Originally published in 1978 and now in its third edition, The Gift of Music is a great resource for Christians desiring to study music history (even though the book is not—strictly speaking—a music history textbook). The primary purpose of this book, according to the prelude, "...is to encourage listening to the finest music with understanding and pleasure, and to stretch one's imagination."
The text provides a portrayal of 42 of the most important composers from Western classical music, as well as material on the Psalms in music, the influence of Shakespeare upon the great composers, and the Christmas carols. Chapters are relatively short and each concludes with a list of suggested reading and recommended listening. The authors state in the prelude that they "...have attempted to present the historical facts accurately and to speak of the weaknesses and foibles of 'our' composers with compassion, recognizing that no one is perfect." They have sought to "...show that what each artist believes in his heart and mind affects his creativity and influences those who follow him."
Coauthors Jane Stuart Smith and Betty Carlson were converted through Francis Schaeffer's ministry in Switzerland and currently live at the L'Abri Fellowship. Jane is a trained classical singer and lecturer on the great composers, and provided much of the source material for this book. Betty has studied at the Conservatory of Music in Lausanne, Switzerland, and works as a writer at L'Abri.
|Suggested Grade: 10th - 12th
|Authors: Jane Stuart Smith and Betty Carlson
|Copyright: 1995 (3rd edition)
|Softbound: 317 pages
1 Review Hide Reviews Show Reviews
I have just started the book. Only 2 chapters, but I have been telling my husband how much I like this book. We both read a lot, and usually it takes a few chapters into the book to see if we like it. Not this book. I have enjoyed it from the start. I am a NCTM, I have not read a music history book that I have liked better.