What to Listen for in Music PDF/EPUB ã What to


What to Listen for in Music ❰Reading❯ ➺ What to Listen for in Music Author Aaron Copland – Thomashillier.co.uk Whether they listen to Mozart or Duke Ellington, Aaron Copland invites readers to ask two basic questions Are they hearing everything that is going on Are they really being sensitive to it With his pr Whether they Listen for PDF ´ listen to Mozart or Duke Ellington, Aaron Copland invites readers to ask two basic questions Are they hearing everything that is going on Are they really being sensitive to it With his provocative suggestions, Aaron Copland guides readers through a deeper appreciation of the most rewarding of all art forms.


10 thoughts on “What to Listen for in Music

  1. Jana Light Jana Light says:

    This is a fantastic book for the layperson who wants to become aintelligent listener and who wants to understandof what is going on in classical music note all classical music, not just the Classical period Copland begins with an explanation of what music is and how it functions, moves to instruments, then to forms, adds an apologist chapter for contemporary music, and finishes with a chapter of what it means to be a good listener and the very significant role listeners play in t This is a fantastic book for the layperson who wants to become aintelligent listener and who wants to understandof what is going on in classical music note all classical music, not just the Classical period Copland begins with an explanation of what music is and how it functions, moves to instruments, then to forms, adds an apologist chapter for contemporary music, and finishes with a chapter of what it means to be a good listener and the very significant role listeners play in the participation of the music creation As a book for the layperson, I think it s wonderful It s smart, detailed, comprehensive, and Copland punctuates his objective analyses with stirring descriptions of the emotional impact of music that remind readers how evanescent and mysterious good music is It was a real joy to read a work by someone who can describe so well the technical aspects of music, but in a way that refuses to reduce music to something entirely tangible Copland never loses emphasis on the sublimity of music and the rather inexplicability of why good music sounds and feels so good to us As a decidedly non layperson to the music world, I found myself skimming the beginning theory sections The chapters on forms were a fantastic refresher, however sorry, long lost college music theory textbooks , and I enjoyed his discussions of music history throughout As a fan of Bartok and Villa Lobos and Satie, I loved Copland s apologist chapter for modern and contemporary music contemporary for the 1957 edition , reminding readers and listeners that though m c music is muchdifficult because it breaks so thoroughly from the forms and tonal sounds with which we have become familiar and which are scientifically verified to be mellifluous , it is the music of our day and we only do ourselves a disservice by not participating in it and working to understand it We may never like it, but it contains riches that deserve our effort and appreciation, like any other period and form Copland suggestively defines music as a language for emotions that are inexpressible in written or spoken language Like any language, true appreciation and fluency requires what Copland asks of his readers listeners a commitment to intentional, repeat, thoughtful, engaged listening across all historical periods and art forms That starts with a greater understanding of the technical aspects of music and composition which Copland has provided and culminates in being able 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 Reading Copland, you wonder whypeople don t fully engage their intellect with music It has so much to offer, and we have so much to offer as listeners Music really is one of the glories of mankind 229 Of equal importance to the text itself are Copland s listening suggestions of pieces that exemplify the form or element he describes in the preceding chapter I had intended to listen as I went along, but when I realized I wouldn t finish the book until summer if I kept up with that model, I decided to finish the book and then spend the next few months listening to each piece after a brief refresher of its chapter context I highly recommend every reader do something similar It is no good only reading about music to know music you obviously must listen to it and Copland has provided a wealth of selections for that purpose


  2. Michelle Curie Michelle Curie says:

    We expect a fine composition brilliantly performed, but how often do we think that it should also be brilliantly heardMusic is notoriously difficult to write about and classical music particularly is notoriously difficult to listen to Aaron Copland, an important composer and conductor of the 20th century himself, makes you disagree with both This is the perfect book for people who want to enhance their own listening experience and broaden their understanding of what it really means to lWe expect a fine composition brilliantly performed, but how often do we think that it should also be brilliantly heardMusic is notoriously difficult to write about and classical music particularly is notoriously difficult to listen to Aaron Copland, an important composer and conductor of the 20th century himself, makes you disagree with both This is the perfect book for people who want to enhance their own listening experience and broaden their understanding of what it really means to listen to music This is written for laypeople with a curiosity for classical music, making this easily accessible and enlighteningListening to music is a skill that is acquired through experience and learning Knowledge enhances enjoymentCopland begins by explaining the importance of the listener and also notes how we need to give ourselvescredit people without musical education tend to say that they can t form an opinion about a musical piece, yet we don t think that way in other fields where we might not have an extensive expertise think reading books or watching films for example He then covers everything from the creative process of making music, musical structure, harmonies, rhythm, texture and forms before addressingcontemporary music alongside film scores and operas, too I m personally not new to the subject, but still enjoyed his way of explaining things and the way he illustrated seemingly difficult matters of subject I know people who feel alienated by classical music and just don t get it This book perfectly proves that s it s about the commitment and interest one shows through intentional, repeated listening new structures will be unveiled to the listener


