Classical Music For Dummies

Classical Music For Dummies

by David Pogue, Scott Speck

Paperback(2nd Revised ed.)

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Haydn, Tchaikovsky, and Brahms, oh, my! The beginner's guide to classical music

Classical Music For Dummies is a friendly, funny, easy-to-understand guide to composers, instruments, orchestras, concerts, recordings, and more. Classical music is widely considered one of the pinnacles of human achievement, and this informative guide will shows you just how beautiful and rewarding it can be. You'll learn how Bach is different from Beethoven, how Mozart is different still, and why not all "classical" music is actually Classical if it's really Baroque or Romantic. You'll be introduced to the composers and their work, and discover the groundbreaking pieces that shake the world every time they're played. Begin building your classical music library with the essential recordings that define orchestral, choral, and operatic beauty as you get acquainted with the orchestras and musicians that bring the composers to life.

Whether you want to play classical music or just learn more about it, Classical Music For Dummies will teach you everything you need to know to get the most out of this increasingly popular genre.

  • Distinguish flute from piccolo, violin from viola, and trumpet from trombone
  • Learn the difference between overtures, requiems, arias, and masses
  • Explore the composers that shaped music as we know it
  • Discover the recordings your music library cannot be without

Classical music has begun sneaking into the mainstream — if your interest has been piqued, there's never been a better time to develop an appreciation for this incredibly rich, complex, and varied body of work. Classical Music For Dummies lays the groundwork, and demonstrates just how amazing classical music can be.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781119049753
Publisher: Wiley
Publication date: 07/13/2015
Series: For Dummies Series
Edition description: 2nd Revised ed.
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 427,904
Product dimensions: 7.30(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

David Pogue studied music at Yale and has been a conductor on Broadway and worked as a columnist at the New York Times.
Scott Speck, an award-winning music director and conductor, has led symphony orchestras from coast to coast and around the world.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Part I: Getting Started with Classical Music 5

Chapter 1: Prying Open the Classical Music Oyster 7

Chapter 2: The Entire History of Music in 80 Pages 13

Chapter 3: Knowing How to Spot a Sonata 91

Part II: Listen Up! 111

Chapter 4: Dave ’n’ Scott’s E-Z Concert Survival Guide™ 113

Chapter 5: For Your Listening Pleasure 137

Intermission: Taking a Backstage Tour 159

Part III: A Field Guide to the Orchestra 177

Chapter 6: Keyboards & Co 179

Chapter 7: Strings Attached 191

Chapter 8: Gone with the Woodwinds 209

Chapter 9: The Top (and Bottom) Brass 223

Chapter 10: Percussion’s Greatest Hits 235

Part IV: Peeking into the Composer’s Brain 247

Chapter 11: The Dreaded Music Theory Chapter 249

Chapter 12: Once More, with Feeling: Tempo, Dynamics, and Orchestration 289

Part V: The Part of Tens 297

Chapter 13: The Ten Most Common Misconceptions about Classical Music 299

Chapter 14: The Ten Best Musical Terms for Cocktail Parties 305

Chapter 15: Ten Great Classical Music Jokes 311

Chapter 16: Ten Ways to Get More Music in Your Life 317

Part VI: The Appendixes 325

Appendix A: Starting a Classical Music Collection 327

Appendix B: Classical Music Timeline 333

Appendix C: Glossary 341

Index 347

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"This book is the perfect way to go from dummy to expert in classical music!" —André Watts, Pianist

"Classical Music For Dummies should be the first book for anyone ages 5-105. Anyone from layperson to first-year conservatory music student should crack open this wonderfully diverse and enriching look into the world of classical music. I wish this book had been part of my beginning curriculum." —Tiny Kniffen, Principal Tubist, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra

" Classical Music For Dummies engages the reader with its flawless pacing, humor, and wit. It is a 'classic' in its own right" —Barry Bowlus, classical music enthusiast

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Classical Music For Dummies 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Joles on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
All of the Dummies books are excellent and this is no exception. I love how it delves into depth, while also relating anecdotes and cartoons to hold the reader's attention. The CD is also excellent.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love the way the chapters unravel all the confusing terms and let me know that I don't already need to know everything to try to enjoy classical music. And it is 'laugh out loud' funny!