What to Listen for in Music

Front Cover
Signet Classic, 2002 - Music - 266 pages
56 Reviews
Featuring an introduction by William Schuman, as well as a foreword and epilogue by Alan Rich, an indispensable guide from one of America's foremost composers teaches readers how to develop a deeper sense of musical appreciation and contains chapters on contemporary music and film music, recommended recordings for each chapter, and more. Reissue.

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Review: What to Listen for in Music (Revised Edition)

User Review  - Jakob Hansen - Goodreads

This was a required book for a very basic music appreciation course I had to take. It isn't a bad introduction to classical music, though in some parts it is a little dated. The best parts were ... Read full review

Review: What to Listen for in Music (Revised Edition)

User Review  - Siqi - Goodreads

Flight/hotel reading during PAA. Nice intro to classical music, but not really necessary. What is more dangerous for listeners nowadays is not a lack of musical knowledge, but a lack of patience for any music that is longer than 5 minutes and without lyrics. Read full review

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About the author (2002)

Aaron Copland’s well-known and highly regarded compositions, performed and recorded extensively throughout the world, include the Pulitzer Prize–winning ballet Appalachian Spring, as well as Billy the Kid, Rodeo, Lincoln Portrait, and the film scores of Our Town and The Heiress. On being awarded a Congressional Gold Medal in 1986, Copland was praised for his “uniquely American music that reflects the very soul and experience of our people.” During his career, Copland taught composition at Harvard and the Berkshire Music Center, lectured all over the United States, and wrote Our New Music and Music and Imagination. He died in 1990.


Alan Rich, music critic for L.A. Weekly, has been chief music critic for the New York Herald Tribune, New York magazine, and Newsweek, among other publications. Rich studied music at Harvard, Berkeley, and abroad. He is the author of a number of books, as well as a series of CD-ROMs on music history.

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