The Best Books About Classical Music

classical music books

What are the best books to read about Classical Music?” We looked at 549 of the top classical music books, aggregating and ranking them so we could answer that very question!

Below you will find a ridiculous amount (over 500!) of classical music books. These titles range from biographies of famous composers or musicians, to fictional stories where classical music plays a significant role, and of curse guide books and how-to guides for budding or seasoned musicians alike.

The top 37 books, all appearing on 2 or more lists, have been ranked below with images, summaries, and links for learning more or purchasing. The remaining 512 books, as well as the sources used to create the list, can be found listed alphabetically at the bottom of the page.

Happy Scrolling!



The Top 37 Classical Music Books Of All-Time



37 .) A History of Musical Style by Richard Crocker

a-history-of-musical-style-by-richard-l-crocker
Lists It Appears On:

  • Classical Net
  • Taruskin Challenge

“Style — the distinctive manner of presentation, construction, and execution in any art — is a topic of primary importance in music history. This highly regarded text by noted musicologist Richard Crocker (University of California, Berkeley) takes a much-needed fresh look at the subject and attempts to reshape some basic ideas in the light of modern research. Seeking the reasons for stylistic change within the history of style itself (rather than in the history of men or of ideas), this enlightening account shows how music, growing out of its own past, has shaped its own development.
Professor Crocker’s exceptionally clear and systematic presentation enables students to easily follow the evolution of Western musical style from Gregorian Chant (ca. 750) to the atonal music of the mid-20th century. The book stresses the continuity of basic musical principles over long periods of history, while it explores in detail moments of high stylistic achievement and the composers who exemplified them.”

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36 .) Beyond Talent: Creating a Successful Career in Music by Angela Myles Beeching

beyond-talent-creating-a-successful-career-in-music-by-angela-myles-beeching
Lists It Appears On:

  • Music Branding
  • About Great Books

This second edition of Beyond Talent provides user-friendly real-life advice, examples, and perspectives on how to further a career in music. Understanding the unique talents and training of musicians, veteran music career counselor Angela Myles Beeching presents a wealth of creative solutions for career advancement in the highly competitive music industry. Step-by-step instructions detail how to design promotional materials, book performances, network and access resources and assistance, jump start a stalled career, and expand your employment opportunities while remaining true to your music. Beeching untangles artist management and the recording industry, explains how to find and create performance opportunities, and provides guidance on grant writing and fundraising, day jobs, freelancing, and how to manage money, time, and stress. The companion website puts numerous up-to-date and useful internet resources at your fingertips. This essential handbook goes beyond the usual “how-to,” helping musicians tackle the core questions about career goals, and create a meaningful life as a professional musician. Beyond Talent is the ideal companion for students and professionals, emerging musicians and mid-career artists.

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35 .) Concerto Conversations by Joseph Kerman

concerto-conversations-with-a-68-minute-cd-by-joseph-kerman
Lists It Appears On:

  • Classical CD Guide
  • About Great Books

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34 .) Draw A Straight Line and Follow It: The Music and Mysticism of La Monte Young by Jeremy Grimshaw

draw-a-straight-line-and-follow-it-the-music-and-mysticism-of-la-monte-young-by-jeremy-grimshaw
Lists It Appears On:

  • WQXR
  • About Great Books

Draw A Straight Line and Follow It: The Music and Mysticism of La Monte Young stands as the first narrative study to examine Young’s life and work in detail. The book is a culmination of a decade of research, during which author Jeremy Grimshaw gained rare access to the composer and his archives. Loosely structured upon the chronology of the composer’s career, the book takes a multi-disciplinary approach that combines biography, musicology, ethnomusicology, and music analysis, and illuminates such seemingly disparate aspects of Young’s work as integral serialism and indeterminacy, Mormon esoterica and Vedic mysticism, and psychedelia and psychoacoustics. Draw A Straight Line and Follow It is a long-awaited, in-depth look at one of America’s most fascinating musical figures.

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33 .) Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Classical Music: But Were Too Afraid to Ask by Darren Henley and Sam Jackson

everything-you-ever-wanted-to-know-about-classical-music-but-were-too-afraid-to-ask-by-darren-henley-sam-jackson
Lists It Appears On:

  • The Guardian
  • About Great Books

All too often, potential classical music listeners are put off due to its perceived elitism. This book gleefully dispels this notion and many others as it works brilliantly to make classical music not only accessible, but also disarmingly simple and utterly engrossing. It is broken into three sections designed to steer readers through the terminology and etiquette of classical music; open the fascinating history of the genre and its key figures over the last thousand years, showing their sheer brilliance coupled with their very human natures; and provide an indispensible reference guide for any reader, whether they prefer traditional chamber music or sweeping film scores.

