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Music as an Art

Narrated by: Saul Reichlin
Length: 10 hrs and 28 mins
5 out of 5 stars (5 ratings)
Regular price: £14.99
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Summary

Roger Scruton is a polymath. He has written authoritatively on a huge range of subjects from the environment to wine, from cosmology to the Middle East. He is also an accomplished musician (organ and piano) and a composer of works including an opera and a song cycle. This is Scruton’s second major work on music for Bloomsbury - the first being Understanding Music (Continuum, 2009). 

In this new book he turns again to the meaning of tonality and sound. His abstract, somewhat mystical argument on these topics includes slashing attacks on Marxist reductionism, on the authenticity of Early Music, on rival aestheticians such as Adorno and on sentimentality and cliché in any form. As with Understanding Music, he also expounds his views on pop music in a most satisfying and provocative new work. 

Cover copyright: © Succession Picasso/DACS, London 2018

©2018 Roger Scruton (P)2018 Audible, Ltd

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Scruton is delightful as ever

I am sorry to say I knew next to nothing about music but Music as an Art was a fascinating and enjoyable read. Saul Reichlin is an excellent voice for Sir Roger. Much of the technical discussion was beyond me but film music, the woeful state of modern state subsidised opera, the American song book and jazz all get interesting and insightful treatments. The last chapter on pop is hilarious including a psycho-social analysis of Nirvana and its followers. Good to see even AC/DC and Metallica getting the occasional mention, not sniffily as you might expect from “an old geeza” (his self deprecating phrase) but as technical wizards, albeit churning out music stuck in an adolescent world. The tiniest of nits - Guns and Roses’ Sweet Child of Mine suffers a Freudian slip. All in all highly recommended. You will learn a lot and enjoy superb writing and narration while doing so.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful