Learn to Read Music

( 1 )


This book Will
1 teach the notation of music to those who have never known it before
2 serve as a systematic reminder for those who once knew how to read music but have forgotten most of it
3 serve as a ...

See more details below
Paperback (REV)
BN.com price
(Save 19%)$15.00 List Price
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (48) from $1.99   
  • New (10) from $7.89   
  • Used (38) from $1.99   
Sending request ...


This book Will
1 teach the notation of music to those who have never known it before
2 serve as a systematic reminder for those who once knew how to read music but have forgotten most of it
3 serve as a practical classroom text book in the rudiments of music
4 serve as a helpful reference book for the student in music appreciation and related courses
This book Will Not
1 teach you to sing like Tebaldi
2 make you a wizard at the piano or any other instrument
3 turn you into an Irving Berlin or a Beethoven
But it will teach Anyone — even the tone-deaf — to read melodies and pick them out on the piano

With scores of musical bars to use as guidelines, this book will teach anyone--even the tone-deaf to read music.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780671210274
  • Publisher: Touchstone
  • Publication date: 2/15/1971
  • Edition description: REV
  • Pages: 172
  • Sales rank: 245,548
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Howard Shanet is Associate Professor of Music at Columbia University and Conductor of the University Orchestra, which, under his guidance, has gained a reputation for the daring and unconventional programs it offers the public. He has been guest conductor of the New York Philharmonic in its Young People's series, the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood, the CBS Symphony, and orchestras in Holland, Israel and elsewhere. Before that, he was assistant conductor to Leonard Bernstein and to the late Serge Koussevitzky.

As a writer on musical subjects, he has been Program Annotator for the New York Philharmonic and the New York City Symphony. Subscribers to Music-Appreciation Records are familiar with the long series of recorded lectures and printed essays he prepared for that organization. He is also the author of a history of the New York Philharmonic.

Mr. Shanet received his training in conducting from such masters as Serge Koussevitzky, Fritz Stiedry and Rudolph Thomas; in composition from Arthur Honegger, Bohuslav Martinu and Nikolai Lopatnikoff; in musicology from Paul Henry Lang. He holds two degrees from Columbia University.

As Mr. Shanet explains in his Introduction, he taught the contents of this book to more than a thousand students when he was conductor of the symphony orchestra at Huntington, West Virginia. Since then, tens of thousands of others have taught themselves from this book, and untold numbers have learned from Mr. Shanet's television series, also called "Learn to Read Music."

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt


Many people who love music and have a wide hearing acquaintance with it suffer from a feeling of inferiority because they cannot read music and are timid about asserting their opinions in the company of musicians. They may have excellent taste and judgment concerning what they hear, but they wilt before the professional because of his technical knowledge. The layman in literature and art will stand up for his ideas, but the poor music lover is apt to back down and feel that somehow he has got beyond his depth. So music becomes something mysterious to him and the musician a strange fellow who lives in a world different from his.

Obviously, musicians are the best judges of music, but non-professional opinion should not be brushed aside. The layman is the consumer and patron and what he thinks is important. He will find that with technical knowledge music loses none of its magic, but he will be able to see through some of the hocus-pocus now. The ability to read music is the first step and can make him feel that what he has to say about programs and performances is entitled to the professional's respect.

Educators think wistfully that some day notation may be taught in the elementary schools along with the alphabet. Children could master it easily, and many of them would have a lifetime of pleasure from the skill. But it is not being done, and the concert halls are filled with eager people who have found out too late that they are missing something important.

To these frustrated individuals, Howard Shanet's Learn to Read Music will come as a happy surprise. Not only because of its clarity and competence but also because of the author's infectious spirit of optimism, the reader will arrive at confidence and hope.

Douglas Moore,

MacDowell Professor of Music

Columbia University

Copyright © 1956 by Howard Shanet

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents






PART ONE Notation of Rhythm


First Steps

Note Symbols

Combinations of Note Symbols

Additional Symbols


Combinations of Notes and Rests


Short Table of Tempo Indications


Rhythm Patterns

Some Characteristic Rhythms in 2/4 Meter

Some Characteristic Rhythms in 3/4 Meter

Some Characteristic Rhythms in 4/4 Meter

Other Meters

Compound Meters

Exercises: Reading Rhythms

PART TWO Notation of Pitch


Pitch of a Vibrating String

Early Notation Methods

The Staff


Exercises: Identifying Notes

Leger Lines


The Piano Keyboard

Table of Visual Patterns to Aid in Identifying Notes at the Keyboard

Exercises: The Keyboard

The Key Signature

PART THREE Combination of Rhythmic and Pitch Notations


"Au Clair de la Lune"


The Doxology ("Old Hundred")

"Jingle Bells"

PART FOUR Supplementary Symbols and Devices




Symbols for Dynamics

Symbols for Articulation, Style, etc.

PART FIVE Tonality


APPENDIX ONE Scales and Key Signatures



The Major Scale

Constructing Major Scales

Key Signatures, Major Scales

The Minor Scale

Key Signatures, Major and Minor Scales

APPENDIX TWO Vocabulary of Some Important Foreign Terms Used in Music


Terms Used to Indicate Tempo

Terms Used to Indicate Change of Tempo

Terms Used to Indicate Volume of Sound

Terms Used to Indicate Change of Volume

Terms Used to Indicate Simultaneous Reduction of Tempo and Volume

Qualifying Terms Used to Indicate Mood, Degree, Intensity, or Style



The Alto Clef

The Tenor Clef

Hybrid Clefs

Comparison of Clefs

Names of Octaves


Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 1 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2007

    Terrific method even for professional singers!

    Even after earning a B.A. in vocal music, I still had trouble quickly sightreading musical scores during stressful rehearsals. 'Learn to Read Music' refreshed my knowledge of musical notation and also helped me find a quick way to grasp rhythmical variations. After many years of singing professionally, I still mark all of my musical scores using his 'tap' system and find I am a much better sightreader and concert performer. In addition, I have used this text to teach some of my singing students ways to improve their sightreading.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)