Daily Archives: May 30, 2018

How to Use Music Legally in Your Work

HOW TO USE MUSIC LEGALLY IN YOUR WORK: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q: WHEN DO I NEED A LICENSE TO USE MUSIC IN MY WORK?

A: You need to acquire a license when you want to take music that you have not personally created and use it as a soundtrack in your production. Acquiring a license gives you the legal right to include someone else’s copyrighted work as a part of your own work.

Q: WHAT IS A COPYRIGHT?

A: Copyright is a federal law that protects creators by giving them exclusive rights to their works. Once a work is under copyright, it is illegal to use the work without the permission of the copyright owner.

Q: HOW DOES COPYRIGHT EFFECT MY DECISION TO USE MUSIC?

A: Music that has been recorded and issued on CD is protected by 2 copyrights. To use a recording of a musical composition in your work, you need to get permission from both copyright holders.

The first permission you need is from the music’s publisher. The music publisher holds the copyright for the actual written music – the melody, the lyrics, the accompaniment, the actual music as it would appear in sheet music. This copyright is shown by using the familiar © symbol.

The second permission is for the recording itself. To get this, you would approach the record company that released the recording. The record company holds the copyright for the actual performance of the song captured and mastered on tape and released on CD. The symbol for this copyright is the letter (P) inside a circle. (look on the back of your own CDs, you will see these symbols in use). (Author’s Note: This is where we used the 2 small graphics in the HTML version showing the (C) and (P) copyrights)

Q: HOW DO I GET PERMISSION TO USE COPYRIGHTED MUSIC?

A: The fact that music is protected by copyright doesn’t mean you cannot use it, it simply means you have to seek permission to use it. To receive that permission you will typically have to pay a licensing fee.

Q: WHAT LICENSE DO I NEED?

A: Here are the licenses you need for the right to use music in your media project:

Synchronization License – This license is issued from the music publisher. The Synchronization License (often abbreviated as sync license) gives you the right to “synchronize” the copyrighted music with your images and dialogue

Note: Having a sync license means you have permission from the publisher to use the music but it doesn’t give you the right to use a specific recording of the composition. For that you need the following…

Master Use License – This license is issued directly from the record company. Fees can range from several hundred dollars to millions of dollars depending on the popularity of the music.

Once you have paid the music publisher for a Sync License and the record company for a Master Use license, you have the legal right to use the music in your production.

*****Sidebar*****
This article is about music that is under copyright and NOT in the public domain. Music written before 1933 is in the public domain and can be used without having to acquire a synchronization license (you still need a master use license if you use a recording of a piece in the public domain). Music written after 1933 is still under copyright according to US law. I hope to discuss the public domain in more detail in a future article.
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Q: WHAT ARE PRODUCTION MUSIC CDS?

A: As you can see from the process described above, licensing music can be a time-intensive, form-laden, and expensive process. Using Production Music CDs (also referred to as Royalty Free Music CDs), is the quickest and easiest way to license music. When you buy music from a production music library, you are immediately granted both synchronization and master use rights to use the music in your work.

Production Music fills a niche for producers who don’t have a million dollar music budget and can’t afford to license a major hit song. Production Music gives the smaller, independent producer the ability to use music soundtracks in his or her production.

Q: IS PRODUCTION MUSIC UNDER COPYRIGHT?

A: Production music is protected by both the (C) and (P) copyrights. When you buy a track from a production music library, you’ll receive a license agreement which gives you both synchronization and master use rights.

Production Music is not copyright-free as some have termed it. It is fully protected by copyright law. With production music you get ease of licensing. You don’t have to contact several sources to seek sync and master use licenses.

Q: CAN I LICENSE A FAMOUS SONG FROM A PRODUCTION MUSIC LIBRARY?

A: There are no production music pop hits. You won’t find an Eminem track in a production music library. To use an Eminem cut you would have to negotiate a license with Interscope Records. That’s not to say you can’t find Hip Hop tracks in production music libraries but you won’t find current or past pop hits.

Unlike a pop song, production music is composed to be used specifically as background music. It is usually instrumental, with no vocals or lyrics, and is similar to a film soundtrack.

Q: HOW OFTEN CAN I USE PRODUCTION MUSIC TRACKS?

