The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Music History

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Amazon Price: $19.95 $12.95 You save: $7.00 (35%). (as of November 1, 2017 3:38 AM – Details). Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on the Amazon site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

A beautifully composed journey through music history!

Music history is a required course for all music students. Unfortunately, the typical music history book is dry and academic, focusing on rote memorization of important composers and works. This leads many to think that the topic is boring, but bestselling author Michael Miller proves that isn’t so. This guide makes music history interesting and fun, for both music students and older music lovers.

• Covers more than Western “classical” music—also includes non-Western music and uniquely American forms such as jazz
• More than just names and dates—puts musical developments in context with key historical events

Product Details

  • Series: Complete Idiot’s Guides (Lifestyle Paperback)
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: ALPHA (July 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592577512
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592577514
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.7 x 10.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds

Customer Reviews

Wonderful Book for Teaching Basics of Music History

One person found this helpful.
 on April 28, 2016
By K. Blythe
I purchased this for my teen son who is homeschooled. He is taking piano lessons and I wanted a history book to give him some general information about the various genres and how they developed. So far we’ve both enjoyed going through this book – it includes short bios of different composers and what pieces they are most famous for. At the end of each chapter is a “listening list” that typically has lots of suggested compositions from the period in question. You can go to YouTube and search for each one, we have yet to run into a piece that wasn’t available. The Listening Lists really transform this book into a living historical journey that can spark conversations about music of the past.

this book is fantastic. I actually used colored crayons to highlight it …

One person found this helpful.
 on January 26, 2016
By Adam Rose
Given that it is a practically impossible task to write a book encompassing all of music history and please everyone and include material that everyone would deem essential, this book is fantastic. I actually used colored crayons to highlight it because the paper is ‘newspapery’, and it was fun to make it all colorful, and I added some notes to certain sections to include information to make the history more complete for me, such as the evolution of the drumset.

Great Book

One person found this helpful.
 on March 6, 2016
By Gerry Saddler
Great Book…! More than I bargained for. There are many cultures represented here that provide their musical heritage. Many won’t hold much interest if you are a casual reader but what it does offer is a fairly complete introduction to the music lover in general. If you do love music and want more than just listening or playing an instrument then this will suit you very well.

Great for leisure. Can’t vouch for this from the standpoint of classroom studies though.

One person found this helpful.
 on March 16, 2015
By doctornewyork
Purchased this to distract myself from the intensity of ongoing medical studies and am very pleased. I haven’t perused (critically read) it, but it sits on my desk as something to flip to when I’m bored, and it’s written very well. Would recommend purchasing this if you simply just want to make yourself a bit more well-rounded. I cannot vouch for this book from the standpoint of a musician or one who is sitting a university subject in it. I just bought it for leisure.

Michael Miller is the best literary communicator

4 people found this helpful.
 on February 20, 2014
By Richard S. Melhuish
His writing style is superb. I have played music for 50 years plus and I never could quite “put it all together”. A must read for anyone that wants to connect the dots and enjoy a great read. The only phrase I can think of is “engaging and airy”, meaning each topic has enough space around it to let it sink in!

Best music history book

10 people found this helpful.
 on November 23, 2012
By K
Love this book. I teach music history at the high school level. This is the textbook I use. My students love it too!

Great book

One person found this helpful.
 on January 29, 2016
By Marc
I’m about half way through this book. I’m really in to it. I got the Kindle version. Don’t be fooled by the ‘complete idiot’s guide’ name. This book is packed with information. It’s definitely worth the price. I’m glad I bought it.

A Great Overview

One person found this helpful.
 on August 2, 2014
By Ms. Laura A. Zifer
I had little to no previous knowledge of music history, and this book was exactly what I was looking for. It was interesting and provided a great overview of the major historical time periods and the most influential musicians of those periods. I also loved the listening recommendations at the end of each chapter. I was able to find most of the pieces on youtube.

It is a good book to understand the origin of music and its …

 on September 7, 2016
By Sinupret
It is a good book to understand the origin of music and its development parellel to the development of civilization

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