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A wonderful explanation of the basic principles of classical music, not an easy task! This was a required book for a very basic music appreciation course I had to take. This guide is a very easy read for anyone with at least a rudimentary musical education, and is unlikely to lose many readers who lack one. Therefore elitism reduces the usefulness of this book. I am a professionally trained musician bachelor and master’s degrees in composition, double bassist for more than fifteen yearsso I realize this book isn’t really intended for a person like me.

Overall, a really fantastic book written by one of the most influential American composers of the escucar century.

Coplanv elementary music student knows the principle, but to put it into practice has challenged the greatest minds cmoo music! I was surprised that I was able to follow all of his teachings — with the exception of some ewcuchar dealing with forms. Copland jusica generous references to examples of actual pieces of music that illustrate the points he is making. I’d read mixed reports about this book and wasn’t sure about reading it, but I’m very glad I did.

Charged by his French music teacher to produce an authentic American style of music, he would compose classics such as Appalachian SpringBilly lz Kidand Rodeo. Whether you listen to Mozart or Duke Ellington, Aaron Copland’s provocative suggestions for listening to music from his point of view will bring you a deeper appreciation of the most rewarding of all art forms. Everything is educational from a technical standpoint, and it was interesting to read a composition giant’s musings, however opinionated and dated can’t say I agree with Copland that the double bass isn’t used as a solo instrument!


Sectional, Variation, Fugal, Sonata and Free, tracing as he does so the historical development of some classical styles. May 09, Martin Read rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: In his later years Copland’s work reflected the serial techniques of the so-called tone school of Arnold Schoenberg.

Copland learned to play piano from an older sister. All that is interesting but not so much if you want to focus the nature of the music itself. It is really inspiring musicx put yourself in a composer’s shoes and go through the steps of creating a new work of art! Lists with This Book. The meaning is the same as copland argues the one is merely listening to the music that is presented to them and not hearing the beauty and the layers of it.

A very nice book if you want to understand classical music better. While Copland acknowledges that music does, in fact, have meaning, he dissuades the listener from attaching too firm a meaning to any given piece of work.

Excellent book for those who are interested in a more technical approach.

What to Listen for in Music by Aaron Copland

A great symphony is a man-made Mississippi down which we irresistibly flow from the instant of our leave-taking to a long foreseen destination. Other works during this period were a series of movie scores including “Of Mice and Men” and “The Heiress” The highest level of intelligent listening, then, is the concerted effort of sustained active listening. Feb 15, Tony rated it really liked it Shelves: It is difficult adequately to explain the meaning of that phrase to the layman.

I can recommend this as a good introduction to classical music, and as a great refresher for those who have studied the basics, but left them out of mind for some time. Granted he makes assumptions based on this, being that you know what lots of musical jargon means, but if one is going to read this book that can be assumed.


As a book for the layperson, I think it’s wonderful. A chapter is devoted to each of the four elements of music: Everything else in here you can find on Wikipedia. Copland also would conduct, teach, and write over the course of his prodigious career. Here is a good resource for you: A basic and helpful introduction to music for someone like me, i. Jul 30, Abby rated it it was amazing. Nov 17, Eric McLean rated it liked it.

If you’re a musician, read it anyway. As we move into a an age where we don’t kill trees to make …more You don’t need the paperback page number, you need to learn how to cite electronic sources.

Books by Aaron Copland. Published November 5th by Signet Classics first published Everything is educational from a technical standpoint, and it was interesting to read a composition giant’s musings, however opinionated and d 2.

What to Listen for in Music

He also includes brief sections of the musical notes for those who have the ability to read music. Are you really being sensitive to it? I didn’t find the book on any library here nor a reference online I could search. His prose flows well and strikes the right balance between straightforward and poetic, technical and non-technical. This is a wonderful introduction to “classical” music by the American composer Aaron Copland.

As a decidedly non-layperson to the music world, I found myself skimming the beginning theory sections. This is a fantastic book for the layperson who wants to become a more intelligent listener and who wants to understand more of what is going on in classical music note: I particularly liked his chapter on opera.