A: The license agreement grants you very broad usage rights. For instance, with the license agreement from my company, UniqueTracks, you are not limited to one-time usage; you can use the music again in any other production you create. You don’t have to inform us of your intent to use or report back once the production is complete. Once you have purchased the music, you are free and clear to use it as often as you like within the boundaries stated by the license (i.e. the music has to be used in synchronization with narration or visuals)

The simplicity of Production music licensing makes it a perfect choice for corporate videos, Flash animations, PowerPoint presentations, independent film, multimedia applications, – virtually anywhere where music is helpful but where the project budget doesn’t included hundreds of thousands of dollars to license expensive songs.

 

Music & Emotions: Can Music Really Make You a Happier Person?

How many times have you turned to music to uplift you even further in happy times, or sought the comfort of music when melancholy strikes?

Music affects us all. But only in recent times have scientists sought to explain and quantify the way music impacts us at an emotional level. Researching the links between melody and the mind indicates that listening to and playing music actually can alter how our brains, and therefore our bodies, function.

It seems that the healing power of music, over body and spirit, is only just starting to be understood, even though music therapy is not new. For many years therapists have been advocating the use of music – both listening and study – for the reduction of anxiety and stress, the relief of pain. And music has also been recommended as an aid for positive change in mood and emotional states.

Michael DeBakey, who in 1966 became the first surgeon to successfully implant an artificial heart, is on record saying: “Creating and performing music promotes self-expression and provides self-gratification while giving pleasure to others. In medicine, increasing published reports demonstrate that music has a healing effect on patients.”

Doctors now believe using music therapy in hospitals and nursing homes not only makes people feel better, but also makes them heal faster. And across the nation, medical experts are beginning to apply the new revelations about music’s impact on the brain to treating patients.

In one study, researcher Michael Thaut and his team detailed how victims of stroke, cerebral palsy and Parkinson’s disease who worked to music took bigger, more balanced strides than those whose therapy had no accompaniment.

Other researchers have found the sound of drums may influence how bodies work. Quoted in a 2001 article in USA Today, Suzanne Hasner, chairwoman of the music therapy department at Berklee College of Music in Boston, says even those with dementia or head injuries retain musical ability.

The article reported results of an experiment in which researchers from the Mind-Body Wellness Center in Meadville, Pa., tracked 111 cancer patients who played drums for 30 minutes a day. They found strengthened immune systems and increased levels of cancer-fighting cells in many of the patients.

“Deep in our long-term memory is this rehearsed music,” Hasner says. “It is processed in the emotional part of the brain, the amygdala. Here’s where you remember the music played at your wedding, the music of your first love, that first dance. Such things can still be remembered even in people with progressive diseases. It can be a window, a way to reach them…”

The American Music Therapy Organization claims music therapy may allow for “emotional intimacy with families and caregivers, relaxation for the entire family, and meaningful time spent together in a positive, creative way”.

Scientists have been making progress in its exploration into why music should have this effect. In 2001 Dr. Anne Blood and Robert Zatorre of McGill University in Montreal, used positron emission tomography, or PET scans, to find out if particular brain structures were stimulated by music.

In their study, Blood and Zatorre asked 10 musicians, five men and five women, to choose stirring music. The subjects were then given PET scans as they listened to four types of audio stimuli – the selected music, other music, general noise or silence. Each sequence was repeated three times in random order.

Blood said when the subjects heard the music that gave them “chills,” the PET scans detected activity in the portions of the brain that are also stimulated by food and sex.

Just why humans developed such a biologically based appreciation of music is still not clear. The appreciation of food and the drive for sex evolved to help the survival of the species, but “music did not develop strictly for survival purposes,” Blood told Associated Press at the time.

She also believes that because music activates the parts of the brain that make us happy, this suggests it can benefit our physical and mental well being.

This is good news for patients undergoing surgical operations who experience anxiety in anticipation of those procedures.

Polish researcher, Zbigniew Kucharski, at the Medical Academy of Warsaw, studied the effect of acoustic therapy for fear management in dental patients. During the period from October 2001 to May 2002, 38 dental patients aged between 16 and 60 years were observed. The patients received variations of acoustic therapy, a practice where music is received via headphones and also vibrators.

Dr Kucharski discovered the negative feelings decreased five-fold for patients who received 30 minutes of acoustic therapy both before and after their dental procedure. For the group that heard and felt music only prior to the operation, the fearful feelings reduced by a factor of 1.6 only.

For the last group (the control), which received acoustic therapy only during the operation, there was no change in the degree of fear felt.

A 1992 study identified music listening and relaxation instruction as an effective way to reduce pain and anxiety in women undergoing painful gynecological procedures. And other studies have proved music can reduce other ‘negative’ human emotions like fear, distress and depression.

