National Music and Other Essays
(Ralph Vaughan Williams)
Ralph Vaughan Williams held strong views on many musical subjects. He never hesitated to express his views in plain, vigorous prose, and he became well-known for his essays, which combine typical common sense with a true composer's sensitivity. This collection contains all his writings that he thought worth preserving in book form. Topics include nationalism in music, the evolution of folk-song, and the origins of music, as well individual composers like Beethoven, Gustav Holst, Bach, Sibelius, Arnold Bax, and Elgar. Also included are more general reflections on the making of music, its purpose and effects, and the social foundations of music.