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32 .) Gambara by Honoré de Balzac

gambara-la-comedie-humaine-by-honore-de-balzac
Lists It Appears On:

  • Classical Net
  • ABQ Journal

From the prolific writer Honore de Balzac, Gambara is a short story first published in Revue et gazette musicale de Paris. The talented composer Gambara has a problem as his music is only beautiful when drunk. Added by his wife Mariana who sacrifices herself working many jobs to provide him with money and drink. Once Andrea Marsosini a Milanese nobleman sees her he pursues after her. Who will this end badly for as all three of them can’t live happily ever after. Honore de Balzac produces another beautiful story where the characters come alive.

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31 .) Haydn, Mozart, & Beethoven: Studies in the Music of the Classical Period by Sieghard Brandenburg

haydn-mozart-and-beethoven-studies-in-the-music-of-the-classical-period-essays-in-honour-of-alan-tyson-by-sieghard-brandenburg
Lists It Appears On:

  • Questia
  • About Great Books

This collection of nineteen essays honors Alan Tyson, Senior Research Fellow at All Souls College, Fellow of the British Academy, and leading authority on the Classical period. The distinguished contributors include Neal Zaslaw, Joseph Kerman, Lewis Lockwood, Cliff Eisen, James Webster, Jan LaRue, Douglas Johnson, Maynard Solomon, and Richard Kramer.

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30 .) Jean Christophe by Romain Rolland

jean-christophe-by-romain-rolland
Lists It Appears On:

  • Classical Net
  • ABQ Journal

This is a reproduction of a book published before 1923. This book may have occasional imperfections such as missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc. that were either part of the original artifact, or were introduced by the scanning process. We believe this work is culturally important, and despite the imperfections, have elected to bring it back into print as part of our continuing commitment to the preservation of printed works worldwide. We appreciate your understanding of the imperfections in the preservation process, and hope you enjoy this valuable book.

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29 .) Lexicon of Musical Invective: Critical Assaults on Composers since Beethoven’s Time by Nicolas Slonimsky

lexicon-of-musical-invective-critical-assaults-on-composers-since-beethovens-time-by-nicolas-slonimsky
Lists It Appears On:

  • Classical Net
  • About Great Books

A snakeful of critical venom aimed at the composers and the classics of nineteenth- and twentieth-century music. Who wrote advanced cat music? What commonplace theme is very much like Yankee Doodle? Which composer is a scoundrel and a giftless bastard? What opera would His Satanic Majesty turn out? Whose name suggests fierce whiskers stained with vodka? And finally, what third movement begins with a dog howling at midnight, then imitates the regurgitations of the less-refined or lower-middle-class type of water-closet cistern, and ends with the cello reproducing the screech of an ungreased wheelbarrow? For the answers to these and other questions, readers need only consult the “Invecticon” at the back of this inspired book and then turn to the full passage, in all its vituperation. Among the eminent reviewers are George Bernard Shaw, Virgil Thomson, Hans von Bülow, Friedrich Nietzsche, Eduard Hanslick, Olin Downes, Deems Taylor, Paul Rosenfeld, and Oscar Wilde. Itself a classic, this collection of nasty barbs about composers and their works, culled mostly from contemporaneous newspapers and magazines, makes for hilarious reading and belongs on the shelf of everyone who loves―or hates ―classical music.

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28 .) Music and the Middle Class: The Social Structure of Concert Life in London, Paris and Vienna by William Weber

music-and-the-middle-class-the-social-structure-of-concert-life-in-london-paris-and-vienna-by-william-weber
Lists It Appears On:

  • Questia
  • About Great Books

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27 .) Music in Western Civilization by Paul Henry Lang

music-in-western-civilization-by-paul-henry-lang
Lists It Appears On:

  • Classical Net
  • Taruskin Challenge

The scope of the book is vast, beginning with the music of ancient Greece and ending with that of the first two decades of the twentieth century. But music is not viewed in isolation. Rather, the author presents music as one of the many arts that, taken in conjunction, form the essence of the artistic spirit of an era

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26 .) Norton Anthology of Western Music by Burkholder, Palisca

norton-anthology-of-western-music-by-j-peter-burkholder
Lists It Appears On:

  • Lib Guides
  • Classical Net

The anthologies feature outstanding teaching pieces that reveal the sweep of history through changing genres, styles, conventions, forms, techniques, and materials. The Seventh Edition includes new twentieth- and twenty-first-century works by Adams, Bernstein, Carter, Golijov, Higdon, Revueltas, Saariaho, Strauss, and Villa-Lobos.

