The Best Classical Music Books

Looking for the best books on classical music? Look no further! Our experts have compiled a list of the best books on the subject, perfect for music lovers of all levels.

The Best Classical Music Books

There are many different types of books about classical music, and it can be hard to decide which ones are the best. If you’re looking for the best classical music books, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll recommend the best books about classical music, including books about the history of classical music, the greatest classical composers, and the best classical music recordings.

The Norton/Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians

The Norton/Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians is the most comprehensive and authoritative single-volume reference work on music and musicians in the English language. Containing more than 7,000 articles written by over 1,800 leading experts from all over the world, it is an essential source of information on every aspect of music. The Dictionary includes biographies of major composers, performers, and other figures in the history of music; articles on musical styles, genres, and national traditions; and entries on individual works, ranging from ancient Greek songs to contemporary pop songs. There are also articles on philosophy, criticism, musicology, and other topics related to music. The Dictionary is fully cross-referenced and includes a detailed index.

The Penguin Guide to Compact Discs and DVDs

The Penguin Guide to Compact Discs and DVDs is a reference work containing an alphabetical index of recordings of classical music on Compact Discs (CDs) and DVDs, compiled by Ivan March and Edward Greenfield, with Robert Layton and Paul Czajkowski.

The guide was first published in 1983 as The Penguin Guide to Recording CDs, before being updated in 1988, 1991 and 1996. The most recent edition was published in 2010. It covers recordings of classical music on Compact Discs (CDs) and DVDs released up to the end of 2009.

The Rough Guide to Classical Music

Classical music is often seen as being stuffy, elitist and impenetrable to newcomers. But it doesn’t have to be that way. With The Rough Guide to Classical Music you can explore the vibrant, varied and fascinating world of classical music without feeling like you need a degree in the subject.

This book guide takes you through 11 different classical music styles, from Baroque and Classical to Romantic and 20th-century, with insightful descriptions of the key composers, works and performers in each. You’ll also find a directory of recommended recordings, a glossary of musical terms, and a list of further reading.

Whether you’re just starting out on your classical music journey or you’re already an ardent fan, The Rough Guide to Classical Music will enrich your understanding and deepen your enjoyment of this hugely rewarding genre.

The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians

The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians is an authoritative reference work on classical music. It was first published in 1980 and has been reprinted several times since then. The dictionary is edited by composer and musicologist Stanley Sadie and is widely considered to be one of the best classical music books available.

Other Useful Books

In addition to the biographies, history books, and books on individual composers already mentioned, there are a number of valuable books that focus on specific topics in classical music. These include books on the history of various musical genres, instrumentation, and performers, as well as more general books on the role of music in society.

The Cambridge Companion to Classical Music

The Cambridge Companion to Classical Music is a book edited by Nicholas Cook and Glenn Damon. It was first published in 1997 by Cambridge University Press. The book contains eighteen essays written by various scholars on different aspects of classical music. The book is organized into four sections: “The Contexts of Classical Music”, “The Practice of Classical Music”, “Reception and Canon”, and “Critical Debates”.

The essays in the first section discuss the history and development of classical music, from the medieval period to the present day. The essays in the second section focus on the practical aspects of performing and composing classical music, including discussion of notation, form, and genre. The third section explores issues of reception and canon formation, examining how classical music has been received and interpreted by different audiences over time. Finally, the fourth section presents a series of debates on critical issues surrounding classical music, such as its relationship to popular music, folkmusic , or jazz.”

The Rough Guide to Opera

From the explosive drama of Tosca and Carmen to the moving tragedy of Madama Butterfly and La Bohème, opera has always exerted a powerful hold over the public imagination. In The Rough Guide to Opera, Roger Parker tells the story of this extraordinary art form from its earliest beginnings in Renaissance Italy to its current status as one of the most popular forms of musical entertainment in the world.

With entry on over 350 key operas, including detailed plot summaries, background information on the composers and librettists, and recommendations for further listening, The Rough Guide to Opera is the perfect companion for anyone who wants to explore this endlessly fascinating genre.

The New Grove Dictionary of Opera

The New Grove Dictionary of Opera is an essential reference work for anyone interested in opera. First published in 1992, it was edited by British musicologist Stanley Sadie and American musicologist John Tyrrell. The dictionary comprises more than 5,000 articles written by more than 1,200 contributors from all over the world. Covering opera from its beginnings in the late sixteenth century to the present day, it is the most comprehensive work of its kind in any language.

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