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Classical Music for Dummies

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  236 ratings  ·  21 reviews
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 ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published September 4th 1997 by For Dummies (first published January 1st 1997)
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This fun, friendly and well-thought-out guidebook (for non-initated) has been on my bedside table for the better part of 2011. Each night I would read snippets and get a better understanding of what classical music is all about. For an entire year I would pick 1 composer every two or three weeks, read about him and then go to the library to get his main work on multiple CDs. I would listen to the various pieces (on my iPod, at home, sometimes at work, or in the car), then I'd move on to another ...more
Jasmine Wheeler
This book is quite a fun read. The authors, unlike some other classical music historians, try very hard to make it fun and user-friendly, and in my case it worked! Readers will laugh when they read this fun book. It covers the history of classical music, why it's important, concert guidelines, and much, much, more!
Loves it. Great humour and a good amount of info. Just what I was after.
This is a really nice basic overview of classical music. Composers, orchestras, pieces, instruments, and basic music theory are all covered topics. I do wish there were a few more lists- grouping composers by period, grouping them by country, etc. I do feel you get a good taste of the important composers and their works as well as some insight into orchestras and pieces.

Recommended for someone who hasn't studied music before or needs a quick review.
This was a useful book. Although we have been going to classical music concerts for a couple of years now, I still consider myself a classical music rookie and not particularly knowledgeable. Now I feel like I have a good foundation to build on as I learn more about classical music. One of the most helpful sections for me was the history of classical music, which surveyed major movements in music with spotlights on the important composers from each period. I learned that I had no good idea of wh ...more
Light and easy reading with plenty of interesting historical figures of the classical music world. I like the way this book fills a typical boring subject will little surprises that keep me turning the pages for more.
Sam Pryce
Indispensable, engrossing and really very funny, this is perfect for anyone who, like me, is both baffled and fascinated by classical music. Pogue and Speck lead you through the entire canon, the entire orchestra and everything else you could possibly wonder about the classical music world, all in this highly entertaining tone. They make you want to hear everything there is to hear, and more.
I would love to take a college-level course from these guys. This book is really funny, not to mention well-written and laid out, fascinating at times, interesting at others, and a great way to learn a topic I have very little experience with. We read the 80 page chapter on the composers of classical music during dinner with the kids. The stories about the composer's lives were very entertaining.
I'm trying to learn more about classical music; so I bought this book. Big mistake. I think that maybe I shouldn't read books that are written for dummies. How about "Classical Music for Moderately Intelligent People with Little Background in the Topic"? If anyone can recommend such a book, please let me know.
Pam Chun
I'm a big fan of David Pogue. This book reflects his irreverent humor. I'm a musician and still learned a lot, and was reminded of much I haven't reviewed since I was a child taking piano lessons. Fun, informative, detailed. A GREAT gift for the right friend!
I’ve never had any formal musical theory training, so I really wanted a quick way to learn about classical music. This book gives a great, quick overview to classical music for those who haven’t studied music.
Doc Kinne
Very nice introduction to both the music and the theory. I may have understood more music theory here than before. The included CD was just good enough for illustrative purposes.
Very interesting for people who don't know a lot about classical music. Sadly, there were not many things in it for me.
Definitely a good book though.
For someone like me just learning to appreciate classical music this book is a must. And the included CD just adds to it's abundance of information
Probeert veel te hard om grappig te zijn. Bovendien staan er veel typefouten in.
Chintushig Tumenbayar
Udtal unshihn yumdaa hehe. CD giin sonsood nomoo davhar guilgeh taatai yum baina.
ok I didn't really read this and I'm not going to. but don't tell anyone...
An excellent primer for anyone starting out with classical music.
Dayo Adewoye
A funny and witty introduction to classical music.
Hannah Kinnon
Taught Classical Music in a hilarious way!
Jane Austen
Love this book! :D
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David Pogue, Yale '85, is the weekly personal-technology columnist for the New York Times and an Emmy award-winning tech correspondent for CBS News. His funny tech videos appear weekly on CNBC. And with 3 million books in print, he is also one of the world's bestselling how- to authors. He wrote or co-wrote seven books in the "For Dummies" series (including Macs, Magic, Opera, and Classical Music)

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