This book focuses on music of the Western tradition in a global context -- from the Middle Ages to the present. Historical and cultural background are clearly explained, but the emphasis is on “active listening.” A number of completely fresh pieces are integrated among the universally acknowledged masterpieces, and all are presented in fine performances, accompanied by illuminating and accessible Listening Guides (coordinated with available CD or cassette). Explores the activity of concentrated Listening. Shows students that music, like literature and the other arts, can be subjected to intellectual and critical thought and analysis. Includes careful consideration of the contributions of women. Examines the often overlooked aspect of patronage and audiences. Features serious analysis of the history of popular music. For anyone interested in music.