Author Topic: Good Resources for Beginners  (Read 38738 times)

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Offline Solitary Wanderer

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Re: Some Good Resources for Beginners
« Reply #20 on: June 27, 2007, 06:54:10 PM »
This is an excellent book:



Heres a link to some more info on it.

I wish I'd had a book like this when I was first getting into classical music at age 19. :)
'I lingered round them, under that benign sky: watched the moths fluttering among the heath and harebells, listened to the soft wind breathing through the grass, and wondered how any one could ever imagine unquiet slumbers for the sleepers in that quiet earth.' ~ Emily Bronte

Joan

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Re: Some Good Resources for Beginners
« Reply #21 on: June 30, 2007, 08:23:18 PM »
This is an excellent book:



Heres a link to some more info on it.

I wish I'd had a book like this when I was first getting into classical music at age 19. :)

This looks really good! I checked out the excerpts on Amazon. Nice to see that it has chapters on non-Western music. Thanks for posting this. There are so many guide books out there and after a while they sort of blur into one another, so the really exceptional ones get lost in the crowd.

Offline RebLem

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Re: Some Good Resources for Beginners
« Reply #22 on: October 31, 2007, 04:10:32 AM »
Two books I heartily recommend:

!. What to listen for in music by Aaron Copland. The best music appreciation primer around, and available for about a buck in a well stocked used bookstore.

2. The All Music Guide to Classical Music by numerous writers. This is a large paperback; my copy of the 2005 edition is 1,607 pages long and was priced at $34.95 USD. It is revised regularly; I recommend getting a new one about every 5 years. Its wonderful. They have brief bios of most important composers, both the who, what, when, where stuff and interpretive information about how they fit into the whole scheme of things. Then essays on each of what they consider said composer's major works, and their judgment in these matters, while not flawless, is pretty good. Then, a list of recommended recordings for each one, also pretty good, though not flawless. At least, I find myself tearing my hair out and yelling, "Why the hell did they recommend that record?" a lot less than with other books which recommend specific recordings.

For the Dvorak 9th, for example, they recommend the Kubelik/BPO set of all nine, and individual recordings by Ashkenazy, Szell, Davis, and Kertesz. Actually, I haven't heard the Ashkenazy or the Davis, but the others are excellent. I do wish they had added three more, though--Ancerl, Giulini/CSO, and my all time favorite, the Zdenek Macal/London Phil recording on the budget Classics for Pleasure label. But, fact is, this AMG list is pretty good, so good that I am putting those Ashkenazy and Davis CDs on my want list today.

In addition to composers, they have articles on specific orchestras and chamber ensembles, conductors, and various soloists.

One thing that people find some difficulty with when starting out is finding out something about the vocabulary of whatever discipline it is. One resource which I find very valuable is a free on-line music dictionary at Virginia Tech. http://www.music.vt.edu/musicdictionary/

The have definitions for thousands of musical terms. One other thing they have that I think is unique (at least, I haven't come across it anywhere else) is that they have an audio pronunciation guide for every word in the dictionary. You click on a button near the word, and you hear a knowledgeable person actually pronounce the word for you. Unfortunately, they don't have the names of any composers or performers or ensemble names, just generic musical terms, but it is a very valuable resource.

« Last Edit: October 31, 2007, 04:14:20 AM by RebLem »
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Offline Shrunk

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Re: Some Good Resources for Beginners
« Reply #23 on: November 07, 2007, 05:10:44 PM »

The Symphony - An Interactive Guide


A very well-designed website with many audio examples, giving an overview of the history of the symphony, its structure, and its most important composers.

Offline FŽanor

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Re: Good Resources for Beginners
« Reply #24 on: November 16, 2007, 04:36:29 PM »
The following age couple of books the I have found very helpful as a (relative) beginner.

The Rough Guide to Classical Music, Joe Staines & Duncan Clark, et al.
... http://www.amazon.com/Rough-Guide-Classical-Music-Reference/dp/1843532476/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1195259635&sr=1-1

The Essential Canon of Classical Music, David Dubal ... http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0865476640/ref=s9_asin_image_1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-1&pf_rd_r=0PAGS8N530P6AMGSB2Y8&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=278240701&pf_rd_i=507846

Offline DanielFullard

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Re: Good Resources for Beginners
« Reply #25 on: November 18, 2007, 10:04:07 AM »
I would strongly recommend all of these two books. Helped me massively.



