With nearly three million copies sold over eight editions, “The Enjoyment of Music” is the best-selling music appreciation text of all time. Spanning the Middle Ages through the twenty-first century, the text offers a thorough introduction to the elements of music, a broad overview of the history of musical styles, and fascinating cultural contexts and perspectives. The Ninth Edition of this classic text features a stunning new design, exciting new repertory, and an unmatched ancillary and media package.
Joseph Machlis, an author and opera translator whose 1955 textbook ”The Enjoyment of Music” is one of the most popular music appreciation books published in English, died on Saturday at his home in Manhattan. He was 92.
Mr. Machlis was a familiar figure in the classical music world, although to see him — a small, frail-looking man with thick glasses and a shock of unruly white hair — one would not have guessed that he was a powerhouse into his 90’s. Around his 85th birthday, he told a reporter that he still exercised regularly and swam 50 laps a day. He was a fixture at the opera house, recitals and new-music concerts, and he helped many young musicians, particularly pianists, by letting them perform for invited audiences at his apartment on East 57th Street, by lobbying critics on their behalf, or by quietly providing financial support for their work.
He maintained that apartment solely for musicales and lavish parties, where musicians, literary figures and politicians mingled. The apartment he called home, also on the East Side, was a cramped studio with an antique refrigerator, a camp cot and stacks of papers representing various projects in progress. He said that the spaciousness of the other apartment upset his equilibrium.
Mr. Machlis’s 90th-birthday celebration, in 1996, was an indication of the esteem in which he was held. For a party given by his publisher, W. W. Norton, 13 American composers — among them Milton Babbitt, Ned Rorem, Lukas Foss, John Corigliano, Hugo Weisgall, Yehudi Wyner and George Perle — supplied humorous musical tributes to him.
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