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Discovering Music

Third Edition

R. Larry Todd

Publication Date - November 2022

ISBN: 9780197611166

608 pages

Make your Music Appreciation course as inspiring as the music it covers.


Discovering Music offers the context that students need to appreciate music, in a concise format that is visually appealing. Written to inspire students to connect intellectually and emotionally with music from the Western canon and beyond, the text is supported by a suite of digital resources, including new How to Listen pedagogy that helps students deepen their listening experience.

The book opens with an introduction to the musical elements; the instruments of the orchestra; and a discussion of how to listen to music. New Learn to Listen pedagogy helps students experience and understand the elements of music. Then, each musical era is highlighted in individual parts, with a brief introduction to the key composers and developments that occurred in music and the related arts. Interactive Listening Maps offer guidance to students on how and why to listen to each work.

New to this Edition

  • New digital How to Listen pedagogy helps students develop listening skills.
  • New digital Learn to Listen pedagogy helps students understand the elements of music.
  • The text features new selections by Joseph Bologne, Harry Burleigh, and Caroline Shaw


  • Interactive Listening Maps for each composition offer unique guidance to students on how and why to listen to each work
  • An introduction to the elements of music, accompanied by digital learn to listen pedagogy, helps students understand what they hear.
  • Global Connections features introduce students to a wide range of world muic.

About the Author(s)

R. Larry Todd is the Arts & Sciences Professor of Music, at Duke University. He has been recognized in
the New York Times as "the dean of Mendelssohn scholars” in the United States, having authored the
definitive biographies of both Mendelssohn and his sister Fanny (both published by Oxford University
Press). He is the series editor for the Routledge Studies in Musical Genres. He has served as a
Guggenheim fellow and fellow of the National Humanities Center. Todd is also a performing pianist who
has recorded and performed extensively.


"Nothing comes close to Discovering Music in terms of value, quality and extra resources. This book does a fantastic job at giving an overview of music history. It can be difficult to get the balance right talking about too few pieces or too many; or getting too in depth for undergraduates or too shallow. Discovering Music gets it right. It's got a great selection and diversity of pieces without getting too bogged down on any one topic. It is near-perfectly paced for a one semester course on music appreciation. Best of all, it is a great value for students and has lots of complementary resources making it easy for the instructors to prepare and teach." - Michael Wahlquist, Brigham Young University

"It ranks up there with the best of Music Appreciation textbooks." - Kevin Ayesh, Blue Ridge Community College

"This text provides an overview of music history in a typical chronological order using examples of both the traditional canonic composers and more inclusive multi-gendered and multiracial examples. Audio and video examples are included within the text and integrated multi-level listening guides help students listen deeply to the works." - Melissa Cummins, Sam Houston State University

Table of Contents

    About the Author

    PART I The Elements of Music
    The Listening Experience
    Musical Elements: An Overview
    What Is Classical Music?

    CHAPTER 1 Pitch, Melody, and Key
    Notating Pitch
    making connections: The Physics of Sound: The Octave
    making connections: The Ancient Greeks and Consonances
    check your knowledge

    CHAPTER 2 Rhythm, Meter, Texture, and Dynamics
    Rhythmic Values
    Tempo Markings
    making connections: The Metronome
    Pulse or Beat
    making connections: The Sound of Silence
    check your knowledge

    CHAPTER 3 Timbre, Instruments, and Ensembles
    The Voice
    The Family of Musical Instruments
    Musical Ensembles
    Benjamin Britten, The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra (1946)
    check your knowledge
    listening map 1: Benjamin Britten, The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra [1946]

    CHAPTER 4 Musical Form
    Binary and Ternary Form
    making connections: Musical Form in Architecture and Painting
    check your knowledge

    CHAPTER 5 Learning How to Listen
    Listening to Hamilton, "My Shot"
    Mapping the Listening Experience
    listening map 2: Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton, "My Shot" [2015]
    check your knowledge

    part i summary

    PART II?The Middle Ages
    Why Listen to Medieval Music?
    Milestones of the Medieval Era

