The Pelican History of Music Vol. 1
Last updated: 26.08.18
||Alec Robertson, Denis Stevens
||Penguin Books Limited
||0 14 02.0492 X
Publisher's blurb: "Ancient forms to polyphony
The '1066' of our music lies somewhere in the Middle Ages, when the Western tradition seemed to spring, fully armed, from the head of medieval man. It is easy to forget that musical languages had been evolving, both in the East and in the West, for at least five thousand years before music in Europe began to assume the laws we are tempted to regard as perfect and unalterable.
This first volume in the Pelican History of Music traces the story of music from the earliest known forms as far as the beginnings of the polyphonic period in the first half of the fifteenth century. A full section on non-Wester music indicates how our tradition is linked with or has evolved from the forms of music prevailing in other parts of the world.
I purchased this book in 1981 along with its companion volumes The Pelican History of Music Vol. 2
and The Pelican History of Music Vol. 3
for the purpose of "musical self-improvement". This first volume was quite an eye-opener for in dealing with ancient music, especially of the orient. These volumes are now (September 2002) apparently out of print - pity! They are a superb introduction to the history of music for laymen such as myself.