This is a great book. Usually can get it for under a tenner. To me its everything you need from a Classical Music for Beginners Book. Guides you through the eras, brief snapshots of the composers first, little history lessons on who came when etc and then the bulk of the book is the 50 composers list. Each is given 4-5 pages, guides you through works from a basic library to an expanded collection. And above all it speaks on a easy to understand level whilst being written very intelligently and with a good dose of humour. No snobbery or tech speak.



Again this is a good cheap book (about a fiver at most) which is written for people daunted by classical music. Its superbly written and again plenty of humour and the way he writes it as if he too is standing in front of classical music looking scared makes you really relate.


Mark

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Re: Good Resources for Beginners
« Reply #26 on: November 18, 2007, 03:38:38 PM »
I would strongly recommend all of these two books. Helped me massively.



This is a great book. Usually can get it for under a tenner. To me its everything you need from a Classical Music for Beginners Book. Guides you through the eras, brief snapshots of the composers first, little history lessons on who came when etc and then the bulk of the book is the 50 composers list. Each is given 4-5 pages, guides you through works from a basic library to an expanded collection. And above all it speaks on a easy to understand level whilst being written very intelligently and with a good dose of humour. No snobbery or tech speak.



Again this is a good cheap book (about a fiver at most) which is written for people daunted by classical music. Its superbly written and again plenty of humour and the way he writes it as if he too is standing in front of classical music looking scared makes you really relate.



Where did you get these, Daniel? I'm quite interested in the first one. :)

Offline DanielFullard

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Re: Good Resources for Beginners
« Reply #27 on: November 18, 2007, 04:48:24 PM »
As far as I recall I got them off Amazon myself. And they are still listed there as thats where I got the pics ;D ;D ;D ;D

Mark

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Re: Good Resources for Beginners
« Reply #28 on: November 18, 2007, 05:02:39 PM »
As far as I recall I got them off Amazon myself. And they are still listed there as thats where I got the pics ;D ;D ;D ;D

Excellent. Found 'em. Thanks. :)

Offline Opus106

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Re: Good Resources for Beginners
« Reply #29 on: April 26, 2008, 07:16:00 AM »
These are reference sites that I've found to be useful.

http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=73:c
I usually go here for descriptions of various works, and sometimes even for the concise biographies.

http://www.dolmetsch.com/index.htm

http://www.jsbach.org/
http://www.mozartproject.org/
http://www.all-about-beethoven.com/
http://www.madaboutbeethoven.com/

http://www.inkpot.com/classical/ This is a site based in Singapore. Although a site for CD reviews, it's not very extensive, but it has these articles called Inktroductions, which are introductions (duh!) to many of the most famous (or oft-played, however you wish to call them) works in western classical music. You'll have to go through a couple of links from the page mentioned above to reach these articles. I'll save you the trouble.  Beethoven's symphonies from 1-8 and "symphony No. 10" (There's a separate article for the 9th.)
Regards,
Navneeth

Daedalus

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Unlocking the Masters series
« Reply #30 on: March 31, 2009, 06:42:15 AM »
I thought I would post this in the 'Classical Music for Beginners' section seeing as they are good guides for new listeners.

Unlocking the Masters are a series of books from Amadeus Press:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/unlocking-masters/s/qid=1238509382/ref=sr_nr_i_0?ie=UTF8&rs=&keywords=unlocking%20the%20masters&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Aunlocking%20the%20masters%2Ci%3Astripbooks

They are aimed at 'amateur' listeners and have little in the way of technical content. Each book tends to take you through the music, outlining what to listen for and explaining the form and content, as well as external aspects such as historical context and composer biography etc. Each book comes with one or two CDs.

At the moment, they have books for the following composers:
Mahler,
Beethoven,
Shostakovich,
Chopin,
Mozart (two books: one instrumental and one vocal),
Wagner,
Tchaikovsky,
Sibelius,
Puccini,
Dvorak,
Brahms,
Monteverdi,
Debussy,
Haydn,
Liszt.

They also have a book called The Great Instrumental Works, which is a general survey of instrumental music.

Two new books are going to be released this year. One on Schubert and one on Bach.

Personally, I have the Instrumental Works one, the Mahler book, both of the Mozart books, plus the Beethoven, Wagner , Sibelius and Shostakovich editions.

