The Gift of Music (Expanded and Revised, 3rd Edition): Great Composers and Their Influence

One of the finest achievements of Western culture is its brilliant heritage of classical music. A Gift of Music looks at the lives of the greatest composers who have given us this heritage, and especially at how their music was shaped by their beliefs. The result is a remarkable and inspiring book, showing the importance of Christian faith for many composers, and the effect of this upon their music. But it also shows how the lack of faith has brought profound change in the meaning and form of contemporary music. Thus A Gift of Music seeks to open up a whole new world of music – to encourage listening to the finest compositions with new understanding and pleasure, and to stretch our ears and imaginations. It is a book which will be greatly appreciated by those who already love classical music, and by others who want to explore this delightful world for the first time.

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Small Town, Big Music: The Outsized Influence of Kent, Ohio, on the History of Rock and Roll

Relying on oral histories, hundreds of rare photographs, and original music reviews, this book explores the countercultural fringes of Kent, Ohio, over four decades. Firsthand reminiscences from musicians, promoters, friends, and fans recount arena shows featuring acts like Pink Floyd, The Clash, and Paul Simon as well as the grungy corners of town where Joe Walsh, Patrick Carney, Chrissie Hynde, and DEVO refined their crafts. From back stages, hotel rooms, and the saloons of Kent, readers will travel back in time to the great rockin’ nights hosted in this small town.

More than just a retrospective on performances that occurred in one midwestern college town, Prufer’s book illuminates a fascinating phenomenon: both up-and-coming and major artists knew Kent was a place to play―fertile ground for creativity, spontaneity, and innovation. From the formation of Joe Walsh’s first band, The Measles, and the creation of DEVO in Kent State University’s art department to original performances of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon and serendipitous collaborations like Emmylou Harris and Good Company in the Water Street Saloon, the influence of Kent’s music scene has been powerful. Previously overshadowed by our attention to Cleveland as a true music epicenter, Prufer’s book is an excellent and corrective addition.

Extensively researched for eight years and lavishly illustrated, Small Town, Big Music is the most comprehensive telling of any of these stories in one place. Rock historians and fans alike will want to own this book.

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