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Roots of the ClassicalThe Popular Origins of Western Music$
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Peter Van der Merwe

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780198166474

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198166474.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Roots of the Classical

Peter van der Merwe

Oxford University Press

This introductory chapter points out how grievously scholars have neglected popular influences on classical music. It challenges the tradition of ‘homage musicology’, whereby musical analysis is seen as a gesture of reverence towards the great composers. The banal, commonplace, or third-rate are equally worthy of study, and historically at least equally important. Further, the chapter introduces the main theoretical theme of the book: melody and its patterns, as found particularly in the simplest and most spontaneous music. Everything else — harmony, polyphony, and tonality — is an elaboration on these.

Keywords:   classical music, popular influences, melody, harmony, homage musicology

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