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Charting Pre-19th Century Music

Christmas Classical Religious

ByWayne D Cottrell

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Is it possible to compile and rank music that was composed prior to the 19th century? Given that recording technology did not exist until the 1880s, and the first music charts did not appear until the 1930s? If we count the number of times a piece of music has been recorded, appears in hymnbooks, has received votes in a poll, or is identified by a search engine, then, yes, the early music can be compiled and ranked. Accordingly, the top 150 Classical compositions of 1700-1749, and seven other compilations, are found in the book. The most dominant pre-19th century composers are Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Johann Sebastian Bach, who appear 147 and 75 times in this book's compilations, respectively, followed by Franz Joseph Haydn, at 51. All three were Classical composers from Austria and Germany. Also with ten or more appearances are Germany's Ludwig van Beethoven, Germany's (and later England's) George Frideric Handel, Italy's Lorenzo Da Ponte, Domenico Scarlatti and Antonio Vivaldi, and English hymnodists Isaac Watts and Charles Wesley. While we cherish the music of these composers, our highest-ranked pre-1800 compositions, to which we still listen, are Mozart's "Clarinet Concerto," Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons," Johann Pachelbel's "Canon & Gigue in D," Thomas Tallis' "Spem in Alium," Guillaume de Machaut's "Messe di Nostre Dame," "All Hail the Power of Jesus' Name" among hymns, "Adeste Fideles" among Christmas carols, and "Amazing Grace" among Popular music. The best-preserved and structured pre-19th century music is almost wholly western European; but a discussion of music from "the rest of the world" is provided in the Foreword. As for female composers, the 12th century's Hildegard von Bingen may be the greatest ever. Women are otherwise only minimally represented in pre-19th century music. To compensate, at least one female composer is discussed in association with each compilation. To learn more, get the book, and look inside...


Publication Date
Apr 25, 2022
All Rights Reserved - Standard Copyright License
By (author): Wayne D Cottrell


Interior Color
US Trade (6 x 9 in / 152 x 229 mm)

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