  3. David David says:

    Aaron Copland 1900 1990 stands as one of the giants of American composers Charged by his French music teacher to produce an authentic American style of music, he would compose classics such as Appalachian Spring, Billy the Kid, and Rodeo Copland also would conduct, teach, and write over the course of his prodigious career.Based on a series of lectures and first published in 1939, What to Listen for in Music remains in print Along with his compositions which are still being performed, this b Aaron Copland 1900 1990 stands as one of the giants of American composers Charged by his French music teacher to produce an authentic American style of music, he would compose classics such as Appalachian Spring, Billy the Kid, and Rodeo Copland also would conduct, teach, and write over the course of his prodigious career.Based on a series of lectures and first published in 1939, What to Listen for in Music remains in print Along with his compositions which are still being performed, this book stands as a testament of Copland s lasting influence on American music.It is Copland s prime consideration that makes What to Listen for in Music as accessible today as when it was first published Moving quickly to allay the fears of those who don t consider themselves musical, he strongly asserts that the ability to read music or recognize pitch isn t necessary to be an intelligent listener All that is necessary is active and conscious listening.Copland illustrates his point by noting three modes of listening to music the sensuous plane, the expressive plane, and the musical plane He describes the sensuous plane as listening to music simply for the pleasure of the music itself This might include listening to music while driving or turning it on at home for background noise.The expressive plane implies listening to music in order to discern its meaning While Copland acknowledges that music does, in fact, have meaning, he dissuades the listener from attaching too firm a meaning to any given piece of work For the feelings or emotion evoked at one time may be quite different when listening to the same piece of music at a later time.It is to the third plane the purely musical plane that Copland directs the reader Going beyond the joy and expressive power, this plane involves the melodies, rhythms, harmonies, and timbre of music This type of listening requires far greater attention and awareness to the underlying structure of the musical notes themselves The highest level of intelligent listening, then, is the concerted effort of sustained active listeningTo listen intently, to listen consciously, to listen with one s whole intelligenceAaron CoplandDetailed explanations of the underlying structures of music noted above occupy most of the book Copland makes generous references to examples of actual pieces of music that illustrate the points he is making He also includes brief sections of the musical notes for those who have the ability to read music.One of the most endearing aspects of Copland is his insistence on the necessity of listening to and appreciating various genres of music There s no instance of him dismissing composers within his own genre and he showers admiration on the complexity of rhythmic drumming styles of indigenous and tribal peoplesby comparison with the intricate rhythms used by African drummers or Chinese or Hindu percussionists, we are mere neophytesAaron CoplandWhat to Listen for in Music likely will appeal most to people who fully appreciate, if not love, fine music and want to move beyond the first and second planes of listening It might also serve well to clarify certain parts of the structure of music for one who already is well seasoned but lacks the knowledge of a professional musician.It might be helpful for those who, like me can neither read music nor recognize pitch, to supplement Copland either before or after with a work on the general history of Western music My personal choices include working my way through several selections of The Great Courses It s ultimately necessary for the reader to remember Copland s primary exhortation Music intelligence ultimately can t be gained by reading about it it must be listened to Anyone who does choose to read What to Listen for in Music, however, will emerge a far better listener even if another music book is never touched


