The Middle Ages And The Renaissance By Russell Eugene Murray Essay

The Middle Ages And The Renaissance By Russell Eugene Murray Essay

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For my assignment, I chose to read Music Education in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance by Russell Eugene Murray, Susan Forscher Weiss, and Cynthia J. Cyrus. (From here on out, I will simply refer to them as “the editors”; any authors of any specific portion of the book will be referred to by their own name.) The book itself is a collection of essays written by multiple people, all written on extremely specific topics—for example, there is an essay titled “Nun Musicians as Teachers and Students in Early Modern Spain”, which, admittedly, is almost as specific as it can get when studying that particular time period. Besides specific essays on certain topics, the book also includes modern perspectives on music education in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance; in this book, there are three. These are “Some Introductory Remarks on Musical Pedagogy” by James Haar, “The Humanist and the Commonplace Book: Education in Practice” by Anthony Grafton, and “You Can Tell a Book by Its Cover: Reflections on Format in English Music “Theory”” by Jessie Ann Owens.
Besides the book itself, I read three reviews for this book: one by Paul Harris from Renaissance Quarterly, one by D. Heuchemer from CHOICE: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, and another from the Medieval Review by Thomas McCarthy.
Renaissance Quarterly’s review notes that while this book is a great collection of essays, it is hard to think that they are particularly related other than being about music in Western Europe in the same general (although very broad) time period. It also reveals that this book was conceived at a conference titled “Reading and Writing the Pedagogy of the Renaissance: Students, Teachers, and Materials of Musical Learning, 1470-1650”, which took place ...


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...ns around the same, the sudden jump from Scotland to Belgium with only a title page and a hefty amount of footnotes from Munro’s article is disorienting at best. With the book covering a multitude of locations and almost 200 years of musical works, the editors could have at least taken the time to group the essays together.
In conclusion, Music Education in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance is a confusing mess of a book that, while possibly being better for more experienced scholars and for those whose studies may be aided by an insight on music education in those time periods, is not suitable for a French horn performance major who is only trying to read it for Music History 1. Admittedly, the onus for choosing this book falls on me, but the way the book is organized and listed with such a broad topic makes it a helpful resource hidden under a lot of difficulties.

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