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What to Listen for in Music Paperback – March 3, 2009
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Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
a"Victor Record Review"
aBy far the best thing of its kind yet to appear.a
?One of the most helpful, sensible, and enjoyable discourses on the subject ever published.?
?"Victor Record Review"
?By far the best thing of its kind yet to appear.?
Top Customer Reviews
What makes What to Listen for in Music so invaluable is that it is the ONLY book on musical appreciation written by a GREAT COMPOSER. "This is a composer's book," Aaron Copland states. "Given the chance, every composer would like to know two very important things about anyone who takes himself seriously as a music lover...1. Are you hearing everything that is going on? [and] 2. Are you really being sensitive to it?"
The only shortcoming of this book is that it should be taken as part of a class to make sure that one gets everything out of it. It would be great if it came with a CD of all the examples to which Copland makes reference. However, each chapter does end with a list of "recommended listening." To make specific points, Copland does include sheet music (but I didn't read this book sitting next to my piano). However, these problems are minimal, considering we live in an age of the cheap CDs and music downloads.
Copland covers EVERY aspect of music, starting with "how we listen," - on the sensuous plane, the expressive plane, and the sheerly musical plane. He then goes on to explain to us the Four Elements of Music - Melody, Rhythm, Harmony, and Tone Color. We find out about all the musical instruments, their history and classifications. We find out about all the genres in music - Sectional Form, Variation Form, Fugal Form, Sonata Form, Free Form. Did you know that Sonata Form includes symphonies as well?Read more ›
It doesn't matter what kind of music you enjoy, everyone can get something out of this book. Though relating more closely to classical music, Aaron Copeland's ideas for listening to music will give the reader a better appreciation and understanding of whatever music they listen to.
From reading this book you will gain insight into the creative process of a composer. In laymen's terms, the book describes the way composers write music as well as how they actually listen to it. It explains that there are three separate planes upon which music is listened to. They are the sensuous plane, the expressive plane, and the sheerly musical plane. Copeland goes on to tell how music is heard on each plane and explains how each works, which I found very interesting.
Overall, Aaron Copeland's What To Listen For In Music is a good book that I recommend to anyone who has an interest in music or enjoys listening to it. A whole new level of listening ability can be gained from reading this book. It explains music from the composer's point of view, giving you insight into how music is composed, and how to listen to it, which gives you a deeper appreciation of music.
Aaron Copland built much of his career on writing modern "classical" music that could be enjoyed and appreciated by the common listener. He felt that modern music should communicate to the non-musician, as well as the more experienced one. He knew that if the listener understood what made up the basics of musical composition and structure, that the experience of listening would be tremendously enhanced. This book is in the spirit of that goal, and like his most accessible music, Copland achieves this with a brilliant, conversational eloquence that is neither pandering nor pretentious. I found this book to live up to its title, "What to listen for in music." Copland takes the reader on a step by step journey of what components make up a piece of music; from the different type of composers, through the creative process and the individual elements that support the musical architecture. These elements include rhythm, melody, harmony and tone/texture. Once these are clear, he then is able to talk about a musical work as a whole, which includes its structure the different forms that it takes (eg. sonata form, synphony, opera, etc.) One does not need a musical backround to understand and enjoy this book, and yet the seasoned musician will also find a refreshing review of the basics of music. Copland loved music and this is always obvious in his joyful presentation. All one need to have to benefit from this book is a curiosity of music and its mysterious ability to move mountains.
You can read all you want about how some band made it to the top through hard work and good songwriting, or you can read how to merch your t-shirts online to get your band out of the garage. Copeland offers you the chance to go under the hood of music and learn how to hear (and then create if you want) music that will endure.
Forget that Copeland used an orchestra - what he's sharing here will give you some of the tools to create fabulous music in many different genres.
This book has done more for my music than a few years of theory or the hundreds of dollars worth of other books I have read.
Yes, some of you have been to Juliard etc. and are beyond this text, but for the rest of us...jumping in at the deep end of the universe is always more rewarding.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Music people either love or hate this book. I've never met anyone who is ambivalent to it, or "kind of" likes it or doesn't like it. I fall into the camp of loving it. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Lauren C-B
I am surprised it took me so long to discover this book, as it is so well written and so useful for better understanding the ways to enjoy concert music. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Ismael de Leon H.
One of the best books on now to listen to music as well as, being a composer myself, one of the most interesting books about what a composer "thinks about" when they are... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Joe G
An enjoyable book for the music savvy. The chapters start off with easy enough to understand informationn for those of us that know a little bit about music theory then it ascends... Read morePublished 9 months ago by John Z
I found particularly useful the distinctions, with notation, of the differences in,e.g., canon form and passacaglia. Also the relationship between sonata form and symphony. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Mary Ashby