American Harmony: Inspired Choral Miniatures

American Harmony: Inspired Choral Miniatures

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Author/Contributor(s): Cooke, Nym
Publisher: David R. Godine Publisher
Date: 02/01/2018
Binding: Hardcover
Condition: USED – Very good. An unmarked copy with tight binding and some moderate shelf wear.

Nym Cooke began studying shape-note music over forty years ago as an undergraduate at Harvard, and it is not an overstatement to claim that he has made this study his life's work and himself among the foremost authorities on the subject. Beginning his research in 1976, he has sung ever one of the 5,000 pieces published in American tunebooks through 1810, researched the composers' biographies, and determined not only how the music should be presented in print, but also how it might best be performed in person.

American Harmony, his magnum opus, is the result: a selection of the cream of early America choral music, here published in two volumes housed in a sturdy slipcase. The first covers New England compositions from 1770 to 1815, and the second volume covering a wide range of locations form 1813 to the present.

American Harmony includes full musical scores and complete verses for 176 pieces of music, 100 illustrations, over 100 pages of biographical information about composers and musical arrangers, and a CD recording of 35 pieces. Selections are drawn from well-known sources (such as the shape--note hymnal, The Sacred Harp) as less well known sources, all in their original harmonizations.

In addition to the music, the author's historical introduction and detailed critical commentary provide context. As The American Record Guide said, "American Harmony is a thing of beauty... not only to the eye but also the mind and the ear."