Sheri Robb and a team of researchers published a report in the Journal of Music Therapy in 1992, outlining their findings that music assisted relaxation procedures (music listening, deep breathing and other exercises) effectively reduced anxiety in pediatric surgical patients on a burn unit.

“Music,” says Esther Mok in the AORN Journal in February 2003, “is an easily administered, non-threatening, non-invasive, and inexpensive tool to calm preoperative anxiety.”

So far, according to the same report, researchers cannot be certain why music has a calming affect on many medical patients. One school of thought believes music may reduce stress because it can help patients to relax and also lower blood pressure. Another researcher claims music allows the body’s vibrations to synchronize with the rhythms of those around it. For instance, if an anxious patient with a racing heartbeat listens to slow music, his heart rate will slow down and synchronize with the music’s rhythm.

Such results are still something of a mystery. The incredible ability that music has to affect and manipulate emotions and the brain is undeniable, and yet still largely inexplicable.

Aside from brain activity, the affect of music on hormone levels in the human body can also be quantified, and there is definite evidence that music can lower levels of cortisol in the body (associated with arousal and stress), and raise levels of melatonin (which can induce sleep). It can also precipitate the release of endorphins, the body’s natural painkiller.

But how does music succeed in prompting emotions within us? And why are these emotions often so powerful? The simple answer is that no one knows… yet. So far we can quantify some of the emotional responses caused by music, but we cannot yet explain them. But that’s OK. I don’t have to understand electricity to benefit from light when I switch on a lamp when I come into a room, and I don’t have to understand why music can make me feel better emotionally. It just does – our Creator made us that way.

 

Music and Healing: The Power of Meaningful Words and Music

We All Have a Favorite Piece of Music that Moves Us to a Special Place in Our Hearts. A Conversion About the Music We Love and How It Colors Our Lives.

JUSTIN:

My favorite piece of music, depends on the mood, jazz is music for all moods. My favorite jazz piece would be – as a sax player – My Favorite Things by Coltrane, or anything by Thelonios Monk. Soft lighting, Kalhua and milk and company always suits Monk or vice versa.

Driving is made for music so anything by crowded house makes a trip to anywhere (even work) worth it. How can a song sound so simplistic yet be difficult to play. what does Neil do?

but my favorite piece would be from the shine soundtrack, a piece called “Nulla in mundo pax” by Vivaldi, which I am listening to now.

IMELDA:

Every piece of music represents the expression of the composer of that music. The piece of music that I like the most is the piano instrumental music because it does not say in words as other kind of music. The person who listens to the instrumental music has to try to understand what messages the composer is trying to tell through the piece of music. It is challenging in finding the meaning. Furthermore, when I listen to the instrumental music, such as “A Maiden’s Prayer” by T. Badarzewska, I believe that this piece is messaging us to surrender to God. If I got chance, I’d love to play my favorite pieces.

KEN:
This is old stuff to those who know me, but I am a huge James Taylor Nut. And my favorite song is ‘The Water is Wide’ If MP3s are legal I will put it up on this site. But I will have to check first.

Every time I hear it, I feel transformed to a different place, where everything is pensive, and people walk in the streets heartbroken, but with the hope that life will be kind to them again. It leaves me with a lump in my throat each time. There is something comforting in the song that leaves me appeased and convinced that whatever trial I’m facing, someone’s faced it before, and someone’s overcome it before.

That’s what music should do. The song and the artist both inspire me endlessly. It inspires me in a way I hope that I can inspire people.

Listen to it if you can find it –Ken

JENNY:

Many times, when I just close my eyes and listen to music I escape to this other level. It does something to appease me, as you put it feeding my soul I guess. I appreciate music very much, which to me is as much art as creating it. Music is a part of everyone’s life, and everyone is connected to it in someway. For me it keeps me going when I’m down, or just makes me happy when I’m happy. I have music for all occasions. All in all, I’d be a very unhappy girl if music were suddenly taken away.

JILLIAN:

At the end of a busy day..
I love listening to music. I did dancing and singing lessons when I was a child but never learnt to play an instrument. This year, at the ripe old age of 40, I decided to learn to read music and play the keyboard. It is all part of having a balanced life, setting goals and taking time for me to do the things that I enjoy.

