal, electronic dance music, country, dubstep, bachata, piano concertos, grunge, hip-hop, bebop/big band/Latin/New Orleans Jazz, and many others. Finally, I wanted to create a product that would appeal to people of all ages, social status, educational background, and music tastes. The spirit of this book does not seek to suggest any music is wasteful, but rather encourages readers to use music terminology as a way to draw conclusions about whatever music they hear.
Kendall Hunt’s editors and support staff over the past 13 years have been a delight to work with. They are attentive to my goals and objectives of the project, while at the same offer concrete suggestions in order to create the best possible project.
Special features of this book include Song Navigators that guide the reader through a given song using chapter terms such as instrumentation, form, or dynamics, to name a few. Also included are many tables that list very different styles and types of music when discussing terms such as rhythm or tempo for example. Finally, this book offers music analysis from three different, yet in many ways related, age and social status groups. These are students, teachers, and parents.
Students will find this book useful because...
Teachers will find this book useful because...
Parents will find this book useful because...
Because of copyright infringement laws a CD/DVD does not accompany this text. But this is good news, as the cost of including over 250 songs on discs would be extremely expensive to the consumer. Instead, the book contains playlists that the reader can stream or download to their preferred media.
After using this 97-page book some comments I’ve heard over the years include:
Here are some things I’ve done to make it convenient to instructors to switch to my book:
Each semester I often hear a student tell me, in person, their enjoyment of the book and hope to meet the author someday. I reply, “you just met him.” The look on their face when they realize it’s me... is priceless!