Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Year of Wonder: Classical Music for Every Day” as Want to Read:
Year of Wonder: Classical Music for Every Day
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Year of Wonder: Classical Music for Every Day

4.35  ·  Rating details ·  339 ratings  ·  81 reviews
As featured in the Telegraph and on Radio 4's Today programme.

'Year of Wonder is an absolute treat - the most enlightening way to be guided through the year.' Eddie Redmayne

Classical music for everyone - an inspirational piece of music for every day of the year, celebrating composers from the medieval era to the present day, written by award-winning violinist and BBC
...more
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published October 5th 2017 by Headline Home
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Year of Wonder, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Liz I don't know of one, but this book includes jazz and Broadway. She has a broad view of "classical" music. Oh, and there's a book "How to Listen to Jaz…moreI don't know of one, but this book includes jazz and Broadway. She has a broad view of "classical" music. Oh, and there's a book "How to Listen to Jazz" by Ted Gioia, which is very good. As far as I know there is no playlist, but he references good examples of jazz to listen to as he is teaching about the underpinnings of jazz. I highly recommend both of these books.(less)
Paul Mais Get a free Spotify account (you can listen at your computer) or even better, subscribe then you can access all the music on your mobile and downloads …moreGet a free Spotify account (you can listen at your computer) or even better, subscribe then you can access all the music on your mobile and downloads the songs you love.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.35  · 
Rating details
 ·  339 ratings  ·  81 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of Year of Wonder: Classical Music for Every Day
Ingrid
Nov 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was a wonderful journey. I listened nearly every day and loved some of the new suggestions and disliked others.
Jason Furman
Dec 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction, music
I started this on January 1st and just finished it today. It is a separate movement from a classical piece for each day of the year, generally ranging from 2 to 20 minutes. In some cases motivated by the feeling of the day (like the champagne popping in the Johann Strauss waltz for today’s piece), in some cases the birthday, death day of the composer or the date of the composition, and in some cases even more arbitrary.

Clemency Burton-Hill is ecumenical in her tastes, incredibly enthusiastic, no
...more
Sher❤ The Fabulous BookLover
Not sure when I’ll be finished with this book, but man I love the journey! I’ve added some amazing pieces to my spotify playlist and I love hearing the background of the composers and the reasoning behind the written pieces.

This is the perfect coffee table book and I highly recommend it!
Shelli
Jul 31, 2018 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Shelli by: Goodreads Giveaways
Although I'll rate and review it before then, don't expect me to finish this book for exactly 365 days from now, as I'm definitely using this book as intended – enjoying a single piece of music and its accompanying one-page write up each day! I'm hoping that between YouTube, Amazon Music, Hoopla, and my local library, I won't have too much trouble finding all the music referenced.
Brendan
I liked this book ok but it got old after a while, so I’m writing my own. This one celebrated all these random days (“listening to this piece today because it’s the composer’s birthday!!!”); I’d rather have it tied to more interesting stuff. And the author also, for the sake of growing audience, always says you don’t need to understand music to appreciate it. I agree, but understanding helps make it deeper, and you can explain musical concepts without needing the person to have musical training. ...more
Jim
Dec 26, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Terrible as an audiobook! I thought I'd get to listen to at least a bit of the music, but there was none. Each chapter is short, a quick bio of the composer, a bit about the piece, & it's name. End of chapter & on to the next. So, I have to stop the book, remember the name (often long & confusing), search it out, & find it somewhere to listen to? Not happening. They could have at least included a 30 second clip, legal under fair use.

The text doesn't go into what makes the piece great, either. I
...more
Lillian
Jul 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, essays
" . . .I believe that music holds the mystery of being alive. These pieces, some of which are just a few minutes long, can do so much with so little. They become friends, they become teachers, they become magic carpets. I feel, in the company of the greatest music, recognized, seen, held. Engines of empathy, they allow us to travel without moving into other lives, other ages, other souls."
Clemency Buron-Hill

