The Leading eBooks Store Online 3,693,353 members ⚫ 1,195,028 ebooks

New to

Learn more

The Rest Is Noise

Listening to the Twentieth Century

The Rest Is Noise by Alex Ross
Add to cart
US$ 9.99
(If any tax is payable it will be calculated and shown at checkout.)

The scandal over modern music has not died down. While paintings by Pablo Picasso and Jackson Pollock sell for a hundred million dollars or more, shocking musical works from Stravinsky's Rite of Spring onward still send ripples of unease through audiences. At the same time, the influence of modern music can be felt everywhere. Avant-garde sounds populate the soundtracks of Hollywood thrillers. Minimalist music has had a huge effect on rock, pop, and dance music from the Velvet Underground onward. Alex Ross, the brilliant music critic for The New Yorker, shines a bright light on this secret world, and shows how it has pervaded every corner of twentieth century life.

The Rest Is Noise takes the reader inside the labyrinth of modern sound. It tells of maverick personalities who have resisted the cult of the classical past, struggled against the indifference of a wide public, and defied the will of dictators. Whether they have charmed audiences with the purest beauty or battered them with the purest noise, composers have always been exuberantly of the present, defying the stereotype of classical music as a dying art.

Ross, in this sweeping and dramatic narrative, takes us from Vienna before the First World War to Paris in the twenties, from Hitler's Germany and Stalin's Russia to downtown New York in the sixties and seventies. We follow the rise of mass culture and mass politics, of dramatic new technologies, of hot and cold wars, of experiments, revolutions, riots, and friendships forged and broken. In the tradition of Simon Schama's The Embarrassment of Riches and Louis Menand's The Metaphysical Club, the end result is not so much a history of twentieth-century music as a history of the twentieth century through its music.

Farrar, Straus and Giroux; October 2007
ISBN 9781429932882
Read online, or download in secure EPUB
Title: The Rest Is Noise
Author: Alex Ross
  • News
  • Tweets
Review: John Cage's Historical Niche, a Legacy in Letters - New York Times
Wed, 20 Jul 2016 14:16:25 -0700
New York TimesReview: John Cage's Historical Niche, a Legacy in LettersNew York TimesWe can now see — witness his recurrent ...
The shock of the new: how classical music turned atonal - The Guardian
Fri, 20 May 2016 01:00:59 -0700
The GuardianThe shock of the new: how classical music turned atonalThe GuardianA new book, Every Song Ever, by the New York ...
First Listen: Deerhoof, 'The Magic' - WAMU 88.5
Thu, 16 Jun 2016 09:59:25 -0700
WAMU 88.5First Listen: Deerhoof, 'The Magic'WAMU 88.5“The Devil And His Anarchic Surrealist Retinue” (which borrows its ...