My nine year old son and I now have lessons at home each week
and are encouraging each other to practice and enjoy our music. It is something we are doing together and I hope that my son
continues to enjoy music and continue playing as he grows up.
I love listening and now playing music to “switch off” and relax at the end of a busy day. I have only had a few lessons so far and play poorly, but I am enjoying it and improving week by week. My son is doing the same and we, as a family, are enjoying playing music, listening and singing along with our simple tunes. I consider the keyboard as my “best buy of the year 2000” so far!

ED:

Divinity..

Music embodies life. A physical and emotional manifestation of divinity, music is an integral part of the loving bond that has fulfilled us and strengthened us, and brought harmony to individuals, societies and nations around the world throughout time.

LINDA:

Without Words..

Music is an expression of what is going on inside a persons’ mind/heart. You don’t need to concentrate to realise its power. I think the most moving music is music performed by an artist who is playing with a passion, who feels precisely, or deeply empathizes with, the meaning and feelings conveyed in the song.

I play the piano by ear. That is, I can listen to music and once the music has made an impression on me , I can more often than not, play back what I heard. I have always played the piano this way (since I was 4) and I wouldn’t have it any other way because its made me sensitive to music – the melody, the beats, the volume and pace of songs.

The most wonderful thing I believe music can bring to a person is when a person can sit down with their instrument and play (and/or sing) whatever feelings they would otherwise keep bottled up inside them – the kind of feelings you just wouldn’t be able to tell another person, the kind of feelings that only music can really bring comfort to.

Many times, when I just close my eyes and listen to music I escape to this other level. It does something to appease me, as you put it feeding my soul I guess. I appreciate music very much, which to me is as much art as creating it. Music is a part of everyone’s life, and everyone is connected to it in someway. For me it keeps me going when I’m down, or just makes me happy when I’m happy. I have music for all occasions. All in all, I’d be a very unhappy girl if music were suddenly taken away.

Jenny and Me:

Okay.. If I don’t play my guitar, Jenny, at least once a day, I get withdrawal. I’m deadly serious here. Its like you forgot something and you left a part of you somewhere… where?? where?? where.. Almost like losing your keys. Music has been part of my life since I was 5, when I was forced to learn piano. Luckily I loved it. Music is like a parent.
My muse is that thing which makes me make music. Like the entity “music” herself or himself. I don’t write really.. Its “it” which speaks through me. People deal with pain, and hurt in different ways. When I have finished blaming myself =)

I talk to jenny and she seems to make it all seem very trivial. and I say thanks jenny.. Sometimes she is moody. People give me strange looks when I say she talks to me. But I believe instruments acquire a soul when they are created. Spirits inhabit them, and they generate karma.
Music feeds my soul in ways I can’t even begin to explain. If you know what I mean, then you are truly blessed too.

Linda:

The most important things..

Music keeps me in touch with life, real life. It reminds me of the basics and the most important things. While we are all rushing around from day to day it is too easy to get wrapped up in ‘getting it all’ done and we forget to get in touch with ourselves and with each other often enough. Music takes us away and provides the ultimate escape for the soul – a renewal, and its free for the taking. We all need to take advantage of what it offers on a daily basis to stay in touch with ‘life’.
Have a good day – and take some time out today to be embraced by music!!

Elaine:

How Music Moves Me

(Apart from the obvious way in wanting to get up and dance around!)
Music moves me in many ways but the most memorable experience I have had was (eyes closed, sitting in an armchair) listening to a particular piece of Mahler’s. At one point the string section builds up to a high note which is so exquisitely haunting and sad that tears streamed down my face. I’m not sure if I knew at the time, but I now know that he wrote this music about the death of his child and I find it amazing that this emotion could be conveyed so clearly.

Most of the time music makes me glad to be alive, but I suppose this experience was more memorable because the emotion was so powerful.

 

Top 50 Music Quotations

Discover the phenomenal complexity of music and reflect on the way it can positively influence your life with this sound collection of riveting quotes…

