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The book carries you through 7 parts:
1-PreDominant Chords: IV, II, II6
2-Prolongation of I
3-Other 5/3 and 6/3 functions 1 (prolongation of predominant harmony)
4-Other 5/3 and 6/3 functions 2 (IV, IV6, III, VII)
6-7th Chords (Other than V7)
One magnificent feature of this book is that it has been written with solely the student in mind. Distributed among the 7 parts above, there are 25 'sets' that consist of an average of 50 questions each, most of them being part writing exercises(and some of them quite difficult, especially soprano harmonizations). The remaining questions usually introduce the new concept, and review the old topics. That is very useful, because before you move on to another type of progression, the book does its best to remind you what you've been practicing in the previous sets. It is needless to say that all answers, with alternatives and comments, are in the book. For each part, there's also a short test. (Which suffices to warn you what your weaknesses are in that Part)
I believe that the Self Teaching musician would benefit greatly from this introductory book, before he moves on to traditional methods. Moreover, this book is sure to render the 'traditional method' useful for him. 'Basic Harmonic Progression' may be the only source to end the harmonic nightmare of autodidacts.(Recommendation for Traditional Method: Roger Sessions' Harmonic Practice -unfortunately out of print-)
Highly recommended, I would like to congragulate Norton for yet another magnificent book.
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In this story, Cory Adler is a Floridan boy whose father has been assigned to Viet Nam by the Army and whose mother is taking care of his grandmother in San Francisco. An old Army buddy of his father, Uncle Jasper, has invited Cory to stay on his ranch while his parents are away and Cory looks forward to it with great anticipation. Yet the actual experience is much more frightening than he expects; the horses are big and buck him off, the animals have sharp teeth and claws, and the night is filled with strange noises.
The day after his unsuccessful attempt to ride a horse, Uncle Jasper takes him up to an old line cabin in the high country and leaves him there while the adults ride off to inspect the young horses. Cory agrees to wait for Black Elk, an old indian shaman, to arrive at the cabin and then to phone for a jeep to carry the old man to the main house. Cory is willing, as long as he doesn't have to ride a horse, and soon starts to explore the surrounding area. He accidentally falls into a shallow hole and breaks a basket and a turtleshell rattle within the hollow. He takes a leather bag back to the cabin to get a better look at it, but decides it is a medicine pouch and replaces it within the broken basket.
While exploring some more, he notices brown shapes moving around on a distance hillside and uses his binoculars to resolve the image into three buffalo, two adults and a calf. Moreover, he sees a man wearing an animal skin, possibly coyote, dancing close to the animals while carrying a decorated stick and a turtleshell rattle. He is held motionless by fear, but manages to drop the binoculars, which frees his muscles. Still terrified, he nonetheless runs toward the site where he has seen the buffalo and the man, but only tracks remain of the animals and man.
When he returns to the cabin, he finds an old indian man sitting motionless by the firepit. He asks the old man if he is Black Eagle and is finally answered with a bare acknowledgment. Cory makes a meal in the firepit for the old man, who eats everything given to him and Cory's portion as well. Afterwards, the old man pulls out a leather bag, the same medicine pouch that Cory had returned to the basket, throws some dust on the fire that causes a steady stream of smoke to rise above it, and insists that Cory has done wrong and must purify himself by holding the pouch in the smoke. When Cory complies, he is transported into the mind of an oversized beaver named Yellow Shell.
Cory thinks that he is in an exceptionally vivid dream, but cannot awaken. His mind accompanies Yellow Shell as he fights against marauding minks and clever crows which are minions of the Changer. He even meets the Changer face to face and is able to fight back and find a way to return to his own body. Moreover, he is now able to overcome his fears.
This story may be the earliest of the author's tales involving the legends and people of the tribes. Other works influenced by these traditions include the Beast Master series, The Sioux Spaceman, and The Defiant Agents. These tales of indian ways have been very influential to many young people through the years, possibly including Jane Lindskold, author of Changer and the Firekeeper series, which contain some of these same images.
This novel is intended for young people, but like her other juveniles, is also enjoyable to an old man like me.
Recommended for Norton fans and anyone who enjoys simple tales of exotic folks and heroic quests.
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This edition has a vast array of extremely helpful footnotes (have a Bible at hand for all those cross-references) and it has large margins for taking plenty of notes of your own. More than half of the book is a collection of various literature, excerpts and explanations that are also quite helpful.
Certainly, there is no doubt that Paradise Lost is an excellent work, but the Norton Critical edition is invaluable for any average person (like me) who wants to truly appreciate it. I highly recommend this.
A few years ago I made two fortunate decisions. I elected to read Milton's Paradise Lost and I bought the Norton Critical Edition (edited by Scott Elledge). I read and reread Paradise Lost over a period of three months as well as the 300 pages of the Norton critical commentary. I was stunned by the beauty and power of Milton. Why had I waited so long to even approach such a literary masterpiece?
Make no mistake. I had been right in several ways. Paradise Lost is difficult, it is long, and full appreciation requires an understanding of the historical and religious context. But Paradise Lost is a remarkable achievement. It explores questions regarding man and God that are as relevant today as in the 17th century. And the genius of Milton has never been surpassed.
I found the Norton footnotes extremely helpful - definitions for rare or archaic words and expressions, explanations of the historical context, and links to the critical commentary section. The footnotes are at the page bottom, making them readily accessible.
