Two books from Grosset and Dunlap

I have a habit of finding value in books that many readers will likely ignore. These two are such hidden gems.

Although by different authors, they are are obviously siblings. They are physically small, unpretentious and out of date. But, read together, they provide a succinct "who's who" of the great composers along a timeline. I also have a weighty music dictionary and some textbooks, but it was these little volumes that most helped me gain an overview of Western music.

As a bonus Grabbe's book contains what appear to be woodcuts, often of events in American history not in the least related to music, but which are intended  to place the relevant page on the timeline. The artistic style is very much that of the first half of the twentieth century and therefore interesting in itself. And, as you might expect, the writing style is similarly old fashioned, which I enjoy, though you may not.

So to give you a better idea, here is a sample page.

If they appeal to you, don't bother looking for them at the library, as they'll have been disposed of decades ago. Instead, as I did, look for them buried under Mills and Boon novels or Reader's Digests in boxes at your annual book sale. Or hunt them out as no reserve items on your favourite Internet auction site. And don't pay too much!

Grabbe, Paul (1942) The story of orchestral music and its times. Grosset and Dunlap. New York.

Kaufmann, Helen L. (1943) The story of one hundred great composers. Grosset and Dunlap. New York.

New

Confluence

Confluence

Schrödinger's Cat

Schrödinger's Cat

Railway Town

Copper Mine Creek

Landslide Blues

Landslide Blues

www.MarkOwenMusic.org