  1. “Music, the greatest good that mortals know, And all of heaven we have below.” — Joseph Addison
  2. “Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness.” –Maya Angelou
  3. “Music is either good or bad, and it’s got to be learned. You got to have balance.” — Louis Armstrong
  4. “Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” — Berthold Auerbach
  5. “The aim and final end of all music should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul.” –Johann Sebastian Bach
  6. “Music is the mediator between the spiritual and the sensual life.” — Ludwig van Beethoven
  7. “Music – The one incorporeal entrance into the higher world of knowledge which comprehends mankind but which mankind cannot comprehend.” — Ludwig van Beethoven
  8. “Music can change the world. ” — Ludwig Van Beethoven
  9. “Music can name the unnameable and communicate the unknowable.” — Leonard Bernstein
  10. “Music has to breathe and sweat. You have to play it live. ” — James Brown
  11. “Music is well said to be the speech of angels.” — Thomas Carlyle
  12. “All music comes from God.” — Johnny Cash
  13. “If you learn music, you’ll learn most all there is to know. ” — Edgar Cayce
  14. “Music is nothing separate from me. It is me… You’d have to remove the music surgically. ” — Ray Charles
  15. “Good music is good no matter what kind of music it is. ” — Miles Davis
  16. “There is no feeling, except the extremes of fear and grief, that does not find relief in music.” — George Eliot
  17. “You are the music while the music lasts.” –T. S. Eliot
  18. “We need magic, and bliss, and power, myth, and celebration and religion in our lives, and music is a good way to encapsulate a lot of it. ” — Jerry Garcia
  19. “Music is the language of the spirit. It opens the secret of life bringing peace, abolishing strife.” — Kahlil Gibran
  20. “When people hear good music, it makes them homesick for something they never had and never will have.” — Edgar Watson Howe
  21. “Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossile to be silent.” — Victor Hugo
  22. “The history of a people is found in its songs.” — George Jellinek
  23. “Music is the vernacular of the human soul.” — Geoffrey Latham
  24. “It requires wisdom to understand wisdom; the music is nothing if the audience is deaf.” — Walter J. Lippmann
  25. “Just as certain selections of music will nourish your physical body and your emotional layer, so other musical works will bring greater health to your mind.” — Hal A. Lingerman
  26. “Music is the harmonious voice of creation; an echo of the invisible world.” — Giuseppe Mazzini
  27. “Music is a beautiful opiate, if you don’t take it too seriously.” — Henry Miller
  28. “I started making music because I could.” — Alanis Morissette
  29. “Music helps you find the truths you must bring into the rest of your life. ” — Alanis Morissette
  30. “Music is spiritual. The music business is not. ” — Van Morrison
  31. “Like everything else in nature, music is a becoming, and it becomes its full self, when its sounds and laws are used by intelligent man for the production of harmony, and so made the vehicle of emotion and thought.” — Theodore Mungers
  32. “Without music life would be a mistake.” — Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
  33. “In music the passions enjoy themselves.” — Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
  34. “Music is your own experience, your own thoughts, your wisdom. If you don’t live it, it won’t come out of your horn. They teach you there’s a boundary line to music. But, man, there’s no boundary line to art.” — Charlie Parker
  35. “Music should be something that makes you gotta move, inside or outside. ” — Elvis Presley
  36. “It’s the music that kept us all intact, kept us from going crazy. ” — Lou Reed
  37. “The music business was not safe, but it was FUN. It was like falling in love with a woman you know is bad for you, but you love every minute with her, anyway.” — Lionel Richie
  38. “Music should never be harmless.” — Robbie Robertson
  39. “Give me a laundry list and I’ll set it to music.” — Gioacchino Antonio Rossini
  40. “All music is important if it comes from the heart. ” — Carlos Santana
  41. “Music is the key to the female heart.” — Johann G. Seume
  42. “The best music… is essentially there to provide you something to face the world with. ” — Bruce Springsteen
  43. “All I try to do is write music that feels meaningful to me, that has commitment and passion behind it.” — Bruce Springsteen
  44. “In music one must think with the heart and feel with the brain.” –George Szell
  45. “When I hear music, I fear no danger. I am invulnerable. I see no foe. I am related to the earliest times, and to the latest.” — Henry David Thoreau
  46. “For heights and depths no words can reach, music is the soul’s own speech.” –Unknown
  47. “Most of us go to our grave with our music still inside of us.” –Unknown
  48. “I believe in the power of music. To me, it isn’t just a fad. This is a positive thing.” — Eddie Vedder
  49. “Music at its essence is what gives us memories. ” — Stevie Wonder
  50. “There’s a basic rule which runs through all kinds of music, kind of an unwritten rule. I don’t know what it is. But I’ve got it.” — Ron Wood

 

On Writing Music History

Imagine that, as a lover of classical music, you wished to get a broader understanding of the history of music; you wished to grasp the “big picture,” so to speak. Were you to acquire the music history text most widely used in North American colleges and universities, you would encounter a tome describing the works of some five hundred composers. Now I can’t keep five hundred composers in my head, and I don’t think you can either. After all, you want to see the whole picture at once, not temporarily acquire information to be regurgitated on a chapter test and then forgotten to make space for new information.

