Saturday, April 05, 2008

Book: "New Penguin Dictionary of Music" by Paul Griffith

We bought this at the Ligetti thing… the author himself was there, so they had it for cheap. I should have got it autographed. This is not actually a dictionary of all music (there is no entry for Dumpy's Rusty Nuts), and in fact it is mainly all about what people sometimes describe as classical music, with occasional nods to other forms. We got it so we could find out what all that funny stuff musos talk about means – you know: atonality, keys, time signatures, all that shite. The book is good fun to dip into, with the author having an endearingly grumpy writing style when discussing things of which he does not approve. I did think his attitude to "Popular Music" (essentially all Western music that is not either classical or jazz – you know, heavy metal, pop music, country and western, acid rock, that kind of thing) was simplistic and ultimately problematic, but this is hardly a new thing with classical music writers. Which reminds me, still have not written my letter to the Journal of Music in Ireland.

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