Listen to This

Front Cover
Macmillan, Sep 28, 2010 - Music - 384 pages
3 Reviews

One of The Telegraph's Best Music Books 2011

Alex Ross's award-winning international bestseller, The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century, has become a contemporary classic, establishing Ross as one of our most popular and acclaimed cultural historians. Listen to This, which takes its title from a beloved 2004 essay in which Ross describes his late-blooming discovery of pop music, showcases the best of his writing from more than a decade at The New Yorker. These pieces, dedicated to classical and popular artists alike, are at once erudite and lively. In a previously unpublished essay, Ross brilliantly retells hundreds of years of music history—from Renaissance dances to Led Zeppelin—through a few iconic bass lines of celebration and lament. He vibrantly sketches canonical composers such as Schubert, Verdi, and Brahms; gives us in-depth interviews with modern pop masters such as Björk and Radiohead; and introduces us to music students at a Newark high school and indie-rock hipsters in Beijing.

Whether his subject is Mozart or Bob Dylan, Ross shows how music expresses the full complexity of the human condition. Witty, passionate, and brimming with insight, Listen to This teaches us how to listen more closely.


What people are saying - Write a review

Review: Listen to This

User Review  - Keith Meatto - Goodreads

n his latest collection of essays, Ross argues that classical music and its contemporary heirs get unfairly ignored or maligned by people who embrace other forms of music and art. Listen to This ... Read full review

Review: Listen to This

User Review  - Mr. Coverdale - Goodreads

Today I finished reading Listen to This, or as much of it as I am going to. I have been reading the essays out of order. I knew it was time to quit when three page into an essay on Mozart I suddenly ... Read full review


Suggested Listening

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2010)

ALEX ROSS has been the music critic for The New Yorker since 1996. He is the author of the international bestseller The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century, which was a finalist for the 2008 Pulitzer Prize and won the 2007 National Book Critics Circle Award.

Bibliographic information