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25 .) Structural Functions in Music by Wallace Berry

structural-functions-in-music-by-wallace-t-berry
Lists It Appears On:

  • Classical Net
  • Taruskin Challenge

“This brilliant inquiry into tonal, textural, and rhythmic structures in music, filled with original formulations and provocative ideas, has become one of the most widely read and studied works in music theory, frequently adopted in college and university curricula, and often cited in scholarly studies in the field.
Starting from an all-encompassing viewpoint — a belief in the importance and necessity of logical analysis of the musical experience, and the study of objective data derived therefrom — it moves toward a deeper understanding of musical structure and experience through a systematic exploration of tonality, melody, harmony, and rhythm, and their important interrelations. These are illuminated in penetrating analyses of musical works and extracts ranging from early model styles to modern compositions.”

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24 .) The Gold Bug Variations by Richard Powers

the-gold-bug-variations-by-richard-powers
Lists It Appears On:

  • Classical Net
  • ABQ Journal

A national bestseller, voted by Time as the #1 novel of 1991, selected as one of the “Best Books of 1991” by Publishers Weekly, and nominated for a National Book Critics Circle Award–a magnificent story that probes the meaning of love, science, music, and art, by the brilliant author of Three Farmers on Their Way to a Dance.

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23 .) The Gramophone Classical Music Guide by James Jolly

the-gramophone-classical-music-guide
Lists It Appears On:

  • Classical CD Guide
  • About Great Books

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22 .) The Insider’s Guide to Classical Recordings by Jim Svejda

the-insiders-guide-to-classical-recordings-from-the-host-of-the-record-shelf-a-highly-opinionated-irreverent-and-selective-guide-to-whats-good-and-whats-not-by-jim-svejda
Lists It Appears On:

  • Classical CD Guide
  • About Great Books

For hundreds of thousands of loyal listeners throughout the United States, Jim Svejda’s weekly radio program The Record Shelf is not to be missed. Now, this amusing and irreverent guide captures the special flavor of Svejda’s unique program. Without fear or favor, he recommends his choices of CDs and cassettes for hundreds of compositions from the standard, and not-so-standard, fare. You’ll enjoy reading this wryly humorous and candid collection time and time again.

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21 .) The Lives of the Great Composers by Harold C. Schonberg

the-lives-of-the-great-composers-by-harold-c-schonberg
Lists It Appears On:

  • Classical CD Guide
  • About Great Books

Harold Schonberg offers music lovers a series of fascinating biographical chapters. Music, the author contends, is a continually evolving art, and all geniuses, unique as they are, were influenced by their predecessors. Schonberg discusses the lives and works of the foremost figures in classical music, among them Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, the Schumanns, Copland, and Stravinsky, weaving a fabric rich in detail and anecdote. He also includes the creators of light music, such as Gilbert and Sullivan and the Strausses.

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20 .) The Memory of Whiteness by Kim Stanley Robinson

the-memory-of-whiteness-a-scientific-romance-by-kim-stanley-robinson
Lists It Appears On:

  • Classical Net
  • ABQ Journal

“In 3229 AD, human civilization is scattered among the planets, moons, and asteroids of the solar system. Billions of lives depend on the technology derived from the breakthroughs of the greatest physicist of the age, Arthur Holywelkin. But in the last years of his life, Holywelkin devoted himself to building a strange, beautiful, and complex musical instrument that he called The Orchestra.

Johannes Wright has earned the honor of becoming the Ninth Master of Holywelkin’s Orchestra. Follow him on his Grand Tour of the Solar System, as he journeys down the gravity well toward the sun, impelled by a destiny he can scarcely understand, and pursued by mysterious foes who will tell him anything except the reason for their enmity.”

