The more you know about classical music, the more you love it. Now, thanks to Classical Music For Dummies, you can achieve a whole new level of insight into both the composers and the compositions that have made classical music one of the great accomplishments of humankind.
Classical Music For Dummies doesn't assume that you have a degree in musicology -- or even that you took a course in music appreciation. Rather, the multimedially gifted David Pogue and renowned conductor Scott Speck explain classical music in terms you can understand, and they describe musical elements so that you can hear them for yourself.
A reference you can dip into at any point, Classical Music For Dummies covers such topics as
- The various forms that classical music takes -- from symphonies to string quartets
- What goes on behind the scenes and on stage to fill a concert hall with great classical music
- How to recognize, by sight and by sound, the many instruments that make up an orchestra
- The nuts and bolts of classical music -- from rhythm to harmonic progression
Plus, Classical Music For Dummies
comes complete with a CD containing over 60 minutes of masterpieces compiled especially for the book. The CD also includes a demo version of the Angel/EMI Classics For DummiesTM
multimedia interface to try out on your Windows-based PC or Macintosh computer. In a time when school music classes (if they exist at all) teach their students the finer points of the themes from The Twilight Zone
instead of real music; when classical radio stations are converted to Lite Rock or switched to a "top 100" classical jukebox format; and when even churches increasingly favor banal "Jesus Is My Boyfriend"-style slop instead of Bach, Mozart, and Vaughn Williams, classical music may legitimately be seen as an endangered cultural species. Enter Scott Speck and David Pogue, who take out the unnecessary mystery, and offer an easy-to-swallow quickie education, ranging from Gregorian chants to contemporary composers such as John Adams and John Corigliano. If you can't tell an oboe from a bassoon, there's also a dandy guide to the instruments of the orchestra, and once you're through that information you'll know the difference between a concerto and a sonata. Best of all is the introduction to music theory, which actually makes a daunting subject seem easy. It's all supported by a helpful enhanced compact disc (it works in your CD-ROM drive; it plays on your stereo's CD player) containing more than an hour of representative musical tidbits from good EMI recordings. Although the tone is unremittingly flippant and the jokes are, for the most part, pretty bad, Classical Music for Dummies
is one of the better works in this series, and really does provide a useful reference for a subject too often seen as arcane.