  4. Jee Koh Jee Koh says:

    A basic and helpful introduction to music for someone like me, i.e., no music training beyond playing the pianica in primary school, and strumming the guitar round campfires in high school In this book first written in the 1930s, Copland distinguishes between listening on a sensuous plane mere enjoyment of the quality of sound and on expressive and sheerly musical planes While not slighting the first, he contends that a better understanding of music increases our pleasure in it Knowledge en A basic and helpful introduction to music for someone like me, i.e., no music training beyond playing the pianica in primary school, and strumming the guitar round campfires in high school In this book first written in the 1930s, Copland distinguishes between listening on a sensuous plane mere enjoyment of the quality of sound and on expressive and sheerly musical planes While not slighting the first, he contends that a better understanding of music increases our pleasure in it Knowledge enhances passion, as I try rather vainly to persuade my students about poetry A chapter is devoted to each of the four elements of music rhythm, melody, harmony and tonal quality, and the succinct discussion, giving just enough detail, builds clearly on what has been explained before There are also chapters on traditional music forms, such as sections, fugues, and sonatas, as well as on free forms Short passages of score illustrate the point made They are often from Beethoven, probably because he is most familiar to the reader, but also because he ranks very high in Copland s pantheon Other composers mentionedthan once include Palestrina, Bach, Tchaikovsky, Debussy, Stravinsky, Schoenberg, Webern, Roy Harris As to be expected from a contemporary composer, Copland makes a pitch for modern music it is difficult, he acknowledges, but it is continuous in its use of musical elements with what has gone on before.To illustrate free forms, Copland, rather surprisingly, refers to Bach.Bach wrote a good many preludes very often followed by a balancing fugue many of which are in free form It was these that Busoni pointed to as an example of the path that he thought music should take Bach achieved a unity of design in these free preludes either by adopting a pattern of well defined character or by a clear progression of chordal harmonies which lead one from the beginning of a piece to the end without utilizing any repetition of thematic materials Often, both methods are combined By these means Bach engenders a feeling of free fantasy and a bold freedom of design that would be impossible to achieve within a strict form When one hears them, the conviction grows that Busoni was quite right in saying that the future problems of handling form in music are bound up with this Bach like freedom in form.There is a chapter on opera and music drama, in which he lines up the composers on opposing sides based on whether they exalt the word or the music Wagner he praises for his music, but deplores for his ideas and words total art was a failure A chapter on film music, a genre Copland himself wrote, focuses on the process of composition and collaboration A good part of the book s fascination for me lies in this insider s point of view, the perspective of the maker In an introductory section, Copland defends the expressiveness of music against the proponents of pure music That defence seems to rest on the idea of authorial intention The composer hits upon a musical theme and develops it the way he does because he wishes to express something through the music Though that something is necessarily general, like an emotion, it matters as what the composer wishes to communicate to his listeners.Copland urges the reader to listen for the long line, the path along which a piece of music develops, and finally coheres He describes la grande ligne this way It is difficult adequately to explain the meaning of that phrase to the layman To be properly understood in relation to a piece of music, it must be felt In mere words, it simply means that every good piece of music must give us a sense of flow a sense of continuity from first note to last Every elementary music student knows the principle, but to put it into practice has challenged the greatest minds in music 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 Music must always flow, for that is part of its very essence, but the creation of that continuity and flow that long line constitutes the be all and end all of every composer s existence.In his references to the evolution of musical forms, he highlights the trend, without reifying it, towards the blurring of boundaries between sections, movements etc., and therefore a greater organicity The dissonance of modern music lies in our unfamiliar ears, and is not so very different from the dissonance of earlier innovative music in the ears of its own contemporary audience The difference is a matter of degree, and not of kind


  5. Quiver Quiver says:

    If you do not have any musical training, but are a fan of the aural arts, you might be tempted by a book which promises to show you what you re missing out on Copland s is a good starting point He identifies three planes of listening the sensuous which is practised by anyone who enjoys music by getting lost in it , the expressive which is practised by anyone who tries to understand the mood, the message, the idea behind the music , and finally, the musical plane for which you need a degr If you do not have any musical training, but are a fan of the aural arts, you might be tempted by a book which promises to show you what you re missing out on Copland s is a good starting point He identifies three planes of listening the sensuous which is practised by anyone who enjoys music by getting lost in it , the expressive which is practised by anyone who tries to understand the mood, the message, the idea behind the music , and finally, the musical plane for which you need a degree of technical knowledge.The sensuous plane cannot be taught, the expressive can be developed, but Copland focuses on the last of the three, teaching in fairly basic terms about the elements of music rhythm, melody, harmony, tone colour , the musical texture, the musical structure, and the fundamental forms sectional, variation, fugal, sonata, free There are also chapters on opera, contemporary music, and film music This is a short book do not expect an overly detailed account, and if you are not familiar with music notation, do not expect everything that is presented to be completely clear or thoroughly explained Copious listening suggestions are provided in and at the end of each chapter.In a sense, the ideal listener is both inside and outside the music at the same moment, judging it and enjoying it, wishing it would go one way and watching it go another almost like the composer at the moment he composes it because in order to write his music, the composer must also be inside and outside his music, carried away by it and yet coldly critical of it A subjective and objective attitude is implied in both creating and listening to music A book for the lay listener by the Aaron Copland of Appalachian Spring Yes, please Highly recommended for the insight and the sensitivity without condescension with which the reader is guided through the basics of listening to music


