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As we move into a an age where we don’t kill trees to make paper to print books, students will have more and more of their resources in electronic form, rather than printed. The method for citation is slightly different, but not difficult to learn.

It gives you tips and ideas for listening to the different elements of classical music, melody, harmony, rhythm with examples of works to listen to. It’s a quick read that nevertheless covers a great deal of material. That defence seems to rest on the idea of authorial intention.

What to Listen for in Music by Aaron Copland

The books flows natural, just like one of Copland’s pieces. There are also chapters on traditional music forms, such as sections, fugues, and sonatas, as well as on free forms. As a book for the layperson, I think it’s wonderful. And he argues that a person should train themselves to listen for all three to better appreciate the music that they hear.

Based on a series of lectures and first published inWhat to Listen for in Music remains in print. As a decidedly non-layperson to the music world, I found myself skimming the beginning theory sections. It is no good only reading about music; to know music you obviously must listen to it and Copland has provided a wealth of selections for that purpose. I have been reading it in conjunction with Bernstein and a variety of Youtube clips.


It has also reinforced my interest in the period when so much happened artistically that we still seem to be processing. I particularly liked his chapter on opera. Copland’s aim is to help the non-musician become a better, more sophisticated listener, so none of the information was news to me.

Though unable to foresee the future coming changes in the ever-growing and changing musical structures and experimentations that has occurred in the past 50 years, Copland’s analysis and brilliance outlined throughout this book still gives much for the composer, musician, and layperson to learn from, even with the changing and fluid styles of music in this current sonic period.

During his ninety years, he made major A tight overview of the most significant things to look out for when listening to classical music. Although this is not quite the emotional trip as “Joy of Music” by Bernstein, it is the affections of a master laid in front of those of us who are interested. I had intended to listen as I went along, but when I realized I wouldn’t finish the book until summer if I kept up with that model, I decided to finish the book and then spend the next few months listening to each piece after a brief refresher of its chapter context.

Feb 19, Matteo rated it liked it. Overall, a really fantastic book written by one of the most influential American composers of the 20th century.

I have to admit that many of the recommended recordings I had never heard, aaroh our local library may be of help here. He is extremely successful in his aim, too – this is a great introduction to how to approach classical music for serious listeners. Read my entire review of What to Listen for in Music on mylittleheartmelodies. A very good book for both musicians and non musicians!

What to Listen for in Music

His prose flows well and strikes the right balance between straightforward and poetic, technical and non-technical. In the book, Copland covers all the key elements of music, beginning with the foundations: Lists with This Book. He did this by providing an coplznd of the most common musical forms and variations, and what their purposes were.


He describes la grande ligne this way: Copland illustrates his point by noting three modes of listening to music: The theme as stated before is why one should learn to better umsica to the music that they are hearing.

He describes the sensuous plane as listening to music simply for the pleasure of the music itself. Trivia About What to Listen fo Copland also would conduct, teach, and write over the course of his prodigious career. It has also reinforced my interest in the period 1 I enjoyed reading it. I’m sure you won’t regret it!

If you’re not a musician, you might need a little bit of help understanding some of the more complicated concepts, but don’t be afraid to ask for help or do extra research.

Everything is educational from a technical standpoint, and it was interesting to read a composition giant’s musings, however opinionated and dated can’t say I agree with Copland that the double bass isn’t used as a solo instrument!

Besides that – it is not worth reading. Return to Book Page.

A very nice book if you want to understand classical music better. Are you really being sensitive excuchar it? Going beyond the joy and expressive power, this plane involves the melodies, rhythms, harmonies, and timbre of music. A chapter is devoted to each of the four elements of music: After three years in Paris he returned to New York with his first major commission, writing an organ concerto for the American appearances of Madame Boulanger.