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Classical Music For Dummies, 3rd Edition

PDF Classical Music For Dummies, 3rd Edition Copyright © 2022 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Book author
  1. David Pogue
  2. Scott Speck


Classical music was never meant to be an art for snobs!
In the 1700s and 1800s, classical music was popular music. People went to concerts with their friends, they brought snacks and drinks, and cheered right in the middle of the concert.
Well, guess what? Three hundred years later, that music is just as catchy, thrilling, and emotional.
From Bach to Mozart and Chopin, history's greatest composers have stood the test of time and continue to delight listeners from all walks of life. And in Classical Music For Dummies, you'll dive deeply into some of the greatest pieces of music ever written. You'll also get:
  • A second-by-second listening guide to some of history's greatest pieces, annotated with time codes
  • A classical music timeline, a field guide to the orchestra, and listening suggestions for your next foray into the classical genre
  • Expanded references so you can continue your studies with recommended resources
  • Bonus online material, like videos and audio tracks, to help you better understand concepts from the book
Classical Music For Dummies is perfect for anyone who loves music. It's also a funny, authoritative guide to expanding your musical horizons—and to learning how the world's greatest composers laid the groundwork for every piece of music written since.


By opening this book, you’ve taken a flying leap into the frightening, mysterious, larger-than-life universe of classical music, where 100 people dressed like 18th-century waiters fill the stage, doing some very strange
things to hunks of metal and wood, filling the air with strange and exotic sounds.

We can sense the hair beginning to rise on the back of your neck already. But don’t be afraid; whether you know it or not, you’ve experienced classical music all your life — in movies and video games, on TV, online, on the radio, and in elevators everywhere. We’re willing to wager that you already know more than you need to get started.

About This Book

We know that you’re a highly intelligent person. After all, you managed to select this book from among a vast catalog of highly qualified music books.

But in this vast, complex, information-overload society, you’re expected to be fully conversant with 1,006,932,408.7 different subjects. (The .7 is for square dancing, which doesn’t quite qualify as a complete subject.) So it’s only natural that even the greatest genius doesn’t know everything. It happens that you, O Reader, are still in the incipient stages of Classical Music Geniusdom.

That’s why we use the words “For Dummies” with a twinkle in our eye. Truth be told, this book is for intelligent people who want to discover more about a new subject. And for us, it’s a chance to share with you what we love.

If you’ve never touched an instrument or sung a song, Classical Music For Dummies, 3rd Edition can give you the basic understanding you need. If you want an easy-to-read reference when you hear a recording or attend a concert, this book provides it. If you want to get a thorough grounding in the subject, the book allows for that, too. Even if you’re already very well versed in classical music (and a surprising number of our readers are), you can discover something in each chapter to enhance your delight even further. This book is meant to meet you wherever you are and bring you to a new level. We’ve even been thrilled to discover that many teachers have used our book as a text in classes about music history, theory, composition, orchestration, or appreciation. Works for us!
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