  6. Carol Carol says:

    I found this book very interesting, and thought it saidabout its author than its subject, at least for me Copland provides explanations of and thoughts on all the main elements of and aspects of music melody, rhythm, harmony, and formal structure, plus some additional special topics like opera, film music, and contemporary music Copland s aim is to help the non musician become a better,sophisticated listener, so none of the information was news to me However, I often found his ta I found this book very interesting, and thought it saidabout its author than its subject, at least for me Copland provides explanations of and thoughts on all the main elements of and aspects of music melody, rhythm, harmony, and formal structure, plus some additional special topics like opera, film music, and contemporary music Copland s aim is to help the non musician become a better,sophisticated listener, so none of the information was news to me However, I often found his take on it interesting and occasionally illuminating The only downside was that Copland is very much a man of the mid twentieth century he adheres strongly to a very evolutionary view of music, is often a little ethnocentric, and uses language such that you would think the only time women are professionally involved with music is when someone needs a soprano.Nonetheless, What to Listen for in Music is a very good read Copland really knows his stuff and has some great insights into things His prose flows well and strikes the right balance between straightforward and poetic, technical and non technical He is extremely successful in his aim, too this is a great introduction to how to approach classical music for serious listeners


  7. Kristin Shafel Kristin Shafel says:

    2.5 5 stars Full disclosure I am a professionally trained musician bachelor and master s degrees in composition, double bassist forthan fifteen years , so I realize this book isn t really intended for a person like me But from a historical standpoint, I do appreciate this set of lessons Through most of it, it was a nice little refresher for me Everything is educational from a technical standpoint, and it was interesting to read a composition giant s musings, however opinionated and d 2.5 5 stars Full disclosure I am a professionally trained musician bachelor and master s degrees in composition, double bassist forthan fifteen years , so I realize this book isn t really intended for a person like me But from a historical standpoint, I do appreciate this set of lessons Through most of it, it was a nice little refresher for me Everything is educational from a technical standpoint, and it was interesting to read a composition giant s musings, however opinionated and dated can t say I agree with Copland that the double bass isn t used as a solo instrument and he is very vocal about which composers he thinks are best in various eras and styles I think Copland articulated very well the act of listening to music on different planes sensuous for pure pleasure , expressive composer s meaning , and sheerly musical acoustic structural elements I enjoyed his chapter on the craft of composing all the different methods and processes.By the time I reached the halfway point, though, I was having trouble concentrating I slogged through the second half.Read my entire review of What to Listen for in Music on mylittleheartmelodies.com


  8. Tara Brabazon Tara Brabazon says:

    This book is cut up by a damaging assumption classical music is difficult Popular music is easy Therefore elitism reduces the usefulness of this book.The best components of the book probe the four essential elements to music rhythm, melody, harmony and tone colour Besides that it is not worth reading.


  9. Genni Genni says:

    A wonderful explanation of the basic principles of classical music, not an easy task He also does an admirable job of attempting to put in words some of themysterious elements of music Although I have a degree in music, I still learned a few things, and benefitted from those things that were review What I enjoyed the most about this book, indeed, the reason I read it, was listening to Aaron Copland talk about music You can often learn a bit about a composer s personality by listening A wonderful explanation of the basic principles of classical music, not an easy task He also does an admirable job of attempting to put in words some of themysterious elements of music Although I have a degree in music, I still learned a few things, and benefitted from those things that were review What I enjoyed the most about this book, indeed, the reason I read it, was listening to Aaron Copland talk about music 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


  10. Martin Read Martin Read says:

    I enjoyed reading it I felt that it improved my understanding of classical form considerably although my lack of musical knowledge made some chapters difficult I have been reading it in conjunction with Bernstein and a variety of Youtube clips I think it s a book I shall return to on occasion to deepen my understanding I ve already gained immensely in the area of early 20th century works and am looking forward to extending my listening range.It has also reinforced my interest in the period 1 I enjoyed reading it I felt that it improved my understanding of classical form considerably although my lack of musical knowledge made some chapters difficult I have been reading it in conjunction with Bernstein and a variety of Youtube clips I think it s a book I shall return to on occasion to deepen my understanding I ve already gained immensely in the area of early 20th century works and am looking forward to extending my listening range.It has also reinforced my interest in the period 1890 1930 when so much happened artistically that we still seem to be processing


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