Books to Look Out for in August 2020

Welcome to August! Discover the music of Naftule Brandwein and Dave Tarras, examine the ways in which sixteenth-century understandings of the world were framed by classical theory, gain fresh insights into the development of the tournament as an opportunity for social display and enjoy the classic guide to exploring English local history.

Remember, you can get 35% off all of our titles featured in this post with promo code BB685.

Until next time!

New York Klezmer in the Early Twentieth Century

The Music of Naftule Brandwein and Dave Tarras

Joel E. Rubin

Klezmer is one of the most popular world music genres. The celebratory music of eastern European Jews, it was brought to North America in the late nineteenth century, where it flourished for decades. No two musicians represent New York klezmer more than clarinetists Brandwein and Tarras. Their legacy has had an enduring impact and helped to spur the revival of klezmer. Using their iconic recordings, the book looks at the inner workings of klezmer. It places their music within a larger context stretching from Europe of the past to the United States of the present.

English Local History

An Introduction

Kate Tiller

This is a book for anyone wanting to explore local history in England. It summarises, in an accessible and authoritative way, current knowledge and approaches, bringing together and illustrating the key sources and evidence, the skills and tools, the contexts and interpretations for successive periods. A standard text since its first edition in 1992, this new edition features extensive fresh material, updated to reflect additional availability of evidence, changing interpretations, new tools and skills (not least the use of IT), and developments in the time periods and topics tackled by local historians. Complemented by 163 illustrations, the book offers an unrivalled introduction to understanding and researching local history.

The Medieval Tournament as Spectacle

Tourneys, Jousts and Pas d’Armes, 1100-1600

Edited by Alan V. Murray & Karen Watts

The period from the thirteenth to the sixteenth century witnessed a rapid development of the tournament. Alongside the original tourney – a mass battle fought between opposing armies of knights with minimal and rudimentary regulation – new forms of chivalric military contests emerged, in which entertainment featured alongside the necessity of practice for war. This volume brings together the latest research on the late medieval tournament, demonstrating how such events, particularly at the courts of France, Burgundy, England and the German principalities, were increasingly integrated in wider festivities, ceremonies and diplomatic negotiations. Published in association with the Royal Armouries, it will appeal to all those interested in chivalric culture and medieval warfare.

Framing the World

Classical Influences on Sixteenth-Century Geographical Thought

Margaret Small

This book explores the ways in which Greek and Roman ideas influenced sixteenth-century understandings of the world. Small demonstrates that humanist geographers used the theories of classical authors to frame their understandings of newly discovered lands as available for colonization and exploitation. As such, the coincidence of the ages of Renaissance and European expansion is shown to have provided the foundation for an era of expansionism and globalization.

Nadia Boulanger

Thoughts on Music

Edited by Jeanice Brooks & Kimberly Francis

“Living in the realm of music is such a source of joy to me that I was determined to share it in my teaching with all the means in my power.” Nadia Boulanger

Although she was a performer, a composer, and a conductor of some of the world’s great orchestras, it was through her genius as a pedagogue that Nadia Boulanger won world renown. Venerated, feared, or opposed, she was as famous as the most prestigious performers, or the best-known conductors. And for the first three-quarters of this century, a host of musicians, young and old, crowded around Boulanger’s piano where, with rigor and passion, she revealed a musical universe previously unknown to them.

Debating with Demons

Pedagogy and Materiality in Early English Literature

Christina M. Heckman

In early English literature ca 700-1000 C.E., demons are represented as teachers who use methods of persuasion and argumentation to influence their “pupils”. By deploying these methods, related to the liberal arts of rhetoric and dialectic, demons become masters of verbal manipulation. Their pupils are frequently women or Jews, seemingly marginal figures but who often oppose the authority of demonic pedagogues and challenge their deceptive lessons. This book argues that these encounters between demonic teachers and their pupils are both epistemological, altering the pupils’ knowledge, and ontological, affecting their state of being. As the pupils “learn”, the physical locations they occupy align with rhetorical and dialectical topoi, or conceptual spaces in the mind, as minds, souls, bodies, and places are integrated into cohesive lived experience.

The Flageolet in England, 1660-1914

Douglas MacMillan

The flageolet is a small recorder-like instrument dating back to the seventeenth century. Predominantly an instrument of the amateur, the flageolet seldom featured in the orchestra but nevertheless occupied a unique niche in musical history. Macmillan traces the popularity of this instrument over time, form its early history to its hey-day in the nineteenth century. While this book carefully examines the organology of each type of flageolet, this study also provides insights into societal aspects of musical performance. Of interest to woodwind organologists and players of the flute and recorder, MacMillan’s study is also useful to those who study the integration of musical instruments and their repertoire into the society within which they were made and played.


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