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The NPR Classical Music Companion: Terms and Concepts from A to Z

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Do you enjoy classical music but wish you knew more about it? Do you buy CDs, tune in to radio programs, go to concerts, and sometimes wonder just what, precisely, all those Italian musical terms mean? In this wonderfully engaging guide, Miles Hoffman demystifies the terms and concepts of classical music in an accessible and witty style. With more than one hundred entries, The NPR Classical Music Companion delves into definitions and etymologies, explores terms with reference to famous composers and works, and ...

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Overview

Do you enjoy classical music but wish you knew more about it? Do you buy CDs, tune in to radio programs, go to concerts, and sometimes wonder just what, precisely, all those Italian musical terms mean? In this wonderfully engaging guide, Miles Hoffman demystifies the terms and concepts of classical music in an accessible and witty style. With more than one hundred entries, The NPR Classical Music Companion delves into definitions and etymologies, explores terms with reference to famous composers and works, and calls upon amusing analogies to make sense of music's finer points. Ranging from a paragraph to a few pages, the explanations gathered here tackle both the familiar and the not so familiar, from " a cappella " to " motet," from " opus numbers " to " zarzuela." The result is a delightful and comprehensive assemblage. For anyone who thinks that only professional musicians can understand classical music, this guide offers a clear path through a potentially daunting world. As much a companion to keep by the radio as an enjoyable book to read in a few sittings, The NPR Classical Music Companion makes understanding music a pleasure.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Hoffman, host of National Public Radio's Coming to Terms, attempts to make classical music terminology more accessible to the lay reader. This slim book of roughly 100 definitions speaks to the novice, simplifying to the point of irritation those terms one might find on the average compact disc or concert program. More advanced listeners will continually think "yes, but..." while reading Hoffman. However, all readers will search in vain for substantive definitions. Although inexpensive, this work is available only in paperback and would probably have a short shelf life. Libraries would be better off purchasing the more scholarly general dictionaries, including Michael Kennedy's Oxford Dictionary of Music Oxford Univ., 1994. 2d ed. and Don M. Randel's New Harvard Dictionary of Music 1986.Anthony J. Adam, Prairie View A&M Univ. Lib., Tex.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780395707425
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 8/1/1997
  • Edition description: None
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.03 (w) x 8.97 (h) x 0.84 (d)

Meet the Author

MILES HOFFMAN is the music commentator for NPR's Morning Edition. Every week for thirteen years, from 1989 to 2002, he delighted the nationwide audience of NPR's Performance Today with his sparkling commentary 'Coming to Terms.' A graduate of Yale University and the Juilliard School, Hoffman is the violist and artistic director of the American Chamber Players and is the dean of the Petrie School of Music at Converse College in South Carolina.

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