A Natural History of the Piano: The Instrument, the Music, the Musicians--from Mozart to Modern Jazz and Everything in Between


by: Isacoff, Stuart
Format: Paperback

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Product Description A fascinating celebration of the piano, including tales of its masters from Mozart and Beethoven to Oscar Peterson and Jerry Lee Lewis, told with the expertise of composer and author of Temperament, Stuart Isacoff.  This history takes us back to the piano's humble genesis as a simple keyboard, and shows how everyone from Ferdinando de’ Medici to Herbie Hancock affected its evolution of sound and influence in popular music. Presenting the instrument that has been at the core of musical development over the centuries in all its beauty and complexity, this explores the piano’s capabilities and the range of emotional expression it conveys in different artists’ hands. A Natural History of the Piano is fast-paced and intriguing, with beautiful illustrations and photos, a must-read for music lovers and pianists of every level.  Review Praise for Stuart Isacoff's A Natural History of the Piano:“Isacoff’s heartfelt history of the piano will make you want to Stop! Read! and then go Listen! . . . Like listening to a fascinating raconteur who informs and entertains and really knows his stuff . . . Passion and unstoppable enthusiasm are palpable throughout this beautifully written and illustrated book.” —Eugenia Zukerman, The Washington Post “A generous, welcoming book, full of oddities and insights. . . . A history written by a pianist and historian with a lively touch and a reach that spans octaves of science, culture and politics.” —The Dallas Morning News “Anybody who cares about the piano—past, present and future—will find this book irresistible reading.” —Tim Page  “Wonderful. . . . The perfect gift book . . . So layered with anecdote that it reads like a novel or a good biography.” —Hudson Valley News “Isacoff follows the piano into the honkytonk, the drawing room, the middle-class home and the jazz club, tracking the evolution of the physical instrument itself as well as the composers and performers who made the piano an emblem of cultural variety and a laboratory for musical form.” —The Wall Street Journal “That rarest of treats: a substantial book about music that’s actually easy to read. . . . As a primer on the piano and music history . . . it executes the job with distinction.” —The Plain Dealer “A big slice of heaven for piano lovers.” —Booklist  “An exhaustive and entertaining cultural history of the piano . . . ‘Sparkling discourse’ is his aim, and he succeeds . . . An enjoyable read.” —The Star-Ledger “Fascinating. . . . A rare journey of discovery and delight. . . . Every detail is conveyed with a vivid sense of ‘you are there,’ and on every page we sense Mr. Isacoff’s enthusiasm and lifelong dedication to the art of the piano. . . . This is no obvious retelling of the piano’s development. . . . It contains a wealth of information, lavish illustrations, thought-provoking comments, and, most of all, it is a pleasure to read.” —Clavier Companion  “Deft . . . In A Natural History of the Piano, Isacoff proves as fleet-fingered as any virtuoso.” —The Chronicle of Higher Education “It’s almost like listening to the music as you read Isacoff’s relaxed, compelling prose.” —Huffington Post “[A] historical tribute to the piano.”—NPR “A lively, virtually all-inclusive survey of all things pianistic . . . Isacoff’s ability to convey his formidable erudition in the most engaging terms, coupled with his infectious enthusiasm for music of all kinds, make this a charming and highly readable potpourri. Informative fun for every variety of music lover.” —Kirkus Reviews  “Engrossing . . . Witty . . . Pianists at all levels, music history buffs, and academics will appreciate Isacoff’s insights and clever way with words; this is an enjoyable and informative book.” —Library Journal “An encyclopedic and argumentative overview of all things piano. . . . Readers will be impressed . . . by the depth and diversity of Isacoff’s research and references.”—Publishers Weekly “Entertaining . . . Crammed with great anecdotes and


Product Code: 9780307279330
ISBN: 0307279332
Publisher: Vintage
Publication Date: 2012-11-20
Number of Pages: 384 pages
Languages: english
Edition: Illustrated
Dimension: 6.69 x 0.91 x 9.02 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds