Search results for: sound-a-very-short-introduction

Sound

Author : Mike Goldsmith
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Sound is integral to how we experience the world, in the form of noise as well as music. But what is sound? What is the physical basis of pitch and harmony? And how are sound waves exploited in musical instruments? In this Very Short Introduction Mike Goldsmith looks at the science of sound and explores sound in different contexts, covering the audible and inaudible, sound underground and underwater, accoustic and electric, and hearing in humans and animals. He also considers the problem of sound out of place - noise and its reduction. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Sound

Author : Mike Goldsmith
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This very short introduction explores the science of sound and its nature, hearing and harmony. Considering sound we can't hear, the author also covers different sound worlds, as well as noise and its reduction.

Hollywood

Author : Peter Decherney
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"Peter Decherney tells the story of Hollywood, from its nineteenth-century origins to the emergence of internet media empires. Using well-known movies, stars, and directors, the book shows that the elements we take to be a natural part of the Hollywood experience--stars, genre-driven storytelling, blockbuster franchises, etc.--are the product of cultural, political, and commercial forces"--

Waves

Author : Mike Goldsmith
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From sound waves to gravitational waves, and from waves of light to crashing rollers on the ocean, Mike Goldsmith explores the fundamental features shared by all waves in the natural world, and considers the range of phenomena resulting from wave motion, including reflection, diffraction, and polarization in light, and beats and echoes in sound.

Country Music a Very Short Introduction

Author : Richard Carlin
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Country Music: A Very Short Introduction presents a compelling overview of the music and its impact on American culture. Country music has long been a marker of American identity; from our popular culture to our politics, it has provided a soundtrack to our national life. While traditionally associated with the working class, country's appeal is far broader than any other popular music style. While this music rose from the people, it is also a product of the popular music industry, and the way the music has been marketed to its audience is a key part of its story. Key artists, songs, and musical styles are highlighted that are either touchstones for a particular social event (such as Tammy Wynette's "Stand By Your Man," which produced both a positive and negative backlash as a marker of women's roles in society at the beginning of the liberation movement) or that encompass broader trends in the industry (for example, Jimmie Rodgers' "T for Texas" was an early example of the appropriation of black musical forms by white artists to market them to a mainstream audience). While pursuing a basically chronological outline, the book is structured around certain recurring themes (such as rural vs. urban; tradition vs. innovation; male vs. female; white vs. black) that have been documented through the work of country artists from the minstrel era to today. Truly the voice of the people, country music expresses both deep patriotism as well as a healthy skepticism towards the powers that dominate American society. Country Music: A Very Short Introduction illuminates this rich tradition and assesses its legacy in American popular music culture.

Film Music A Very Short Introduction

Author : Kathryn Kalinak
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Film music is as old as cinema itself. Years before synchronized sound became the norm, projected moving images were shown to musical accompaniment, whether performed by a lone piano player or a hundred-piece orchestra. Today film music has become its own industry, indispensable to the marketability of movies around the world. Film Music: A Very Short Introduction is a compact, lucid, and thoroughly engaging overview written by one of the leading authorities on the subject. After opening with a fascinating analysis of the music from a key sequence in Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs, Kathryn Kalinak introduces readers not only to important composers and musical styles but also to modern theoretical concepts about how and why film music works. Throughout the book she embraces a global perspective, examining film music in Asia and the Middle East as well as in Europe and the United States. Key collaborations between directors and composers--Alfred Hitchcock and Bernard Herrmann, Akira Kurosawa and Fumio Hayasaka, Federico Fellini and Nino Rota, to name only a few--come under scrutiny, as do the oft-neglected practices of the silent film era. She also explores differences between original film scores and compilation soundtracks that cull music from pre-existing sources. As Kalinak points out, film music can do many things, from establishing mood and setting to clarifying plot points and creating emotions that are only dimly realized in the images. This book illuminates the many ways it accomplishes those tasks and will have its readers thinking a bit more deeply and critically the next time they sit in a darkened movie theater and music suddenly swells as the action unfolds onscreen. About the Series: Combining authority with wit, accessibility, and style, Very Short Introductions offer an introduction to some of life's most interesting topics. Written by experts for the newcomer, they demonstrate the finest contemporary thinking about the central problems and issues in hundreds of key topics, from philosophy to Freud, quantum theory to Islam.