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19 .) The NPR Guide to Building a Classical CD Collection by Ted Libbey

the-npr-guide-to-building-a-classical-cd-collection-the-350-essential-works-by-ted-libbey
Lists It Appears On:

  • Classical CD Guide
  • About Great Books

Berlioz. Vaughan Williams. Schubert and Schumann. Mozart after the Jupiter Symphony, Bach beyond the Brandenburg Concertos, opera after The Magic Flute. In his informed and indispensible guide with over 157,000 copies in print, National Public Radio’s Ted Libbey takes listeners by the hand through the classical repertory to build a music library. For the second edition, with five years of new performances to consider, five years of new releases to review, and five years of reissues to re-evaluate-the author has completely revised and updated the book.

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18 .) The Unanswered Question: Six Talks at Harvard by Leonard Bernstein

the-unanswered-question-six-talks-at-harvard-charles-eliot-norton-lectures-the-charles-eliot-norton-lectures-by-leonard-bernstein
Lists It Appears On:

  • Musical Toronto
  • The Guardian

“The varied forms of Leonard Bernstein’s musical creativity have been recognized and enjoyed by millions. These lectures, Mr. Bernstein’s most recent venture in musical explication, will make fascinating reading as well. Virgil Thomson says of the lectures: “”Nobody anywhere presents this material so warmly, so sincerely, so skillfully. As musical mind-openers they are first class; as pedagogy they are matchless””.

Mr. Bernstein considers music ranging from Hindu ragas through Mozart and Ravel, to Copland, suggesting a worldwide, innate musical grammar. Folk music, pop songs, symphonies, modal, tonal, atonal, well-tempered and ill-tempered works all find a place in these discussions. Each, Mr. Bernstein suggests, has roots in a universal language central to all artistic creation. Using certain linguistic analogies, he explores the ways in which this language developed and can be understood as an aesthetic surface. Drawing on his insights as a master composer and conductor, Mr. Bernstein also explores what music means below the surface: the symbols and metaphors which exist in every musical piece, of whatever sort. And, finally, Mr. Bernstein analyzes twentieth century crises in the music of Schoenberg and Stravinsky, finding even here a transformation of all that has gone before, as part of the poetry of expression, through its roots in the earth of human experience.”

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17 .) This is Your Brain on Music by Daniel Levitin

this-is-your-brain-on-music-the-science-of-a-human-obsession-by-daniel-j-levitin
Lists It Appears On:

  • Musical Toronto
  • The Guardian

Taking on prominent thinkers who argue that music is nothing more than an evolutionary accident, Levitin poses that music is fundamental to our species, perhaps even more so than language. A Los Angeles Times Book Award finalist, This Is Your Brain on Music will attract readers of Oliver Sacks and David Byrne, as it is an unprecedented, eye-opening investigation into an obsession at the heart of human nature.

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16 .) Treatise on Harmony by Jean-Philippe Rameau

treatise-on-harmony-by-jean-philippe-rameau
Lists It Appears On:

  • Classical Net
  • Taruskin Challenge

The Traité de l’harmonie of Jen-Philippe Rameau is one of the most important books in the history of Western music. Written while Rameau was still a relatively obscure organist and music master at Clermont-Ferrand, the book received but one printing during Rameau’s life, in 1722, shortly before he settled in Paris. The Traité was immediately recognized as a profound advance in musical theory, however, and it established Rameau’s reputation as a theorist. His book was the first to codify those principles of tonality that were to dominate the music of the West for almost two centuries. Even today the theories of Rameau remain the basis for the study of harmony.

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15 .) What Makes It Great by Rob Kapilow

what-makes-it-great-short-masterpieces-great-composers-by-rob-kapilow
Lists It Appears On:

  • WQXR
  • About Great Books

This book, along with the music on the companion web site, is an ideal starting point for anyone interested in classical music, whether first-time listener, experienced concertgoer or performing musician, offering an entree into the world of eighteen great composers and a collection of individual masterpieces spanning almost two hundred years.

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14 .) What to Listen for in Music by Aaron Copland

what-to-listen-for-in-music-revised-edition-by-aaron-copland
Lists It Appears On:

  • Musical Toronto
  • About Great Books

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 provocative suggestions, Aaron Copland guides readers through a deeper appreciation of the most rewarding of all art forms.

