Music and Book reviews

Browsing: Musicology

Musicology Book
Australian Music and Modernism 1960-1975. By Michael Hooper

Author: Michael Hooper
Category: Musicology
New York (NY): Bloomsbury Academic, 2019, 306 pp.
ISBN:  978-1-5013-4818-1 (Hardback). Also available as an ePDF and as an eBook
Reviewed by

“This book provides a well-researched and often fascinating account of the compositional practices and the historical, cultural and philosophical contexts and issues surrounding “modernist” classical music in Australia in the period 1960-1975.”

Musicology Book
Curating Opera. Reinventing the Past through Museums of Opera and Art. By Stephen Mould

Author: Stephen Mould
Category: Musicology
Ashgate Interdisciplinary Studies in Opera, Routledge, Abingdon and New York, 2021
Reviewed by

“A meticulously researched and finely detailed account, from one who knows whereof he speaks, of the concurrent rise of the opera house and the art museum, and the subsequent, mixed consequences to the art-forms’ history.”

Musicology Book
Distant Dreams: The Correspondence of Percy Grainger and Burnett Cross,1946–60

Author: Editors: Teresa Balough and Kay Dreyfus
Category: Musicology, Technology
Melbourne, Australia: Lyrebird Press, 2020. 199 pp.
ISBN: 9780734037947 (e-book available)
Reviewed by

‘… Percy was trying to break away from the established ways of doing things, from the halftone scale, from the regularities of established music, [that] he was in fact searching for something new.’ Burnett Cross, ‘Free Music’ (c.1978)

Book Book
Grainger the Modernist

Should Percy Grainger be regarded as a modernist? Or should he be dismissed, as he has been in the past, as an inconsequential arranger of British folksong? Even a cursory scan of Grainger’s life reveals that he was an innovator…

Musicology Book
Here and Now: Artistic Research in Music: An Australian Perspective

Author: Edited by Vanessa Tomlinson and Toby Wren
Category: Musicology
Intelligent Arts, Albany (NY), 2016. Available from Amazon, iTunes
ISBN 9780988889699 (e-book)
Reviewed by

“Here and Now provides a snapshot of the impressive research-informed creative and performance work being carried out at the Queensland Conservatorium by staff, research affiliates and graduate students.”

Musicology Book
Loading the Silence: Australian Sound Art in the Post-Digital Age

Author: Linda Ioanna Kouvaras
Category: Musicology
Farnham, UK: Ashgate Publishing Ltd, 2013
ISBN 9781409441564
Reviewed by

While several books have been written which seek to summarise music-making practices in this country, none have focused on non-instrumental art music like this rigorous study by Linda Kouvaras. Roger Covell’s landmark book of 1967, Australia’s Music — Themes for…

Book Book
The Australian Symphony from Federation to 1960

It is not often that an elegantly written, well researched book can be used as an advocacy tool, but Rhoderick McNeill’s thorough investigation of the symphonies written before 1960 by Australian composers is one that requires attention.  Most of the…

Biography Book
The Beethoven Obsession. The story of Gerard Willems recording of all Beethoven’s piano works on the Stuart piano

Author: Brendan Ward
Category: Biography, Book, Musicology
Sydney: NewSouth Publishing, 2013, 269pp.
ISBN 9781742233956 (pbk)
Reviewed by

Ward recounts the fascinating story of three men, and their project to record the complete Beethoven piano works on the unique Australian made Stuart piano. These three men are Brendan Ward a former TV cameraman from Kingaroy QLD, Wayne Stuart…

Book Book
The Music of Peter Sculthorpe

In August this year, the response to news that Peter Sculthorpe had died was swift and heartfelt. The federal Minister for the Arts and the Prime Minister acknowledged the passing of a ‘musical giant’, sentiments echoed by the Opposition Leader…

Book Book
The Music of Richard Meale

The launch of a new publishing venture to support, promote and interpret Australian art music is a cause for celebration. Composer Brian Howard has established Wildbird to publish both music and books on music, and the first two books in…

Literature Book
The ‘Imagined Sound’ of Australian Literature and Music. By Joseph Cummins

Author: Joseph Cummins
Category: Literature, Musicology, Social History
London and New York: Anthem Press, 2021, 188 pages
ISBN-13: 978- 1- 78527- 091- 8 (Hbk)  ISBN- 10: 1- 78527- 091- 5 (Hbk). Also an e-book.
Reviewed by

“In ‘Imagined Sound’ Cummins listens to the landscapes and histories of post-World War II literature and music using an intriguing and inviting method for engaging with literary and musical texts, offering new ways in which to think about the multiple ways writers and musicians have reimagined the landscape and by extension our historical perspectives and mythologies.”

Book Book
World’s Best Jazz Club: The Story of Bennetts Lane

Is Bennetts Lane the world’s best jazz club? David James’s new book on the iconic Melbourne jazz venue makes a compelling argument that it is. Considering the recent news that Bennetts will close next year, with owner/founder Michael Tortoni admitting…