My ideal music history, therefore, would treat only twenty-four composers, roughly four for each historical period–Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Modern. To be sure, such periodization has fallen into disrepute among professional historians, but it remains useful as a way of organizing the larger perspective. You will probably be familiar with at least half of these composers: Purcell, Vivaldi, Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Berlioz, Wagner, Verdi, Debussy, Stravinsky.

Moreover, my ideal music history would insist on providing an illustration for every assertion–no empty generalizations, please–and would draw all the musical examples for each composer from a single work, so that the repertoire for the history would be limited to twenty-four works, preferably music easily available on iTunes or YouTube. And for medieval music, generally based on plainsong, let the selections, so far as possible, be based on the same piece of plainsong.

Medieval

  • Plainsong, Kyrie Cunctipotens
  • Tuotilo of St. Gall, Kyrie Cunctipotens trope (ca. 900)
  • Cunctipotens genitor (St. Martial School, ca. 1125)
  • Anonymous, En non Diu-Quant voi-Eius in Oriente (13th century)
  • Machaut, Missa Nostre Dame (Kyrie, ca.1364)

Renaissance

  • Dufay, Ave regina coelorum (ca. 1464)
  • Josquin des Pres, Missa Pange Lingua (Agnus Dei; ca.1515)
  • Victoria, Missa O Magnum Mysterium (motet; Kyrie; 2nd half, 16th century)
  • Weelkes, As Vesta Was from Latmos Hill Descending (1601)

Baroque

  • Purcell, Dido and Aeneas (1689), “Dido’s Lament”
  • Buxtehude, Ein feste Burg (2nd half, 17th century)
  • Vivaldi, Concerto Grosso in A Minor, Op.3, No. 8 (1st movement, 1712)
  • Bach, Cantata 140, Wachet auf ruft uns die Stimme (1731) (1st movement)

Classic [46:00]

  • Haydn, String Quartet in C Major, Op. 73, No. 3 (1797) (1st movement)
  • Mozart, The Marriage of Figaro (1786) (Act II Finale)
  • Beethoven, Symphony No. 3 (1st movement, 1803)

Romantic [30:00]

  • Schubert, Erlkönig (1815)
  • Berlioz, Symphonie Fantastique (Dream of a Witches Sabbath, 1830)
  • Wagner, Prelude to Tristan und Isolde (1865)
  • Verdi, Otello (Act I, Drinking Song, 1887)

Modern [23:30]

  • Debussy, La Mer (Jeux de Vagues, 1905)
  • Schoenberg, Five Pieces for Orchestra, Op. 16 (Colors, 1909)
  • Stravinsky, Le Sacre du Printemps (First 4 movements, 1913)
  • Reich, Music for 18 Musicians (I. Pulses, 1976)

Finally, my ideal music history would describe the style of an individual composer or historical period in musical terms. At this point I run into an obstacle. The general public has embraced the vocabulary of art criticism and literary criticism so that one can analyze a painting or a poem without losing the reader. Music criticism enjoys no such common vocabulary, so that university students are often required to take courses in music theory before being permitted to take a music history course.

Writing a self-contained history of classical music in musical terms requires explaining the rudiments of music theory on the fly, so to speak. One partial solution would be to include a glossary of every technical term employed in the book as well as a primer of basic music theory that the reader could consult as necessary. The reader of a book, in contrast to the listener of a lecture, has the advantage of being able to control the pace completely, pausing for explanations of technical terms whenever necessary.

To avoid becoming overly entangled in music theory, my ideal music history would describe works, composers and periods in terms of three overall concepts: time, tonality, and timbre.

· Time in music has several different meanings, including duration, rhythm (in the sense of “beating time”), repetition, and historical time (the placing of individual composers and works along a continuum).

· Tonality refers to the hierarchical organization of musical events with respect to a single unifying pitch. Music from the common practice period, roughly 1600 to 1900, can be described as tonal music. (If asked to name your five favorite pieces of classical music, your choices would very likely come from this period.)

· Timbre refers to the quality of musical sounds. Timbre allows you to distinguish a saxophone from a flute, for example, even when both instruments are playing the same notes. Timbre also allows you to hear the difference between solo singers and a choir of singers.

My ideal music history would never claim to be the final word–nobody would want to limit musical experience to twenty-four works by twenty-four composers–but would offer a picture capable of being held in the mind all at once, and a framework into which additional works and composers could logically be placed.