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13 .) Who Needs Classical Music? Cultural Choice and Musical Value by Julian Johnson

who-needs-classical-music-cultural-choice-and-musical-value-by-julian-johnson
Lists It Appears On:

  • Questia
  • About Great Books

Who Needs Classical Music? offers a fresh and balanced defense of the value of classical music in contemporary culture. Challenging the many cultural critics who contend that the division between “high” and “low” art is an artificial one, that Beethoven’s Ninth and “Blue Suede Shoes” are equally valuable, Julian Johnson counters that music is more than just “a matter of taste.” Music can provide entertainment or simply serve as background noise. Classical music, he suggests, is shaped by its claim to function as art. It is distinguished by a self-conscious attention to its own materials and their formal patterning. Far from being irrelevant today, Johnson argues, classical music continues to offer rich and engaging insights into our experience of modern life. The paperback edition includes a new preface from the author, bringing his argument up to date. Who Needs Classical Music?will stimulate readers to reflect on their own investment (or lack of it) in music and art of all kinds.

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12 .) Why Classical Music Still Matters by Lawrence Kramer

why-classical-music-still-matters-by-lawrence-kramer
Lists It Appears On:

  • Questia
  • About Great Books

“n seven highly original chapters, Why Classical Music Still Matters affirms the value of classical music—defined as a body of nontheatrical music produced since the eighteenth century with the single aim of being listened to—by revealing what its values are: the specific beliefs, attitudes, and meanings that the music has supported in the past and which, Kramer believes, it can support in the future.

Why Classical Music Still Matters also clears the air of old prejudices. Unlike other apologists, whose defense of the music often depends on arguments about the corrupting influence of popular culture, Kramer admits that classical music needs a broader, more up-to-date rationale. He succeeds in engaging the reader by putting into words music’s complex relationship with individual human drives and larger social needs. In prose that is fresh, stimulating, and conversational, he explores the nature of subjectivity, the conquest of time and mortality, the harmonization of humanity and technology, the cultivation of attention, and the liberation of human energy.”

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11 .) Music & Silence by Rose Tremain

music-silence-by-rose-tremain
Lists It Appears On:

  • ABQ Journal
  • Classical-Music

“Set in seventeenth-century Denmark, Rose Tremain’s dazzling, prize-winning tale is a pungently atmospheric, richly provocative, and masterfully orchestrated romance of point and counterpoint: loyalty and deception…tenderness and violence…community and alienation…peace and conflict…Music & Silence.
Peter Claire is an English lutenist summoned to Denmark to join King Christian IV’s royal orchestra. Designated the king’s “”Angel”” because of the purity of his physical beauty, Peter falls helplessly in love with the lovely companion of Queen Kirsten, the king’s adulterous wife. The young musician finds himself dangerously torn between loyalties, ensnared in the deep-seated unrest of a royal court where the forces of good and evil, of harmony and dissonance, are ensconced in a battle to the death.”

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10 .) A History of Western Music by J. Peter Burkholder, Donald J. Grout, and Claude V. Palisca

a-history-of-western-music-by-donald-jay-grout
Lists It Appears On:

  • Classical Net
  • Classical CD Guide
  • Lib Guides

Combining current scholarship with cutting-edge pedagogy, the Ninth Edition of A History of Western Music is the text that students and professors have trusted for generations. Because listening is central to music history, the new Total Access program provides a full suite of media resources―including an ebook and premium streaming recordings of the entire Norton Anthology of Western Music repertoire―with every new text. Combining thoughtful revisions―particularly to chapters on the twentieth and twenty-first centuries―with exceptional media resources, A History of Western Music provides all the resources that students need in a text that will last a lifetime.

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9 .) An Equal Music by Vikram Seth

an-equal-music-by-vikram-seth
Lists It Appears On:

  • Classical-Music
  • Classical Net
  • ABQ Journal

Against the magical backdrop of Venice and Vienna, the two lovers confront the truth about themselves and their love, about the music that both unites and divides them, and about a devastating secret that Julia must finally reveal. With poetic, evocative writing and a brilliant portrait of the international music scene, An Equal Music confirms Vikram Seth as one of the world’s finest and most enticing writers.

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8 .) Beethoven by Maynard Solomon

beethoven-by-maynard-solomon
Lists It Appears On:

  • Classical CD Guide
  • Taruskin Challenge
  • About Great Books

Hailed as a masterpiece for its original interpretations of Beethoven’s life and music. This edition takes into account the latest information and literature. Includes a 30-page bibliographical essay, numerous illustrations, and a full-color pictorial biography of the composer.