    CHAPTER 6 Origins of Medieval Music
    check your knowledge

    CHAPTER 7 Music for the Christian Church
    Gregorian Chant
    The Divine Office and the Mass
    Medieval Christmas Music: Viderunt omnes
    check your knowledge
    listening map 3: Anonymous, Viderunt omnes ("All the Ends of the Earth") [fifth century]

    CHAPTER 8 Hildegard of Bingen
    listening map 4: Hildegard of Bingen, O viridissima virga ("O Greenest Branch") [twelfth century]
    check your knowledge

    CHAPTER 9 Léonin and the Rise of Polyphony
    making connections: Gothic Cathedrals and Polyphonic Architecture
    check your knowledge
    listening map 5: Léonin, First Respond from Viderunt omnes ("All the Ends of the Earth") [twelfth century]

    CHAPTER 10 Secular Medieval Music
    Musical Instruments
    Secular Medieval Song
    check your knowledge

    CHAPTER 11 Machaut and the Rise of Secular Polyphony
    check your knowledge
    listening map 6: Guillaume de Machaut, Puis qu'en oubli sui de vous ("Since you have forgotten me") [ca. 1365]

    part ii summary
    global connections:
    Myanmar: Buddhist Chant and Ritual Music
    making connections: Music for Celebrations

    PART III The Renaissance
    Why Listen to Renaissance Music?
    Classical Revival
    Artists as Individual Creators
    Transition to Modernity

    CHAPTER 12 The Development of Renaissance Music
    making connections: The Renaissance Rediscovers Classical Antiquity
    check your knowledge

    CHAPTER 13 Guillaume Dufay and the Franco-Flemish Style
    making connections: Brunelleschi's Dome
    listening map 7: Guillaume Dufay, Mass Se la face ay pale, Kyrie [ca. 1450]
    check your knowledge

    CHAPTER 14 Josquin Desprez
    making connections: Lorenzo the Magnificent
    check your knowledge
    listening map 8: Josquin Desprez, Ave Maria [ca. 1485]

    CHAPTER 15 Palestrina and the Counter-Reformation
    making connections: Martin Luther and the Reformation
    check your knowledge

    CHAPTER 16 New Currents: National Styles
    The Italian Madrigal
    making connections: Art Imitates Life: The Shocking Music of Carlo Gesualdo, Prince of Venosa
    The English Madrigal
    listening map 9: Thomas Weelkes, "As Vesta Was from Latmos Hill Descending" [1601]
    check your knowledge

    CHAPTER 17 The Rise of Instrumental Music
    making connections: The English Reformation
    listening map 10: William Byrd, "Pavana Lachrymae" for harpsichord solo, based on John Dowland's lute song "Flow My Tears" [ca. 1600]
    check your knowledge

    part iii summary
    global connections:
    Bali: Gamelan Music
    making connections: The Gamelan and the West

    PART IV The Baroque
    Why Listen to Baroque Music?
    Baroque Art and Architecture
    The Musical Legacy of the Baroque

    CHAPTER 18 Elements of Baroque Music
    The Development of Tonality
    The Basso Continuo
    Melody, Rhythm, and Dynamics in Baroque Music
    check your knowledge

    CHAPTER 19 Claudio Monteverdi and the Rise of Italian Opera
    making connections: St. Mark's Basilica, Venice
    making connections: Orfeo and the Rise of the Orchestra
    listening map 11: Claudio Monteverdi, Orfeo, Act III, "Possente spirto" ("O Powerful Spirit"), excerpt [1607]
    Barbara Strozzi and the Chamber Cantata
    listening map 12: Barbara Strozzi, "Voglio morire" ("I Wish to Die") from L'Amante segreto (The Secret Lover) [1651]
    check your knowledge

    CHAPTER 20 The Spread of Opera
    Opera in France
    making connections: Music as Royal Power: Lully at the Court of Louis XIV
    Henry Purcell and English Opera
    check your knowledge
    listening map 13: Henry Purcell, Dido and Aeneas, Act III, "When I Am Laid in Earth" [1689]

