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The Spheres of Music

A Gathering of Essays

Leonard B. Meyer’s writings on the theory, history, perception, and aesthetics of music have inspired and provoked generations of readers. The Spheres of Music makes available a selection of his most important essays (originally published between 1974 and 1998). Gathering them together in one volume not only enables the essays to "converse" with and illuminate each other, but also allows Meyer to revise, recant, and comment on the ideas they present.

With the same sensitive insight and searching intelligence he has exhibited throughout his career, Meyer transcends the boundaries that so often separate fields of inquiry. The Spheres of Music joins music theory to history, history to culture, culture to aesthetics, aesthetics to psychology, and psychology back to theory. In so doing, the book highlights the complex interrelationships at the heart of the creation, comprehension, and history of music. Diverse and adventurous, The Spheres of Music presents an intriguing and impressive collection of Meyer’s work.

"Ever since the publication of his Emotion and Meaning in Music . . . I have considered Leonard B. Meyer one of the keenest thinkers about music among us."—Winthrop Sargeant, The New Yorker

328 pages | 95 musical examples, 8 tables | 6 x 9 | © 1999

Music: General Music

Table of Contents

I. Prelude
1. Concerning the Sciences, the Arts—AND the Humanities
II. Music, Perception, and Process
2. Grammatical Simplicity and Relational Richness: The Trio of Mozart’s G Minor Symphony
3. Process and Morphology in the Music of Mozart
4. Melodic Processes and the Perception of Music (with Burton S. Rosner)
III. Music, Culture, and History
5. Exploiting Limits: Creation, Archetypes, and Style Change
6. Nature, Nurture, and Convention: The Cadential Six-Four Progression
7. A Pride of Prejudices; Or, Delight in Diversity
IV. Postlude
8. A Universe of Universals

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