Recent Books

Available in either Kindle or paperback format at amazon.com.

Learn about music history in musical terms


What distinguishes the major periods in music history: Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic and Modern? By focusing on twenty-four works by twenty-four composers--four for each historical period--I hope to create a picture that the reader can hold in mind all at once.


Time, tonality and timbre serve as points of comparison by which we can define both the style of an individual composer and the style associated with each musical period.

 

 

Three novellas featuring Axel Crochet, peripatetic professor of music history

An Unfaltering Trust. When the apparent suicide of a popular English professor begins to look more like murder, Axel finds that the “suicide note” seems to make reference to the victim’s wife, his student lover and his competitor for the deanship. The text of a choral elegy puts Axel on the killer’s trail, but not before a comely coed meets her death.

Murder in the Music Department. An irreverent look at academic amphigory. Prof. Crochet returns home from a weekend conference to learn that the chairman of the music department has been murdered and the police are about to arrest the voice teacher, whom Axel believes to have been wrongfully accused.

Murder in the Pulpit. The senior minister of Allegheny United Church dies while delivering his Christmas Eve sermon. Axel soon becomes caught in a tangled web of shady real estate practices, illegal dumping and financial malfeasance on the part of church members. Axel begins to wonder whether the minister, for all his autocratic style, was really the intended victim.

Art, music, literature, philosophy, science, history: how do they all fit together?


The Matrix of Western Culture presents a framework for seeing the "big picture."  Imagine a grid with these cultural categories on one axis and time, marked in centuries, on the other.  The interior of the matrix comprises a representative repertoire described in a series of brief, readable essays.


Well-read adults will, over the years, have encountered individual works in each of the categories that make up the matrix.  Many readers will share my interest in organizing this knowledge into a coherent framework.  The Matrix of Western Culture offers an accessible overview that one can keep in mind all at once.

 

For color plates for The Matrix of Western Culture, please click here.

 

See the world differently with a camera in hand.

Become aware of the basic elements of photography (color, tone, shape, form, texture, pattern) and principles of composition (framing the subject, directing the eye, perspective, balance and proportion, excluding the extraneous, lighting). Then apply these ideas to photographing people and animals, landscapes, and architecture. Digital photography allows for easy editing in the form of cropping, straightening, filling light, and increasing shadows.

Essentially, the photographer puts a frame around a bit of the world and invites the viewer to consider it aesthetically. So the art of photography lies in learning to see. This brief illustrated essay is designed to assist in that process.

List of Published Books


[For mystery books please click here.]

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 A Guide to Bookstores of Toronto - ECW Press

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A Brief History of Classical Music:  A Tale of Time, Tonality and Timbre.  Kindle and CreateSpace, 2017

The Matrix of Western Culture:  Perspectives on History, the Arts and Ideas.  Kindle and CreateSpace, 2017.

The Photographer's Eye:  Seeing with a Camera.  Kindle, 2017.

Camerata:  A Guide to Organizing and Directing Small Choruses.  Lanham, Maryland:  Rowman & Littlefield, 2014.

A
Guide to the Bookstores of Toronto, with P. Warren, ECW Press, Toronto, Ontario, 220 pp. October, 1996

Musical Resources for the Revised Common Lectionary,
Scarecrow Press, Metuchen, New Jersey, 613 pp., 1994

Analyses of Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Music: 1940-1985, Music Library Association, 1987; MLA Index and Bibliography Series, No. 25, 370 pp.
 [Winner of the Music Library Association, Vincent Duckles Award for the best book-length bibliography of the year, 1989]

Une esquisse de la pensée musicale, École de Musique, Les Presses de l'Université Laval, 438 pp., 1985

La musique et les grandes époques de l'art, Les Presses de l'Université Laval, 261 pp., 1984

Claude Debussy and Twentieth‑Century Music, G. K. Hall Publishers, Boston, Massachusetts, 165 pp., 1983

Introduction to Nineteenth‑Century Music, University of Pittsburgh: University External Studies Program, 379 pp., 1977

Claude Debussy and the Poets, University of California Press, Berkeley, California, 345 pp., 1976

Analyses of Twentieth-Century Music, Music Library Association, 1976; MLA Index and Bibliography Series, No. 15.  Second Edition, 1940-1980, published 1984.

Analyses of Twentieth‑Century Music Supplement: 1970‑1975, Music Library Association, 1976; MLA Index and Bibliography Series, No. 14.  Second Edition, 1975‑1980, published 1984.

Analyses of Twentieth-Century Music, 1940-1970; Music Library Association, 1975; MLA Index and Bibliography Series, No. 13.