    CHAPTER 21 Baroque Instrumental Music
    The Violin Family
    The Harpsichord
    The Organ
    New Musical Genres
    Arcangelo Corelli
    The Baroque Concerto
    listening map 14: Arcangelo Corelli, Trio Sonata in A Minor, Op. 3 No. 10 [1689]
    check your knowledge

    CHAPTER 22 Antonio Vivaldi
    listening map 15: Antonio Vivaldi, Spring from The Four Seasons, Op. 8 No. 1, First Movement [ca. 1725]
    check your knowledge

    CHAPTER 23 Johann Sebastian Bach's Life and Career
    Bach's Early Life and Career Beginnings
    The Move to Cöthen
    Final Years in Leipzig
    making connections: Bach's Children and Wives
    check your knowledge

    CHAPTER 24 Bach's Instrumental Music
    Bach and the Fugue
    making connections: Fugues beyond Music
    listening map 16: J. S. Bach, “Little” Fugue in G Minor for Organ [ca. 1708-1717]
    Bach's Concertos
    check your knowledge
    listening map 17: J. S. Bach, Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 in D Major, First Movement [1721 or earlier]

    CHAPTER 25 Bach's Sacred Music
    Bach's Cantatas
    making connections: A Tale of Two Churches
    listening map 18: J. S. Bach, Cantata No. 140, Wachet auf (Sleepers, Awake!), First Movement [1731]
    Bach's Other Religious Music
    check your knowledge

    CHAPTER 26 George Frideric Handel
    making connections: Handel versus Bach: Two Baroque Titans Compared
    Handel's Life and Career
    listening map 19: G.F. Handel, Water Music: Alla Hornpipe [1717]
    Handel and Italian Opera
    check your knowledge

    CHAPTER 27 Handel and the English Oratorio
    making connections: Handel, the Duke of Cumberland, and Bonnie Prince Charlie
    making connections: Handel's Messiah and Jonathan Swift
    listening map 20: G.F. Handel, Messiah, Aria, "Rejoice Greatly, O Daughter of Zion" [1742]
    listening map 21: G.F. Handel, Messiah, "Hallelujah" Chorus [1742]
    making connections: Standing Up for Handel
    check your knowledge

    CHAPTER 28 The End of the Baroque
    check your knowledge

    part iv summary
    global connections:
    Japan: The Koto
    making connections: Musical Representations of Spring

    PART V The Classical Period
    Why Listen to Music from the Classical Period?
    The Enlightenment
    The Revival of Antiquity

    CHAPTER 29 Music in the Classical Period
    Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de St. Georges
    LISTENING MAP 22: Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de St. Georges, Violin Concerto in A major, Op. 5 No. 2, Rondeau [ca. 1775]
    Melody in Classical Music
    making connections: Balance in Neoclassical Art and Architecture
    Dynamics in Classical Music
    Rhythm in Classical Music
    Harmony and Texture in Classical Music
    check your knowledge

    CHAPTER 30 Genres and Forms in Classical Music
    New Instrumental Genres
    Sonata Form
    Theme and Variations Form
    Minuet and Trio
    listening map 23 W.A. Mozart, Eine kleine Nachtmusik (A Little Night Music), K. 525, First Movement, Allegro [1787]
    listening map 24 Franz Joseph Haydn, Symphony No. 94 in G Major ("Surprise"), Second Movement (Andante) [1791]
    Rondo Form
    listening map 25 W.A. Mozart, Eine kleine Nachtmusik (A Little Night Music), K. 525, Third Movement (Allegretto) [1787]
    making connections: The Rise of the Minuet
    listening map 26 Ludwig van Beethoven, Piano Sonata in C Minor, Op. 13 ("Pathétique"), Third Movement (Allegro) [1798]
    check your knowledge