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7 .) Music in the Western World by Piero and Richard Taruskin Weiss

music-in-the-western-world-by-piero-weiss-richard-taruskin
Lists It Appears On:

  • Classical Net
  • Lib Guides
  • Taruskin Challenge

This classic anthology assembles over 200 source readings, bringing to life the history of music through letters, reviews, biographical sketches, memoirs, and other documents. Writings by composers, critics, and educators touch on virtually every aspect of Western music from ancient Greece to the present day.

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6 .) Roots of the Classical by Peter Van der Merwe

roots-of-the-classical-the-popular-origins-of-western-music-by-peter-van-der-merwe
Lists It Appears On:

  • The Guardian
  • About Great Books
  • Questia

Roots of the Classical identifies and traces to their source the patterns that make Western classical music unique, setting out the fundamental laws of melody and harmony, and sketching the development of tonality between the fifteenth and eighteenth centuries. The author then focuses on the years 1770-1910, treating the Western music of this period – folk, popular, and classical – as a single, organically developing, interconnected unit in which the popular idiom was constantly feeding into ‘serious’ music, showing how the same patterns underlay music of all kinds.

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5 .) The Kreutzer Sonata by Leo Tolstoy

the-kreutzer-sonata-by-leo-tolstoy
Lists It Appears On:

  • Classical-Music
  • Musical Toronto
  • ABQ Journal

Leo Tolstoy was a Russian writer who is considered to be one of the greatest authors in history. Tolstoy wrote many classics in different genres, such as War and Peace, Anna Karenina, and The Kingdom of God is Within You, and much of his work was based off of his life experiences in the Crimean War and his spiritual awakening. The Kreutzer Sonata is a classic novella that centers around a man named Pozdnyshev and his tumultuous relationship with his wife. Tolstoy made the book as an argument for sexual abstinence.

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4 .) The Vintage Guide to Classical Music by Jan Swafford

the-vintage-guide-to-classical-music-by-jan-swafford
Lists It Appears On:

  • Classical Net
  • About Great Books
  • Classical Net

The most readable and comprehensive guide to enjoying over five hundred years of classical music — from Gregorian chants, Johann Sebastian Bach, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart to Johannes Brahms, Igor Stravinsky, John Cage, and beyond.

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3 .) The Rest is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century by Alex Ross

the-rest-is-noise-listening-to-the-twentieth-century-by-alex-ross
Lists It Appears On:

  • Taruskin Challenge
  • Musical Toronto
  • The Guardian
  • About Great Books

In this sweeping and dramatic narrative, Alex Ross, music critic for The New Yorker, weaves together the histories of the twentieth century and its music, from Vienna before the First World War to Paris in the twenties; from Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s Russia to downtown New York in the sixties and seventies up to the present. Taking readers into the labyrinth of modern style, Ross draws revelatory connections between the century’s most influential composers and the wider culture. The Rest Is Noise is an astonishing history of the twentieth century as told through its music.

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2 .) The Classical Style: Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven by Charles Rosen

the-classical-style-haydn-mozart-beethoven-by-charles-rosen
Lists It Appears On:

  • Classical CD Guide
  • Taruskin Challenge
  • About Great Books
  • Classical Net

This outstanding book treating the three most beloved composers of the Vienna School is basic to any study of Classical-era music. Drawing on his rich experience and intimate familiarity with the works of these giants, Charles Rosen presents his keen insights in clear and persuasive language. For this expanded edition, now available in paperback for the first time, Rosen has provided a new, 64-page chapter on the later years of Beethoven and the musical conventions he inherited from Haydn and Mozart. The author has also written an extensive new preface in which he responds to other writers who have commented on his ideas.

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1 .) Doktor Faustus by Thomas Mann

doctor-faustus-by-thomas-mann
Lists It Appears On:

  • ABQ Journal
  • Classical Net
  • Classical-Music
  • Taruskin Challenge

“Thomas Mann’s last great novel, first published in 1947, is a modern reworking of the Faust legend, in which Germany sells its soul to the Devil. Mann’s protagonist, the composer Adrian Leverkühn, is the flower of German culture, a brilliant, isolated, overreaching figure, his radical new music a breakneck game played by art at the very edge of impossibility. In return for twenty-four years of unparalleled musical accomplishment, he bargains away his soul–and the ability to love his fellow man.