The History of Cinema

Author : Geoffrey Nowell-Smith
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Cinema was the first, and is arguably still the greatest, of the industrialized art forms that came to dominate the cultural life of the twentieth century. Today, it continues to adapt and grow as new technologies and viewing platforms become available, and remains an integral cultural and aesthetic entertainment experience for people the world over. Cinema developed against the backdrop of the two world wars, and over the years has seen smaller wars, revolutions, and profound social changes. Its history reflects this changing landscape, and, more than any other art form, developments in technology. In this Very Short Introduction, Nowell-Smith looks at the defining moments of the industry, from silent to sound, black and white to color, and considers its genres from intellectual art house to mass market entertainment. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introduction series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

The Blues A Very Short Introduction

Author : Elijah Wald
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Praised as "suave, soulful, ebullient" (Tom Waits) and "a meticulous researcher, a graceful writer, and a committed contrarian" (New York Times Book Review), Elijah Wald is one of the leading popular music critics of his generation. In The Blues, Wald surveys a genre at the heart of American culture. It is not an easy thing to pin down. As Howlin' Wolf once described it, "When you ain't got no money and can't pay your house rent and can't buy you no food, you've damn sure got the blues." It has been defined by lyrical structure, or as a progression of chords, or as a set of practices reflecting West African "tonal and rhythmic approaches," using a five-note "blues scale." Wald sees blues less as a style than as a broad musical tradition within a constantly evolving pop culture. He traces its roots in work and praise songs, and shows how it was transformed by such professional performers as W. C. Handy, who first popularized the blues a century ago. He follows its evolution from Ma Rainey and Bessie Smith through Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix; identifies the impact of rural field recordings of Blind Lemon Jefferson, Charley Patton and others; explores the role of blues in the development of both country music and jazz; and looks at the popular rhythm and blues trends of the 1940s and 1950s, from the uptown West Coast style of T-Bone Walker to the "down home" Chicago sound of Muddy Waters. Wald brings the story up to the present, touching on the effects of blues on American poetry, and its connection to modern styles such as rap. As with all of Oxford's Very Short Introductions, The Blues tells you--with insight, clarity, and wit--everything you need to know to understand this quintessentially American musical genre.

Folk Music A Very Short Introduction

Author : Mark Slobin
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This VSI offers readers something no other introduction to folk music does: a cross-cultural, comparative approach, a survey of the basic issues as they have unfolded over time, and specific examples from widely differing sites of how folk musicians themselves, as well as corporations, non-governmental organizations, and governments have made full use of the available resources, older and newer strategies, and multiple agendas that keep the folk music process alive in an increasingly interconnected, yet still localized world.

Ethnomusicology A Very Short Introduction

Author : Timothy Rice
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Ethnomusicology, an academic discipline founded in 1950, has been defined as the study of the music of others. This definition, at once whimsical and very nearly true, is incomplete. Many of its strongest threads have emerged because a person or a people have wanted to understand themselves, their history, and their identity.

Dante

Author : Peter Hainsworth
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In this Very Short Introduction, Peter Hainsworth and David Robey take a different approach to Dante, by examining the main themes and issues that run through all of his work, ranging from autobiography, to understanding God and the order of the universe. In doing so, they highlight what has made Dante a vital point of reference for modern writers and readers, both inside and outside Italy. They emphasize the distinctive and dynamic interplay in Dante's writing between argument, ideas, and analysis on the one hand, and poetic imagination on the other. Dante was highly concerned with the political and intellectual issues of his time, demonstrated most powerfully in his notorious work, The Divine Comedy. Tracing the tension between the medieval and modern aspects, Hainsworth and Robey provide a clear insight into the meaning of this masterpiece of world literature. They highlight key figures and episodes in the poem, bringing out the originality and power of Dante's writing to help readers understand the problems that Dante wanted his audience to confront but often left up to the reader to resolve. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Probability A Very Short Introduction

Author : John Haigh
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Making good decisions under conditions of uncertainty requires an appreciation of the way random chance works. In this Very Short Introduction, John Haigh provides a brief account of probability theory; explaining the philosophical approaches, discussing probability distributions, and looking its applications in science and economics.