    CHAPTER 31 Joseph Haydn
    Haydn's Life and Music
    making connections: The Esterházys and Haydn
    Haydn and the Classical Orchestra
    making connections: Haydn in England
    Haydn and the String Quartet
    listening map 27 Franz Joseph Haydn, Symphony No. 94 in G Major ("Surprise"), Fourth Movement (Allegro Molto) [1791]
    Haydn's Influence
    listening map 28 Franz Joseph Haydn, String Quartet in G Major, Op. 76 No. 3 ("Emperor"), Second Movement (Poco adagio, cantabile) [1797]
    making connections: The Politics of Haydn's "Emperor's Hymn"
    check your knowledge

    CHAPTER 32 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Mozart's Life and Career
    making connections: Mozart as Freemason
    making connections: Mozart and Posterity
    Mozart and the Classical Concerto
    Maria Theresia von Paradis: "The Blind Enchantress"
    listening map 29 Maria Theresia von Paradis, "Morgenlied eines armen Mannes" ("The Morning Song of a Poor Man") [1786]
    Mozart and Italian Opera
    listening map 230 W.A. Mozart, Piano Concerto No. 23 in A Major, K. 488, First Movement (Allegro) [1786]
    Mozart and German Opera
    listening map 31 W.A. Mozart, The Marriage of Figaro, K. 492, Act I, Scene 2, Figaro, "Se vuol ballare" ("If you want to dance") [1786]
    listening map 32: W.A. Mozart, The Magic Flute, K. 620, Act II, Scene?3, Queen of the Night, "Der Hölle Rache" ("Vengeance of Hell") [1791]
    Mozart's Legacy
    check your knowledge

    CHAPTER 33 Ludwig van Beethoven
    Beethoven's Early Period
    making connections: Beethoven and Haydn
    Beethoven's Middle Period
    listening map 33 Ludwig van Beethoven, Piano Sonata in C-Sharp Minor, Op. 27 No. 2 ("Moonlight"), First Movement (Adagio sostenuto) [1801]
    making connections: Napoleon as Romantic Figure
    Beethoven's Fifth Symphony in C minor
    making connections: Finding Meaning in Beethoven's Fifth Symphony
    listening map 34 Ludwig van Beethoven, Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, First Movement (Allegro con brio) [1808]
    listening map 35: Ludwig van Beethoven, Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Second Movement (Andante con moto) [1808]
    listening map 36 Ludwig van Beethoven, Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Third Movement (Allegro) [1808]
    Beethoven's Late Period
    listening map 37 Ludwig van Beethoven, Symphony No. 5 in C Minor, Fourth Movement (Allegro) [1808]
    Beethoven's Death and Funeral
    Beethoven's Legacy
    check your knowledge

    part v summary
    global connections:
    Thailand: Music of the Khaen
    making connections: Free-Reed Instruments

    PART VI The Romantic Period
    Why Listen to Romantic Music?
    Romantic Movements

    CHAPTER 34 Music in the Romantic Period
    Melody in Romantic Music
    Dynamics and Expression Marks in Romantic Music
    Tempo and Rhythm in Romantic Music
    Harmony and Tonality in Romantic Music
    Forms and Genres in Romantic Music
    Timbre and Tone Color in Romantic Music
    making connections: Romantic Content in Program Music
    check your knowledge

    CHAPTER 35 Art Song
    making connections: Lyric Poetry and Us
    Schubert's Life
    Schubert's Lieder
    making connections: Goethe and Music
    Schubert's "Erlking"
    listening map 38 Franz Schubert, "Erlkönig" ("The Erlking") [1815]
    Robert Schumann
    Schumann's Dichterliebe, Op. 48
    Clara Schumann
    listening map 39 Robert Schumann, "Im wunderschönen Monat Mai" ("In the Lovely Month of May"), from Dichterliebe (Poet's Love) [1840]
    Clara Schumann, "Liebst du um Schönheit" ("If You Love for Beauty")
    listening map 40: Clara Schumann, "Liebst du um Schönheit" ("If You Love for Beauty") [1841]
    making connections: Clara Schumann as Composer
    check your knowledge

