Music to Your Ears: An Introduction to Classical Music

Author(s): Richard L McGee, Joan B McGee

Edition: 2

Copyright: 2017

Pages: 200


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Music to Your Ears introduces the lay reader or beginning music student to the history and evolution of classical music in the western hemisphere. Every attempt has been made to relate the events and significant musical trends in plain English, without excessive musical terminology. Aimed primarily for non-music majors, the book nevertheless provides a clear, concise overview of the history of western music from the beginning of the Medieval period to the present day.

Music to Your Ears:

  • provides a brief outline of the development of jazz and rock musical styles is provided.
  • discusses and defines basic musical terms within the book, which are helpful for any person who wishes to discuss music intelligently.
  • offers musical descriptions presented in general terms so that people who do not read music can still benefit from the descriptions and analyses.



Chapter 1 What Is Music?
Music Really Is the Universal Language
How Music Is Created
Ancient Music
Music History Timeline
The Building Blocks of Musical Sound
PITCH—How high or low a sound is
Musical Notation, or how to tell a musician which note to play on the instrument
DURATION—The length of time that a sound lasts
DYNAMICS—How loud or soft a musical sound is
TIMBRE—The kind or quality of a musical sound
Key Terms  

Chapter 2 Musical Instruments
Modern Instrumental Families  
The Woodwind Family  
The Brass Family  
The String Family  
The Percussion Family  
Keyboard Instruments and Electronic Instruments  
The Symphony Orchestra  
Other Ensembles  
Key Terms  

Chapter 3 Music of the Middle Ages
Music History Timeline  
Christianity and Music  
Gregorian Chant  
The Rise of Polyphonic Music  
Secular Music in the Middle Ages  
Historical Events of Note  
Important social, cultural and political events in the
Middle Ages –  313 – 1450
Key Terms  

Chapter 4 The Renaissance
General Characteristics of Renaissance Music  
The Mass  
The Reformation and the Counter Reformation  
Secular Vocal Music  
Instrumental Music  
Historical Events of Note  
Important social, cultural and political events in the
Renaissance Period –  
Key Terms  

Chapter 5 Music of the Baroque
The Ages of Absolutism and Science  
Major and Minor Modes  
Dynamics, Tempo, and Structure  
From Renaissance to Baroque: Opera  
Baroque Vocal Music: Opera, Oratorio, Cantata  
Baroque Instrumental Music  
The Baroque Orchestra  
The Concerto Grosso  
The Suite  
Baroque Keyboard Forms: Prelude, Toccata, and Fugue  
The End of the Baroque: Rococo  
Historical Events of Note  
Important social, cultural and political events in the Baroque Period –  1600 – 1750  
Key Terms  

Chapter 6 The Classical Period  
Social Trends  
The Piano  
The Mannheim School  
The Classical Orchestra  
Structure and Symmetry in Music  
The Classical Sonata  
The Symphony and String Quartet  
The Concerto  
Opera in the Classical Period
Historical Events of Note  
Important social, cultural and political events in the
Classical Period –  1750 – 1800
Key Terms  

Chapter 7 Beethoven and the Transition to Romanticism
Cultural Overview  
Beethoven’s Life  
Beethoven’s Music  
Beethoven’s Symphonies  
Historical Events of Note  
Important social, cultural and political events in
Beethoven’s Time –  1770 – 1827
Key Terms  

Chapter 8 The Early Romantic Period
Romantic Thinking  
Cultural Perspective  
Musical Trends  
The Enlargement of Forms  
The Lied  
The Character Piece  
Clara, Fanny, and the Role of Women in the Romantic Period  
Giacchino Rossini: Early Romantic Opera Buffa  
Historical Events of Note  
Important social, cultural and political events in the
Early Romantic Period –  1800 – 1850
Key Terms  

Chapter 9 The Late Romantic Period
Cultural Perspectives  
Conservatives vs Radicals  
Opera in the Late Romantic  
Symphonic Trends of the Late Romantic Period  
From Romantic to post-Romantic  
Historical Events of Note  
Important social, cultural and political events in the
Late Romantic Period –  1850 – 1900
Key Terms  

