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What to Listen for in Music

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Aaron Copland, one of the most famous American composers in history, instructs readers in the art of listening to music from the composer's point of view. "What to Listen for in Music" creates the foundation for an intelligent musical appreciation, beginning with such basics as harmony, melody, and rhythm. This latest edition features new sections that update the book's coverage of contemporary music and listening habits.

Whether you choose to listen to Mozart or to ...

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What to Listen For in Music

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Overview

Aaron Copland, one of the most famous American composers in history, instructs readers in the art of listening to music from the composer's point of view. "What to Listen for in Music" creates the foundation for an intelligent musical appreciation, beginning with such basics as harmony, melody, and rhythm. This latest edition features new sections that update the book's coverage of contemporary music and listening habits.

Whether you choose to listen to Mozart or to Duke Ellington, Copland's provocative suggestions for listening will bring you a deeper appreciation of the most rewarding of all art forms, as he offers a fascinating analysis of how to listen to music intelligently. Includes a selected bibliography for further reading.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780070130913
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Companies, The
  • Publication date: 6/1/1988
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 336

Meet the Author

Aaron Copland’s well-known and highly regarded compositions, performed and recorded extensively throughout the world, include the Pulitzer Prize–winning ballet Appalachian Spring, as well as Billy the Kid, Rodeo, Lincoln Portrait, and the film scores of Our Town and The Heiress. On being awarded a Congressional Gold Medal in 1986, Copland was praised for his “uniquely American music that reflects the very soul and experience of our people.” During his career, Copland taught composition at Harvard and the Berkshire Music Center, lectured all over the United States, and wrote Our New Music and Music and Imagination. He died in 1990.

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Table of Contents

What to Listen for in Music Aaron Copland: America's Musical Voice Foreword Introduction Author's Note for the 1957 Edition Preface Acknowledgments
1. Preliminaries
2. How We Listen
3. The Creative Process in Music
4. The Four Elements of Music—I. Rhythm
5. The Four Elements of Music—II. Melody
6. The Four Elements of Music—III. Harmony
7. The Four Elements of Music—IV. Tone Color
8. Musical Texture
9. Musical Structure
10. Fundamental Forms—I. Sectional Form
11. Fundamental Forms—II. Variation Form
12. Fundamental Forms—III. Fugal Form
13. Fundamental Forms—IV. Sonata Form
14. Fundamental Forms—V. Free Forms
15. Opera and Music Drama
16. Contemporary Music
17. Film Music
18. From Composer to Interpreter to Listener Epilogue: "Since Then"
Appendix I Appendix II Appendix III Suggested Bibliography for Further Reading Index

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 27, 2010

    A great read for anyone wanting to appreciate music more.

    Dustin Mel Porter What to Listen for in Music What to Listen for in Music written by Aaron Copland is a great informational non-fiction book that attempts to teach the reader how to enjoy music more while listening to it. The major point of the book is to make the common-music listener think more like a composer. When you hear music, you will have much more appreciation knowing what it took to make what you are listening to. You should have the ability to pick out every instrument and every note individually in a song, and be able to be sensitive to each track that makes up the song to enjoy the sound to its fullest. This book is geared towards anyone who would like to enjoy music. Whether the reader is someone who is experienced in the art of music (such as a composer), or someone who doesn't even know what an octave is, any reader can get a better understanding of the music they're listening to. The book even has suggested recordings to search and listen to for each chapter in the case that the reader would like to pick up more background information. Although this book was designed for the common music novice, it was also originally written in 1955, where both music, and the way we listen to it, has evolved greatly. As time passes, it becomes harder and harder to relate to the book, as has little to no mention of electronic recording, modern tools for listening to music (such as headphones, stereo system, with a subwoofer, etc.), and does not take into account today's vast variety of musical genres that were not around in the 50's. Despite these negative features of the book, I would still suggest this book to anyone who has a vast love of music. After reading this, you will appreciate all of the aspects of music that you previously didn't understand. You will appreciate the time, effort, and detail that each song needed to become a finished product. This book will make the novice sympathize the expert for having to deal with the complications of creating art. Overall, I would rate this book an 8 out of 10. I am not quite the music novice that this book is written towards, but I still found it enjoyable. There are vast amount of positives in this book, but that doesn't cancel out the few negatives. Although this book has already been re-written to try to help the modern music listener relate better, I personally feel like it should be re-written again to make all music listeners of all music genres know what they are reading.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2012

    German Print

    This book is not printed in English.

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  • Posted December 26, 2010

    This is the wrong book!

    Unfortunately, this is not actually Aaron Copland's "What to listen for in music." It is instead a German chemistry journal published in 1803. This is very disappointing BN.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 26, 2010

    This is the wrong book!

    This is not actually Copland's "What to listen for in music." It is instead some sort of German chimistry journal published in 1803. Disappointing...

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  • Posted December 9, 2010

    illegible

    I can't see the text, it's so small and can't be enlarged. Too bad, I was looking forward to reading this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2010

    Amazing Read, Fast Service!

    Not only is this book great for anyone who listens to music, but the service by Barnes and Noble is extraordinary! I suggest this book to anyone that loves music!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2000

    Copland's Book Still Shines on His Birthday

    Aaron Copland's What to Listen for in Music is perhaps the best book of its kind, both for the professional and the amateur. This new edition, edited and expanded by Alan Rich, is even more valuable, since it contains many excellent recommendations of recordings, along with an interesting chapter on contemporary music.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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