    CHAPTER 36 Piano Music
    making connections: The Age of the Virtuoso
    Frédéric Chopin
    making connections: A Double Portrait by Delacroix
    listening map 41 Frédéric Chopin, Nocturne in E-Flat Major for Piano, Op. 9 No. 2 [1831]
    listening map 42: Frédéric Chopin, Prelude in D Minor for Piano, Op. 28 No. 24 [1839]
    Franz Liszt
    making connections: Lisztomania
    Fanny Hensel
    listening map 43: Franz Liszt, Petrarch Sonnet No. 104 [1858]
    listening map 44: Fanny Hensel, “Il Saltarello Romano” ("The Roman Saltarello") in A Minor, Op. 6 No. 4 [1841]
    check your knowledge

    CHAPTER 37 Orchestral Music
    Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy
    making connections: Mendelssohn as Conductor
    listening map 45: Felix Mendelssohn, Overture to A Midsummer Night's Dream, Op. 21 [1826]
    Hector Berlioz
    making connections: The Romantics and Opium
    listening map 46: Hector Berlioz, Fantastic Symphony, Finale, "Dream of a Witches' Sabbath" [1830]
    check your knowledge

    CHAPTER 38 Romantic Opera
    Italian Romantic Opera
    French Romantic Opera
    listening map 47: Giuseppe Verdi, Rigoletto, Act III, Canzone, “La donna è mobile” ("Woman Is Fickle") [1851]
    German Romantic Opera
    making connections: Musical Cues in Wagner and Beyond
    listening map 48: Richard Wagner, Das Rheingold, concluding scene, "The Gods' Entrance into Valhalla" [1854]
    check your knowledge

    CHAPTER 39 Musical Nationalism and Realism
    Nationalism in Music
    making connections: Nationalism in Art
    Antonín Dvorák
    making connections: Jeanette Thurber and Music Patronage, Americanized
    Russian Music
    listening map 49: Antonín Dvorák, Symphony No. 9 ("From the New World"), Second Movement, Largo [1893]
    Harry T. Burleigh
    LISTENING MAP 50: Harry T. Burleigh, Deep River (1916)
    listening map 51: Modest Mussorgsky, Pictures at an Exhibition, "The Great Gate of Kiev" (1874), orchestrated by Maurice Ravel [1922]
    making connections: The Afterlife of La Bohème
    listening map 52: Georges Bizet, Carmen, Act 1, Habanera [1875]
    check your knowledge

    CHAPTER 40 Late Nineteenth-Century Romanticism
    Johannes Brahms
    LISTENING MAP 53: Johannes Brahms, Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 77, Third Movement
    Pyotr Tchaikovsky
    LISTENING MAP 54: Tchaikovsky, Romeo and Juliet [1880]
    Program Music of the Late Nineteenth Century
    Gustav Mahler
    LISTENING MAP 55: Gustav Mahler, Songs of a Wayfarer, No. 2 [1896]

    part vi summary
    global connections: North India: Rhythm in Hindustani Music
    MAKING CONNECTIONS: Rhythmic Patterns

    PART VII The Modern Era
    Why Listen to Music from the Modern Era?
    Modernist Innovations

    CHAPTER 41 Music in the Twentieth Century
    Alternatives to Tonality
    Arnold Schoenberg and the Rejection of Tonality
    making connections: Atonality and Soundtracks
    New Experiments with Rhythm and Timbre
    check your knowledge

    CHAPTER 42 The Modernist Revolution
    Claude Debussy
    making connections: The Eiffel Tower as Modernist Icon
    making connections: Symbolism
    listening map 56: Claude Debussy, Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun [1894]
    Igor Stravinsky
    making connections: The Ballets Russes
    listening map 57: Igor Stravinsky, The Rite of Spring, "Introduction" and "Augurs of Spring: Dance of the Adolescents" [1913]
    Arnold Schoenberg
    making connections: Wassily Kandinsky and German Expressionism
    listening map 58: Arnold Schoenberg, Pierrot lunaire, No. 5, "Valse de Chopin" [1912]
    Alban Berg and Anton von Webern
    check your knowledge

