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This is Music: A Guide to the Pleasures of Listening Paperback – July 1, 1997

3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


...should be helpful to many music lovers, not only those who cannot read a note, but also those who have listened to a great deal of music, but secretly suspect that its deeper meanings are beyond their ken. -- Book-of-the-Month Club News

This is Music is an admirable fulfillment of Mr. Randolph's purpose: to produce a dependable, thoroughly entertaining guide for every reader who approaches music at a layman's level. -- The New York Times

This is certainly good reading for the adult layman, but the book can also be used to great advantage as assigned reading in some of the current high school humanities courses. -- Music Educator's Journal

About the Author

David Randolf is one of the nation's foremost musicians and has conducted The St. Cecilia's Chorus and Orchestra of New York City since 1965. For three decades the David Randolph concerts were a feature of WNYC, in New York City and syndicated throughout the United States.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 236 pages
  • Publisher: Creative Arts Book Company (July 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0887391109
  • ISBN-13: 978-0887391101
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,824,130 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By HeyMardie on April 18, 2007
Format: Paperback
I have had the pleasure of singing under David Randolph for the past three years as part of the St. Cecilia Chorus in New York City, and I have never met a conductor with such knowledge, understanding, and genuine love for the music he conducts. David's expertise (yes, he's 91 - and full of energy) is only matched by his appreciation for the subject at hand - it's impossible to work with him (or read this engaging book) and not fall in love with the music he so eloquently describes. He treats music as the whole experience, and appreciates that listeners (and readers) are looking at a piece of music from various levels of technicality. He shares how to fully appreciate a classical work whether you're analyzing the intricacies of Baroque counterpoint or simply marveling at a stage full of violin bows moving up and down in unison. I can't recommend this book enough - it will allow you to listen to music in a whole new way.
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Format: Paperback
Thank goodness I came across this book in my early teens (I am 66 now) just as I was beginning to develop an interest in classical music. It helped to erase my fears of inadequacy in the face of such a monumentally complex subject. David Randolph
chips away at the many misconceptions about classical music, starting with its inaccessibility for the average listener. One of the first myths he attacks is the idea that all classical music must be about something other than simple audible enjoyment, in other words, program music. When you stop trying to figure out what the composer is trying to say and just relax and let the music do the talking, you've cleared one of the first hurdles in the enjoyment of classical music.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Rich Handle on April 13, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When I entered David Randolph's music appreciation course at Montclair State College (now University) in 1979 my head was full of mush. I believed that, when listening to serious music, I should see with my mind's eye all sorts of images supposedly inspired by the music I happened to be listening to at the moment. Pure nonsense. Randolph taught me what to expect and what not to expect from serious music.

In short, he taught me how to enjoy music. Unfortunately, Randolph died 3 years ago (age 93) but his book lives on: it is his gift to the novice and "expert" music-listener a like.

Thanks, David...
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