Obviously, music and literature have everything in common. They are both universal langua
...more
Pauline  Belfiore
Every day my husband and and I listened, semi faithfully, to selections from A Year of Wonder by Clemency Briton-Hill! (This Book was donated to our public library by the Friends Group, in honor of Arthur Belfiore & the MCHS Marching Band.)
We had a sticker system which designated favorite selections! We agreed there were some not to receive a sticker, or to listen to ever again! It was a fun family project, and made for some entertaining dinner conversation!
...more
Rachel
Dec 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
What an amazing book project. I would read a few of the days, download the songs to google play, and then spend a few days listening to them, then going on to read more. And such fun to come, from listening to all the songs again, to listening to all of the different renditions, and then listening to more from the artists I really liked. Can't say I enjoyed all of the songs, but really I would say I didn't enjoy maybe 7 songs? Please don't tell 15 year old me that I would get older and start to ...more
Siri
Loved this book <3 The author's passion for classical music is infectious. I wish I had another one to read and listen to throughout 2020! ...more
Humphreydunn
Although it was nice to have something new to listen to every morning, the commentary of the author left much to be desired. It was often inane and simplistic, unfortunately, as was her agenda to spotlight some composers who would actually have been better left in the dark.
Shannon
interesting concept but honestly? for the repetition of the same phrase ('formal elegance') and appalling number of times the slur 'g*psy' was used in a modern context and the switching between adoring and making digs at millennials....gonna have to give this a 2.5 :/
Hapzydeco
Mar 27, 2019 rated it liked it
If you believe that music enhances your life, this daily dose might be for you. However while this playlist Includes a piece for every day of the year (365), there is no music is included.
Ellery
Sep 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Can't say enough good things about this book. Burton-Hill shares my love of music -and hatred of snobbery about it. Like Yo-Yo Ma, she invites people to forget the labels and just enjoy "music," while recognizing that the word "classical" scares people off. She has chosen to stand at the gates, pushing the doors open and cheerfully inviting us in.

She has compiled a fantastic year-long daily listening sampler. And what a collection! Mozart, Bach and Beethoven are in there, of course---but she gi
...more
David Dunlap
Did not read this so much as skim it -- it is not what I was expecting. -- This book would make a GREAT gift to give someone who wants to learn about classical music or for the person who already loves classical but would like to expand his/her horizons. The selections touch most of The Greats, but there is a definite whiff of political correctness about the contents (although the inclusion of so many female composers is a definite plus).
Nichelle Crocker
Nov 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is great. A classical piece a day with a short paragraph or two about the piece or composer. I have listened on work days all year and enjoyed it so much that I will continue with this next year as well. It’s a nice mix of music from different periods, some familiar and some new to me.

I wanted something to use as a jumping off point for new listening and this was perfect. I figure it usually takes about fifteen minutes or less to read the text and listen.

I’ve been able to find everything ea
...more
Alison
Dec 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If you’re looking for a New Years Resolution that’s a joy to keep then this is the book for you! This was my 2019 resolution (to be no more than a week ‘out’ to cover holidays etc) and while I didn’t enjoy all the pieces, I did enjoy having a new one to listen to every day. Give it a try :)
Sebastian
Nov 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful book that makes you get acquainted with classical music in a fun way and not only from famous composers. Each day of the year one piece of classical music.
Sarah
Nov 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Divine. A classical piece of music for every day of the year, with a short introduction to each. Clemmie's selections are also fantastic; lots of women, lots of POC, lots of obscure musicians only noticed in their own countries, etc.
Joanna Taylor Stone
Dec 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, music
Loved this journey through classical music during 2019, especially its care to go beyond just the dead white men that everyone associates with classical music. I discovered so many composers and performers that I would never have known about otherwise. I am finding myself wishing there was a second volume for 2020.
Sammy
Dec 11, 2018 rated it liked it
An interesting concept, and a good way to discover some great music (and some not so great too!). The book itself was interesting to begin with, but got a bit tedious as the year progressed. I finished the last couple of weeks in one go, so I can pass it on to someone else before the new year starts.
Babs
Feb 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
‘Year of Wonder’ is an absolute delight & I have loved every minute of it! It’s a truly wonderful, enlightening, exciting & interactive journey through a year of classical music.

Clemency Burton-Hill has done a fantastic job of making classical music totally accessible to absolutely everyone, dispelling the myth that you have to ‘know things’, or to be ‘learned’, to be able to listen to classical music. Her writing is beautiful; easy to read, down to earth, heartfelt, informative & brimming with
...more
Timothy Langhorst
Feb 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As I read this book, really got the sense of wonder Clemency Burton-Hill has for music. A book that either someone familiar or not familiar with classical music would enjoy. Am going back and reviewing entries a day at a time just for fun.
CatReader
I listened to the audiobook version of Year of Wonder and really wanted to enjoy it more than I did. I've always casually enjoyed classical music but have wanted to gain more perspective into the history of the pieces and learn how to be a more savvy listener, so I was hoping this book could provide that insight.