I have had a lot of enjoyment reading the Mahler one in particular. The quality does vary as they are written by different authors. I can recommend most of the David Hurwitz books in this series, as I find his ideas about the music clearly expressed and interesting to read.

In general, I think they are excellent guides, helping to give the listener enough information to enjoy and understand the music.

I recommend them to anyone starting out who is unsure where to start or feeling 'lost' when listening to a specific composer.

D.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2009, 06:43:58 AM by Daedalus »

hornteacher

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Re: Unlocking the Masters series
« Reply #31 on: March 31, 2009, 07:20:57 PM »
Totally agree with you.  This is a great series for not just beginners but for people who are experienced and want to explore other composers.  The Mahler book for example was very helpful to me as I took my first steps into his music.

Offline Diletante

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Re: Unlocking the Masters series
« Reply #32 on: March 31, 2009, 07:40:12 PM »
Thanks for the heads up.
Orgullosamente diletante.

Brahmsian

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Re: Good Resources for Beginners
« Reply #33 on: November 12, 2009, 04:33:40 PM »
Dear All,

I am new to this forum, however not new to classical music (although I am not a pro, I donít even play an instrument, it's embarrassing). I love classical music, and I always found it a pity that only few people have found access to classical music and the great joy it can bring to our lives.
That's why I have recently written an article on how to enable "newbies" an easy access to it. I posted it on my blog and would very much appreciate your comments and ideas on how to make it even easier for beginners to get to know classical music.
The link to the post is http://www.spreadinghappiness.org/20...an-easy-entry/
Would be great to hear from you!

Thank you,
Nick

Hi Nick, welcome to GMG!  :)  Unfortunately, I can't seem to connect to your blog.  :(

Offline FŽanor

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Re: Unlocking the Masters series
« Reply #34 on: November 15, 2009, 05:33:59 AM »
I thought I would post this in the 'Classical Music for Beginners' section seeing as they are good guides for new listeners.

Unlocking the Masters are a series of books from Amadeus Press:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/unlocking-masters/s/qid=1238509382/ref=sr_nr_i_0?ie=UTF8&rs=&keywords=unlocking%20the%20masters&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Aunlocking%20the%20masters%2Ci%3Astripbooks

They are aimed at 'amateur' listeners and have little in the way of technical content. Each book tends to take you through the music, outlining what to listen for and explaining the form and content, as well as external aspects such as historical context and composer biography etc. Each book comes with one or two CDs.
...
 D.
I'm pleased to see that the Canadian prices are actually a bit cheaper than the U.K. or the U.S. ... see at Amazon.ca.

Brahmsian

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Re: Good Resources for Beginners
« Reply #35 on: November 23, 2009, 11:03:11 AM »
I frequently use allmusic.com for brief descriptions of classical works or composers.  I know others also use this site as a reference guide.

Has anyone else noticed that the descriptions have all disappeared?  :(

Offline FŽanor

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Re: Good Resources for Beginners
« Reply #36 on: November 23, 2009, 07:01:04 PM »
I frequently use allmusic.com for brief descriptions of classical works or composers.  I know others also use this site as a reference guide.

Has anyone else noticed that the descriptions have all disappeared?  :(
Yes, I'm afraid so.  I wonder if they'll be back?

Brahmsian

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Re: Good Resources for Beginners
« Reply #37 on: November 24, 2009, 06:46:50 AM »
I frequently use allmusic.com for brief descriptions of classical works or composers.  I know others also use this site as a reference guide.

Has anyone else noticed that the descriptions have all disappeared?  :(

I've sent them an email just now, asking why they have disappeared.  Hopefully I'll get a response.

Brahmsian

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Re: Good Resources for Beginners
« Reply #38 on: November 25, 2009, 10:44:47 AM »
I frequently use allmusic.com for brief descriptions of classical works or composers.  I know others also use this site as a reference guide.

Has anyone else noticed that the descriptions have all disappeared?  :(


The descriptions are now up again.  :)

Offline FŽanor

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Re: Good Resources for Beginners
« Reply #39 on: November 26, 2009, 06:25:00 AM »

The {allmusic} descriptions are now up again.  :)
Thank goodness.  Maybe it was your email, BrahmsNut.  Big thanks for that in any case.   8)
« Last Edit: November 26, 2009, 06:26:55 AM by Feanor »

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