The Norton biographical, historical, and literary commentaries were fascinating in their own right. I may well as spent as many hours reading commentary as with Paradise Lost itself.
John Milton led a remarkable life. His enthusiastic euology on Shakespeare was included in the second folio edition of Shakespeare in 1632. This was Milton's first public appearance as an author! While traveling as a young man he "found and visited" the great Galileo, old and blind, a house prisoner of the Inquisition for his astronomical heresy. Years later Milton, a close supporter of Cromwell, barely escaped the scaffold at the Restoration and was at risk for some period afterwards. Many considered Milton no more than an outcast, now old and blind himself, a republican and regicide who had escaped death by too much clemency. Within a few years this aging blind outcast created one of the masterpieces of the English language.
Milton broke all English tradition by writing Paradise Lost in blank verse. Homer in Greek and Vergil in Latin had used blank verse, but English demanded rhyme. Although others failed to imitate Milton's blank verse (I suspect that none wanted to be compared directly with genius), the praise was without exception. Dryden, a master of rhyme, is attributed with saying, "This man cuts us all out, and the ancients too".
Milton's characterization of Satan, Adam, Eve, the archangels Raphael, Michael, and Gabriel, and even God himself are masterful. The debates and arguments that evolve around free will, obedience, forbidden knowledge, love, evil, and guilt are timeless. And fascinating. And thought provoking.
Paradise Lost will require commitment and patience and thought. The commitment in time is substantial. (I enjoy Samuel Johnson's subtle comment: "None ever wished it longer than it is.") But the return is a personal experience with great literature, one of the masterpieces of the English language. I consider myself fortunate to have made such an investment.
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These essays are engaging and readable, informed and informative without being pedantic. There are anecdotes, too (about Riding, most notably, who is aptly diagnosed by Ashbery as "a control freak"). We notice that half of the authors are homosexual or possibly so, most either committed suicide or had a parent who did so, three were affected by mental problems, and the majority were ardent leftists (Riding being an exception).
To this reader, the two Johns, Clare and Wheelwright, are the most immediately endearing, and David Schubert's disjunctive colloquial tone does fascinate. Some of the comments about the gang of six do shed some light into Ashbery's curious methods: Clare's mucky down-to-earthiness and Beddoes' elegant, enamelled "fleurs-du-mal" idiom both being "necessary" components of poetry, in Ashbery's view. Some of Wheelwright's elastic sonnets have a Saturday Evening Post-type folksiness that is often found in Ashbery's own poetic inventions; Schubert's poems (in Rachel Hadas's words) "seem(ing) to consist of slivers gracefully or haphazardly fitted together." An aside: Look at the first two lines of Schubert's "Happy Traveller." Couldn't that be John Ashbery? About Raymond Roussel, whose detractors accuse him of saying nothing, Ashbery mounts an impatient defence that reads like a self-defence: "If 'nothing' means a labyrinth of brilliant stories told only for themselves, then perhaps Roussel has nothing to say. Does he say it badly? Well, he writes like a mathematician."
We learn that Ashbery is not fond of E E Cummings, and he is unconvincingly semi-penitent of this "blind spot": Cummings, with his Herrick-like lucidity, his straightforward heterosexuality, and his resolute nonleftism, would not appear to fit nicely into Ashbery's pantheon. Ashbery even takes a few mischievous swipes at John Keats -- rather, he quotes George Moore doing so. Ashbery will doubtless forgive his readers if our enthusiasm for the poetry of Keats and Cummings remains undiminished.
There is much in the poetry explored by "Other Traditions" that is dark and bothersome; but there are felicities. These lectures form a fascinating kind of ars-poetica-in-prose by one of America's cleverest and most vexing of poets.
I have always had a love for, but limited knowledge of, Poetry. It was Edward Hirsch's great book How to Read a Poem and Fall in Love with Poetry that first introduced me to Ashbery's work. He is, in my opinion, one of the greatest living poets. Therefore, I jumped at the opportunity to read Other Traditions.
Other Traditions is the book form of a series of lectures given by Ashbery on other poets. Ashbery writes about six of the lesser-known artists who have had an impact on his own life and work. All of them are fascinating. They are:
-John Clare, a master at describing nature who spent the last 27 years of his life in an Asylum.
-Thomas Lovell Beddoes, a rather death obsessed author (he ended up taking his own life) whose greatest poetry consists of fragments that must often be culled from the pages of his lengthy dramas.
-Raymond Roussel, a French author whose magnum opus is actually a book-length sentence.
-John Wheelwright, a politically engaged genius whose ultra-dense poetry even Ashbery has a hard time describing or comprehending.
-Laura Riding, a poet of great talent and intellect who chose to forsake poetry (check out the copyright page).
-David Schubert, an obscure poet who Ashbery feels is one of the greatest of the Twentieth Century.
The two that I was most pleasantly surprised by are Clare and Riding.
Clare has become (since I picked up a couple of his books) one of my favorite poets. He is a master at describing rural life. I know of no one quite like him. Ashbery's true greatness as a critic comes out when he depicts Clare as "making his rounds."
Riding, on the other hand, represents the extreme version of every author's desire for the public to read their work in a precise way--the way the author intends it to be read. Her intense combativeness and sensitivity to criticism is as endearing as it is humorous.
Other Traditions has given me a key to a whole new world of books. For that I am most grateful.
I give this book my full recommendation.