However, from a practical standpoint, with an audiobook that's divided into twelve parts (one for each month of the year) but isn't further subdivided into each day of the year for easy
...more
Chris
Dec 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: total-favorites
Want a present that’s a pleasure to the ear and the intellect? Give relatives and friends “Year of Wonder: Classical Music to Enjoy Day by Day.”
Add a subscription to a music-streaming service like Spotify, Pandora or Apple Music, and they’ll be able to create playlists of classical music suggested in Clemency Burton-Hill’s comprehensive and thoroughly pleasurable volume.
The Brit author, broadcaster, musician and journalist takes the guesswork out of what to listen to, suggesting one musical pi
...more
Melissa
Oct 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First book finished for #readathon (I only had about 150p left). This is a really solid one-piece-per-day devotional, if you will, designed to dive deep into the classical music catalogue. A few of my favorites are missing (Rhapsody in Blue, where are you?? Enigma Variations? Any ballet music?) but there were a lot of new-to-me composers to explore (starting right away in January with Hildegard von Bingen). Burton-Hill has also very consciously tried to make an inclusive list to try and get outs ...more
Jody
Dec 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful book. I've really enjoyed reading about classical music this year. For each day of the year, the book has a short description of a classical piece, emphasizing the composer or the piece or some fascinating tidbit. I found a Spotify playlist to match the book. Most days, I'd read about the piece for the day and then listen to it on good speakers through a bluetooth connection between my amplifier and my tablet computer. (You younger folks think I'm belaboring this, but the technology ...more
Jenn Conwell
Oct 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
From my blog and instagram account - @livereadandprosper

Thank you so much to Harper Books for sending me a copy in exchange for my honest review.

This book is a devotional for classical music. Every day is a piece of classical music that you can listen to and enjoy. A small written note by Celemency herself (a famous and talented musician) is written about each piece that shows her love of music and wealth of knowledge.

I have gone few multiple pieces to listen to and have been in love with every
...more
Madeline Rose
Apr 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography, cover-love, ya
Mini Review
You perhaps don't know this about me, but I LOVE classical music. I love playing it, listening to it, the history behind it, all that good stuff. So when I heard about this book, I was all over it. I checked it out from my library and I LOVED IT. The song selections were WONDERFUL, I loved getting to learn about little tidbits of history behind the composers and their pieces, and for me, listening to classical music is just so relaxing and cleansing. Even if you aren't into classica
...more
Marty Monforte
May 09, 2019 rated it liked it
"Year of Wonder: Classical Music for Every Day" features a classical music piece for every day of the year. For each day, the author writes a summary or a reflection of the piece. At times, the writer offers a musical analysis of the piece, while at other times she writes a personal reflection.

The pieces come from famous composers such as W.A Mozart, J.S. Bacch, L.V. Beethoven and others, while at other times the featured pieces come from less famous composers. The pieces span the spectrum of m
...more
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Power of Bad: How the Negativity Effect Rules Us and How We Can Rule It
  • Older, but Better, but Older
  • The Atlas of Happiness
  • How to Listen to Jazz
  • An Old Babylonian Version of the Gilgamesh Epic
  • Moonflower Murders (Susan Ryeland #2)
  • The Lost Words
  • Un Ballo in Maschera (A Masked Ball): Vocal Score (G. Schirmer Opera Score Editions)
  • Storie straordinarie delle materie prime
  • The Every-Other-Day Diet: The Diet That Lets You Eat All You Want (Half the Time) and Keep the Weight Off
  • Peter Grimes
  • In the Shelter: Finding a Home in the World
  • The Church in Exile: Living in Hope After Christendom
  • A House in Sicily
  • Dallas Willard's Study Guide to The Divine Conspiracy
  • Hilda of Whitby
  • Come Emmanuel: Approaching Advent, Living with Christmas
  • The Anthropology of Turquoise: Reflections on Desert, Sea, Stone, and Sky
See similar books…
lemency Margaret Greatrex Burton (born 1 July 1981) is an English actress, novelist, musician, journalist and radio presenter.[

News & Interviews

Last year, Buzzfeed culture writer Anne Helen Petersen struck a chord with her viral article “How Millennials Became the Burnout Generation.”...
73 likes · 11 comments
“Bach was the daddy: without him there’d be no jazz, funk or hip-hop; no techno, no house, no grime. He basically wrote the blueprint for everything that was to come. His stuff is wise and witty and capacious enough to contain more than just multitudes: it contains all of everything.” 0 likes
More quotes…