Linguistics A Very Short Introduction

Author : P. H. Matthews
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Linguistics falls in the gap between arts and science, on the edges of which the most fascinating discoveries and the most important problems are found. Rather than following the conventional organization of many contemporary introductions to the subject, the author of this stimulating guide begins his discussion with the oldest, 'arts' end of the subject and moves chronologically through to the newest research - the 'science' aspects. A series of short thematic chapters look in turn at such areas as the prehistory of languages and their common origins, language and evolution, language in time and space (the nature of change inherent in language), grammars and dictionaries (how systematic is language?), and phonetics. Explication of the newest discoveries pertaining to language in the brain completes the coverage of all major aspects of linguistics from a refreshing and insightful angle. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Sociolinguistics A Very Short Introduction

Author : John Edwards
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This Very Short Introduction deals with the social life of language, presenting a succinct account of the most important aspects - both "micro" and "macro" - of sociolinguistics, such as language variation, language attitudes, and the relationship between language and identity.

Music a Very Short Introduction

Author : Nicholas Cook
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Nicholas Cook explores the nature of music, how we think about it, its social and cultural dimensions, and its history. He discusses the many musical traditions across the world and the interactions between them. He also considers performance, how composers create music, and the position of music in today's globalized society.

The English Language

Author : Simon Horobin
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First published in hardback as How English became English, 2016.

Languages A Very Short Introduction

Author : Stephen R. Anderson
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How many languages are there? Are new languages still being discovered? Why are so many languages disappearing? In this Very Short Introduction, eminent linguist Stephen Anderson addresses such questions as he illuminates the science behind languages. Considering a wide range of different languages and linguistic examples, Anderson provides the basic facts about the world's major families of spoken languages and their distribution around the globe. He explores the basis for linguistic classification and raises questions about how we identify a language. Considering signed languages as well as spoken, Anderson also examines the wider social issues of losing languages, and their impact on vanishing cultures and peoples.

Italian Literature A Very Short Introduction

Author : Peter Hainsworth
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In this Very Short Introduction to Italian Literature, Peter Hainsworth and David Robey examine Italian literature from the Middle Ages up to the present day, looking at themes and issues which have recurred throughout its history and continue to be of importance today.

World Music a Very Short Introduction

Author : Philip V. Bohlman
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The term 'world music' encompasses both folk and popular music across the globe, as well as the sounds of cultural encounter and diversity, sacred voices raised in worship, local sounds, and universal values. It emerged as an invention of the West from encounters with other cultures, and holds the power to evoke the exotic and give voice to the voiceless. Today, in both sound and material it has a greater presence in human societies than ever before. The politics of which world music are a part - globalization, cosmopolitanism, and nationalism - play an increasingly direct role in societies throughout the world, but are at the same time also becoming increasingly controversial. In this new edition of his Very Short Introduction, Philip Bohlman considers questions of meaning and technology in world music, and responds to the dramatically changing political world in which people produce and listen to world music. He also addresses the different ways in which world music is created, disseminated, and consumed, as the full reach of the internet and technologies that store and spread music through the exchange of data files spark a revolution in the production and availability of world music. Finally, Bohlman revises the way we think of the musician, as an increasingly mobile individual, sometimes because physical borders have fallen away, at other times because they are closing. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

Silent Film a Very Short Introduction

Author : Donna Kornhaber
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"Silent Film: A Very Short Introduction covers the full span of the silent era, touching on films and filmmakers from every corner of the globe, and focusing on how the public experienced these films. Silent film evolved during three main periods; early, transitional, and classical. First seen as a technological attraction, it rapidly grew into a medium for telling longer stories. Silent film was genuinely global, with countries all around the world using cinema to tell stories and develop their own industries. Sound was introduced to cinema in the late 1920s, but with elements of silent film still around today, there is an argument for it never having ended"--