Leverkühn’s life story is a brilliant allegory of the rise of the Third Reich, of Germany’s renunciation of its own humanity and its embrace of ambition and nihilism. It is also Mann’s most profound meditation on the German genius–both national and individual–and the terrible responsibilities of the truly great artist.”

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512 Additional Classical Music Books



 

BooksAuthorSources
88 Keys: The Making of a Steinway PianoMiles ChapinClassical Net
A Chord in Time: The Evolution of the Augmented Sixth from Monteverdi to MahlerMark EllisTaruskin Challenge
A Complete Guide to Brass: Instruments and TechniquesScott WhitenerClassical Net
A Handbook of Literature for the FluteJames JClassical Net
A Manual of Musical Copyright Law For the Use of Music-Publishers and ArtistsClassical Net
A Mixture of FrailtiesRobertson DaviesABQ Journal
A Natural History of the Piano: The History, the Music, the Musicians — from Mozart to Modern Jazz and Everything in BetweenStuart IsacoffWQXR
A Short, Easy Guide to the Great Classical ComposersR. D. MeyerAbout Great Books
Abby Whiteside on Piano Playing : Indispensables of Piano Playing & Mastering the Chopin Études and Other EssaysAbby WhitesideClassical Net
ABC of MusicImogen HolstClassical Net
Adorno’s Aesthetics of MusicMax PaddisonClassical Net
Æolian-Skinner RememberedCharles CallahanClassical Net
Alicia’s GiftJessica DuchenABQ Journal
All About ChordsElvo D’AmanteClassical Net
All Area Access: Personal Management for Unsigned MusiciansMarc DavisonClassical Net
All You Need to Know About the Music BusinessDonald SClassical Net
America’s Musical Life: A HistoryRichard CrawfordTaruskin Challenge
American Music in the Twentieth CenturyKyle GannClassical Net
AmsterdamIan McEwenABQ Journal
An Encyclopedia of the ViolinIntroduction by Eugène YsaÿeClassical Net
 
