March 14, 2013

Children's Book of Music

Children's book of Music is an introduction to the world's music and its history i.e. early music (50000BCE-1600CE), classical music (1600-1900) and modern music (1900-).  This book teaches children and adults different styles of music, about the works and lives of composers, performers and about different types of instruments found around the world.  This book includes a CD with songs and sounds that are highlighted in the book, which is interesting to listen to.
I like how music is defined in this book; it says that music is not just a tune, steady beat, one sound or a composition as we can hear it everywhere.  This reminds me of a song that we like listening to by Dawud Wharnsby "Can you hear the rhythm?"
In early music, people used animal bones and things such as a gum leaf from an eucalyptus tree to imitate the sound of birds, and hollowed out logs of eucalyptus trees and animal skins to make drums.  My children made some of their own instruments such as this drum and rattle.  
Music such as playing the didgeridoo by the Australian aboriginal men is similar to the tuba or trombone, which is believed to improve and help with breathing, reduce snoring and to sleep better.
Music and instruments from different parts of the world has been a way of people showing their cultural identity.  This book draws our attention to sounds from Africa, China, Indonesia, India, Japan and other countries.  
I enjoyed reading the details about famous musicians such as Ali Ibn Nafi also known as Ziryab or Blackbird from the 9th century Persian court, which was the center of learning, trade, music and culture.  Ziryab left the Baghdad Persian court (now in Iraq) and went to settle in the Islamic court in Southern Spain where he became famous. 
This book has lots of information about music that will benefit all those who are interested in learning about its history and interesting facts.

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