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Book Details

  • Hardcover + Digital Product License Key Folder
  • Bookstore's Wholesale Price: $104.00
  • Forthcoming: January 2019
  • ISBN: 978-0-393-66817-9
  • Territory Rights: Worldwide
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A History of Western Music

Tenth Edition

Hardcover + Digital Product License Key Folder

with Total Access

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J. Peter Burkholder (Author, Indiana University), Donald Jay Grout (Author, late of Cornell University), Claude V. Palisca (Author, late of Yale University)


The definitive history of Western Music

The definitive survey, combining current scholarship with a vibrant narrative. Carefully informed by feedback from dozens of scholars, it remains the book that students and teachers trust to explain what’s important, where it fits, and why it matters. Peter Burkholder weaves a compelling story of people, their choices, and the western musical tradition that emerged. From chant to hip-hop, he connects past to present to create a context for tomorrow’s musicians.


What’s important, where it fits, why it matters, and who cares.

The book and anthology traverse more than 1000 years of history, music, and musicians. The focus throughout is on understanding the connections between music and its context--whether musical, cultural, or historical. Students learn to apply this knowledge to music they hear, play, or study today. 

The Anthology offers 229 compelling works supported by the pedagogy students need.

This companion anthology in three volumes provides the scores for every major work discussed in the text. The new edition offers 37 new or expanded selections, from new medieval chant examples to 21st-century works by Caroline Shaw and Thomas Adès. Recordings of each work are available for streaming and download. 

Cutting-edge scholarship made accessible for undergraduates

Expert reviewers pored over every chapter to provide detailed recommendations for the revision. Peter Burkholder carefully sifted through these reviews, adapting and integrating suggestions to fit within his clear narrative – always mindful that he is addressing undergraduate readers. Every chapter in the book reflects this process in ways both great and small.  

New media resources that sharpen analytical skills and motivate engagement.

Help students learn more than mere names and dates. Dynamic new tools and content motivate the application of concepts and develop musicological skills. Every new copy of the book provides Total Access, including all activities, study tools, streamed audio from the entire Norton Recorded Anthology of Western Music, and opera excerpts from our exclusive Metropolitan Opera video. 



    1 Music in Antiquity

    2 The Christian Church in the First Millennium

    3 Roman Liturgy and Chant

    4 Song and Dance Music to 1300

    5 Polyphony through the Thirteenth Century

    6 New Developments in the Fourteenth Century



    7 Music and the Renaissance

    8 England and Burgundy in the Fifteenth Century

    9 Franco-Flemish Composers, 1450–1520

    10 Madrigal and Secular Song in the Sixteenth Century

    11 Sacred Music in the Era of the Reformation

    12 The Rise of Instrumental Music


    PART THREE: THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY                      

    13 New Styles in the Seventeenth Century

    14 The Invention of Opera

    15   Music for Chamber and Church in the Early Seventeenth Century

    16  France, England, Spain, and the New World in the Seventeenth Century

    17  Italy and Germany in the Late Seventh Century



    18  The Early Eighteenth Century in Italy and France

    19  German Composers of the Late Baroque

    20  Musical Taste and Style in the Enlightenment 

    21  Opera and Vocal Music in the Early Classic Period

    22  Instrumental Music: Sonata, Symphony, and Concerto 

    23  Classical Music in the Late Eighteenth Century 



    24  Revolution and Change 

    25  The Romantic Generation: Song and Piano Music 

    26  Romanticism in Classic Forms: Orchestral, Chamber, and Choral Music 

    27  Romantic Opera and Musical Theater to Midcentury

    28  Opera and Musical Theater in the Later Nineteenth Century 

    29  Late Romanticism in Germany and Austria 

    30  Diverging Traditions in the Later Nineteenth Century



    31 The Early Twentieth Century: Vernacular Music

    32 The Early Twentieth Century: The Classical Tradition

    33 Radical Modernists

    34  Between the World Wars: Jazz and Popular Music

    35  Between the World Wars: The Classical Tradition

    36  Postwar Crosscurrents

    37  Postwar Heirs to the Classical Tradition

    38  The End of the Millennium

    39  Music in the Twenty-First Century