    CHAPTER 43 Neoclassicism
    Sergei Prokofiev
    making connections: Music in the Soviet Union
    Stravinsky and Neoclassicism
    listening map 59: Sergei Prokofiev, "Classical" Symphony, First Movement [1917]
    listening map 60: Igor Stravinsky, Symphony of Psalms, Second Movement (Psalm 40:1-3) [1930]
    making connections: Stravinsky as Lecturer
    Béla Bartók
    making connections: Palindromes and Musical Symmetries
    check your knowledge
    listening map 61: Béla Bartók, Music for String Instruments, Percussion and Celesta, Third Movement [1936]

    CHAPTER 44 National Styles
    English Music
    Dmitri Shostakovich and Russian Music
    check your knowledge
    listening map 62: Dmitri Shostakovich, Symphony No. 5, Second Movement [1937]

    CHAPTER 45 American Music: Beginnings to Aaron Copland
    Amy Beach
    Charles Ives
    listening map 63: Amy Beach, Romance for Violin and Piano, Op. 23 [1893]
    listening map 64: Charles Ives, General William Booth Enters into Heaven [1914]
    William Grant Still
    listening map 65: William Grant Still, "Afro-American" Symphony, Third Movement ("Humor") [1930]
    making connections: The Harlem Renaissance and the "New Negro"
    George Gershwin
    making connections: Rhapsody in Blue: An Icon of American Music
    Aaron Copland
    listening map 66: Aaron Copland, Appalachian Spring, Section 7: Variations on the Shaker melody "Simple Gifts" [1944]
    check your knowledge

    CHAPTER 46 Jazz
    The Rise of Jazz: Ragtime and Blues
    making connections: Robert Johnson and the Blues as Literature
    listening map 67: Bessie Smith, "Lost Your Head Blues" [1926]
    Early Jazz: New Orleans and Beyond
    The Birth of Swing Music
    Duke Ellington
    listening map 68: Duke Ellington, "Mood Indigo" [1930]
    The Birth of Bebop
    listening map 69: Charlie Parker, "Constellation" [1948]
    Cool and Free Jazz
    listening map 70: Miles Davis, Bitches Brew ("Miles Runs the Voodoo Down," opening section) [1969]
    check your knowledge

    CHAPTER 47 Film Music, Musicals, and Contemporary Popular Styles
    The Rise of Film Music
    listening map 71: John Williams, "Imperial March" from The Empire Strikes Back [1980]
    Contemporary Popular Styles
    making connections: The Many Roles of Leonard Bernstein
    listening map 72: Leonard Bernstein, West Side Story, Balcony Scene, "Tonight" [1957]
    making connections: The '60s: Music of Protest
    check your knowledge

    CHAPTER 48 The Eclipse of Modernism: New Frontiers
    The New Order: Total Serialism
    New Resources in Sound
    making connections: An Early Electronic Studio
    listening map 73: Edgard Varèse, Poème électronique (Electronic Poem), opening 2'36" [1958]
    Further Developments in Electronic Music
    listening map 74: John Cage, 4'33" [1951]
    making connections: Across the Arts: John Cage, Robert Rauschenberg, and Merce Cunningham
    Women and Contemporary Music
    listening map 75: Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, Concerto grosso, First Movement [1985]
    making connections: Minimalism in the Visual Arts
    listening map 76: John Adams, Short Ride in a Fast Machine [1986]
    Into the Twenty-First Century
    The Future
    listening map 77: Sofia Gubaidulina, Violin Concerto No. 2 ("In tempus praesens"), opening section [2007]
    LISTENING MAP 78: Caroline Shaw, The Orangery [2015]
    check your knowledge

    part vii summary
    making connections: BRAZILIAN MUSIC AND THE WORLD