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McGee. Timothy J.

New York. W.W. Norton. c1985. 257pp. cloth. $19.95, ISBN 0-393-02279-X. Distributed by Penguin Canada. CIP

Reviewed by Bessie Condos Egan

Volume 14 Number 5
1986 September

McGee, an associate professor of music at the University of Toronto, has produced a general narrative that attempts to chronicle the evolution of Canadian music from its earliest beginnings (New France) through the electronic music of selected contemporary composers. The study is chronologically arranged into seven chapters, beginning with "New France" and ending with a very brief chapter on "Recent Developments 1945-1984." with a separate chapter on "Music of the Original Canadians" (Inuit and Canadian Indians). Each section begins with a brief summary of the social and political background of the period under discussion and ends with a brief summary.

The author intended this work for the lay person and has separated all technical sections that occur in the text by enclosing them within bordered boxes. There is little analysis contained in the text. There is a separate anthology of scores (sixty-five pages that contain thirteen complete works by prominent Canadian composers, both past and present), an index, black-and-white line drawings and historical photographs, an appendix that includes bibliographies for each chapter, a general discography, and a filmography.

McGee's overview is readable, if not scholarly, and it may lead students with an interest in Canadian music to more comprehensive works.

Bessie Condos Egan, Winnipeg P.L., Winnipeg, Man.
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