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Refresh and try again. I slogged through the second half. A must read for any avid music lover.

What to Listen for in Music by Aaron Copland

Reading Copland, you wonder why more people don’t fully engage their intellect with music. I was surprised that I was able to follow all of his teachings — with the exception of some sections dealing with forms. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. 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 A very good book for aaon musicians and non musicians!

It might also serve well to clarify certain parts of the structure of music for one who already is well lx but lacks the knowledge of a professional musician. I’m sure you won’t regret it! If you cannot answer yes to both questions, you owe it to yourself to read this book.

A good part of the book’s fascination for me lies in this insider’s point of view, the perspective of the maker. It is really inspiring to put yourself in a composer’s shoes and go through the st The author says it’s a book even for lay people, when, in fact, it would be preferable to have a minimum of sensitivity and musical knowledge.

However that definitely makes the reading difficulty harder than it would be otherwise, even for a proficient musician. You can often learn a bit about a composer’s personality by listening to his works, but hearing him give a discourse on the subject was invaluable in appreciating his pieces more. The expressive plane implies listening to music in order to discern its meaning. Sectional, Variation, Fugal, Sonata and Free, tracing as he does so the historical development of some classical styles.


He was the first American student of the brilliant teacher, Nadia Boulanger.

In those sections, it would have been helpful to have him sitting next to me at a piano to illustrate the forms he was describing. It was a real joy to read a work by someone who can describe musicca well the technical aspects of music, but in a way that refuses to reduce music to something entirely tangible.

This book was a great introduction. His thesis is that knowledge and active engagement make more richer musical experiences, and that restricting your consumption to background listening or certain periods restricts our diet unnecessarily.

His prose flows well and strikes the right balance between straightforward and poetic, technical and non-technical. A great introduction to ideas, vocabulary, and structure for music appreciation. Copland also would conduct, teach, and write over the course of his prodigious career. A great symphony is a man-made Mississippi down which we irresistibly flow from the instant of our leave-taking to a long foreseen destination.

The composer hits upon a musical theme and develops it the way he does because he wishes to express “something” through the music. I think it’s a book I shall return to on occasion to deepen my understanding. 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.

What to Listen for in Music

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. 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.


That starts with a greater understanding of the technical aspects of music and composition which Copland has provided and culminates in being aaorn to simply let a piece – no matter how “formless” and atonal – happen, giving it the freedom to create nostalgia, to re create an emotional experience that envelops us for 10 minutes or three hours.

It is really inspiring to put yourself in a composer’s shoes and go through the steps of creating a new work of art!

This is a wonderful introduction to “classical” music by the American composer Aaron Copland. I’ve already gained immensely in the area of early 20th century works and am looking forward to extending my listening range. May 09, Martin Read rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: Alan Rich Foreword and Epilogue. Copland urges the reader to listen for “the long line,” the path along which a piece of music develops, and muusica coheres.

I HIGHLY recommend you listen to the works he mentions while reading the book, it gives you a much much clearer understanding of what he is trying to explain In this book first written in the s, Copland distinguishes between listening on a sensuous plane mere enjoyment of the quality of sound and on expressive escuchat sheerly aqron planes. The theme as stated before is why one should learn to better listen to the music that they are hearing.

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