Chapter 10 The Twentieth Century
Five Major Stylistic Trends in the Twentieth Century  
Historical Events of Note  
Important social, cultural and political events in the 20th Century –  1900 – 2000
Key Terms  

Chapter 11 Beyond Classical Music
From Ragtime to Jazz  
The Big Band Era  
From Bebop to Cool School  
The Blending of Styles in Jazz  
Rock Music and Other Popular Styles  
Summary and Closing Statement  
Key Terms  

Bibliographic References

Richard L McGee

Dr. Richard McGee  received his Bachelor's and Master's degrees from the University of Denver. After conducting high school band for five years, Richard moved to Las Vegas in 1981 to pursue a music career on the Strip. He first worked at the MGM Grand, then became lead trombonist and assistant conductor of the Folies Bergere Orchestra at the Tropicana Hotel. He played or conducted over 4,000 performances at the Tropicana between 1982 and 1989. In 1989, Richard began an eleven-year association with the Caesar's Palace house orchestra, where he performed regularly with such stars as Tony Bennett, Natalie Cole, Burt Bacharach, Johnny Mathis, and many more. 

Also in 1989, Richard was offered his current teaching position at College of Southern Nevada. Since that time, he earned his doctorate in Education Administration at UNLV and became founding Artistic Director of the CSN Performing Arts Center, and founding Musical Director of the Nevada Symphonic Wind Ensemble. For two seasons (1995-1996), he was Principal Pops Conductor for the Nevada Symphony Orchestra. In 1998, Richard helped found the Las Vegas Philharmonic, with which he still serves as Associate Conductor. Richard produces and conducts the Cox Communication Youth Concert Series, which in seven years has brought over 120,000 young people to the concert hall to hear live symphonic music. 

Richard has been active in many arts organizations in the Las Vegas area. He has received numerous honors and awards for music and teaching, including the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce 2002 Community Achievement Award for Arts and Entertainment, and the Nevada Music Educators Association 2004 Service to Music Education Award. In 2006, Richard and his wife Joan were named co-recipients of the Nevada Governor's Arts Award for Arts and Education. He continues to stay active as a performer, clinician and conductor throughout the Southwest.

Joan B McGee

Originally from Iowa, Dr. McGee received her Bachelor of Music Education and Master of Arts in Music Performance degrees from the University of Denver in Colorado and her doctorate from UNLV in Higher Education Leadership in 1995. That same year she began working for the Community College of Southern Nevada (CCSN) full time, after having previously served the Clark County Community College (CCCC) for six years as both a part time music instructor and administrator of the Cheyenne Campus. She was awarded CCSN’s Outstanding Teaching Faculty Award in 2002, and was the sole recipient of the Nevada Regents’ 2003 Community College Teaching Award. Also in 2003, Joan was honored with an Excellence Award medallion at the NISOD Conference in Austin, Texas.

In January of 2005, she was asked to serve as CCSN’s interim Vice President of Academic Affairs for six months while a national search was conducted to fill that position. With a background in both administration and teaching, Dr. McGee, along with her husband, was selected to receive the Governor’s Arts Award for Arts in Education in 2006.

For the year 2006-2007, Dr. McGee was privileged to be the President of the Henderson Rotary Club, and learned a great deal about the ideal of service with that organization. For over a year, Dr. McGee served as Interim Provost for Nevada State College prior to being appointed as NSC’s founding Dean of the School of Fine Arts in 2007. However, that position was eliminated due to funding and budget issues and Joan stepped up and accepted a position at the College of Southern Nevada to manage the Charleston campus, largest of the three main campuses. Currently, she is the Executive Director of Campus Administration, which includes overseeing the three main campuses, five Learning Centers, and institutional Strategic Planning.

Related ISBN's: 9781524985929, 9781524988357




ISBN 9781524985929

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