Analysis of Tonal Music: A Schenkerian ApproachAllen and David Gagne CadwallerTaruskin Challenge
And Do You Also Play The Violin?Carl FClassical Net
AppassionataJilly CooperClassical-Music
AriaBrown MeggsABQ Journal
Arnold Jacobs: Song and WindBrian FrederiksonClassical Net
Artistic DNA: A five step guide to start creating a successful career in musicMusic Branding
Audiotopia: Music, Race, and AmericaJosh KunTaruskin Challenge
Authentic SingingClassical Net
Awakening your Business Brain: An iCadenza Guide to Launching your Music CareerJennifer Rosenfeld and Julia TorgovitskayaMusic Branding
AxelBo CarpelanABQ Journal
Baroque Music Today: Music as SpeechNikolaus HarnoncourtTaruskin Challenge
Becoming an Orchestral Musician: A Guide for Aspiring ProfessionalsRichard DavisClassical Net
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Bel CantoAnn PatchettABQ Journal
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Benjamin BrittenNeil PowellThe Telegraph
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Concise History of Western MusicBarbara Russano HanningClassical Net
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CounterpointKent KennanClassical Net
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Cry to HeavenAnne RiceABQ Journal
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Elgar’s Enigma Variations – A Centenary CelebrationPatrick TurnerClassical Net
Emotion and Meaning in MusicLeonard BClassical Net
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Feminist Waves and Classical Music: Pedagogy, Performance, ResearchCitron, Marcia JQuestia
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Five Graphic Music AnalysesHeinrich SchenkerClassical Net
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Fundamentals of Musical CompositionArnold Franz Walter Schoenberg (Editor), with Gerald Strang, Leonard SteinClassical Net
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Girl, 20Kingsley AmisABQ Journal
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Napoleon SymphonyAnthony BurgessABQ Journal
Nineteenth-Century Italian Opera from Rossini to PucciniDaniele PistoneClassical Net
NocturnesKazuo IshiguroABQ Journal
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O, ParadisoConrad L. OsborneABQ Journal
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Opera in ParisClassical Net
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OrchestrationWalter PistonClassical Net
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OrfeoRichard PowersABQ Journal
Origins of the Popular StylePeter Van der MerweThe Guardian
Ornamentation in Baroque and Post-Baroque MusicClassical Net
Outliers: The Story of SuccessMalcolm GladwellTaruskin Challenge
Oxford Dictionary of OperaJohn WarrackClassical Net
Oxford History of Western MusicRichard TaruskinClassical Net
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Philosophies of Music History: A Study of General Histories of Music 1600-1960Dwight Warren AllenTaruskin Challenge
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Piano Playing with Piano Questions AnsweredJosef HofmannClassical Net
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Scots Musical MuseumClassical Net
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The End of Early Music: A Period Performer’s History of Music for the Twenty-First CenturyBruce HaynesTaruskin Challenge
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The Style of Palestrina and the DissonanceKnud JeppesenTaruskin Challenge
The Symphony: A Listener’s GuideMichael SteinbergAbout Great Books
The Technique of OrchestrationKent KennanClassical Net
The Time of Our SingingRichard PowersABQ Journal
The Travelling HornplayerBarbara TrapidoClassical-Music
The Triumph of Music: Composers, Musicians and their AudiencesTim BlanningThe Guardian
The Triumph of Music: The Rise of Composers, Musicians and Their ArtTim BlanningAbout Great Books
The Tuning of the WorldR. Murray SchaferMusical Toronto
The Ultimate Classic FM Hall of Fame: The Greatest Classical Music of All TimeDarren Henley, Sam Jackson, and Tim LihoreauAbout Great Books
The Uncle From RomeJoseph CaldwellABQ Journal
The UnconsoledKazuo IshiguroABQ Journal
The Viking Opera GuideAmanda HoldenClassical Net
The Voice: A Spiritual Approach to SingingClassical Net
Theory and Practice in Piano ConstructionWilliam BClassical Net
Thesaurus of Orchestral DevicesGardner ReadClassical Net
This Business of Artist ManagementXavier MClassical Net
Tonal HarmonyStefan and Dorothy Payne KostkaTaruskin Challenge
Transformative VoiceEdward VClassical Net
Translated Woman: Crossing the Border with Esperanza’s StoryRuth BeharTaruskin Challenge
Treatise on InstrumentationHector BerliozClassical Net
Treatise on the fundamental Principles of Violin PlayingLeopold MozartClassical Net
TreitlerOliver and L StrunkTaruskin Challenge
TristanThomas MannABQ Journal
Two-Part InventionsLynne Sharon SchwartzABQ Journal
Understanding the Women of Mozart’s OperasKristi Brown-MontesanoClassical Net
Understanding ToscaniniJoseph HorowitzTaruskin Challenge
Universal Dictionary of Violin and Bow MakersWilliam HenleyClassical Net
Untwisting the Serpent: Modernism in Music, Literature, and Other ArtsDaniel AlbrightTaruskin Challenge
Us ConductorsSean MichaelsABQ Journal
Verdi’s Theater: Creating Drama Through MusicGilles De VanClassical Net
Verdi’s Shakespeare: Men of the TheaterGarry WillsWQXR
VigilanceJulian BarnesABQ Journal
Violin & ViolaYehudi Menuhin and William Primrose with Denis StevensClassical Net
Violin Playing As I Teach ItLeopold AuerClassical Net
Violin Technique and Performance practice in the Late Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth CenturiesRobin StowellClassical Net
Violin Virtuosos: From Paganini to the 21st CenturyHenry RothClassical Net
Voice Without TechniqueEdward VClassical Net
Voices in the DarkLindsay TownsendClassical Net
Wagner Without Fear: Learning to Love – And Even Enjoy – Opera’s Most Demanding GeniusWilliam BergerClassical Net
Wagner’s Ring: A Listener’s Companion & ConcordanceClassical Net
White Swan, Black SwanAdrienne SharpClassical Net
Whose Music? A Sociology of Musical LanguagesJohn ShepherdTaruskin Challenge
Why Beethoven Threw the Stew: And Lots More Stories About the Lives of Great ComposersSteven IsserlisAbout Great Books
Why Suyá Sing: A Musical Anthropology of an Amazonian PeopleAnthony SeegerTaruskin Challenge
Winnie and WolfA.N. WilsonABQ Journal
With the ArtistsSamuel and Sada ApplebaumClassical Net
Woodwind Instruments and Their HistoryAnthony BainesClassical Net
Would You Care To Say Something?N Keith ScottClassical Net
Writing for the Orchestra: An Introduction to OrchestrationMerton ShatzkinClassical Net
WunderkindNikolai GrozniABQ Journal
You’ve Got Rhythm: Read Music Better by Feeling the BeatAnna and Joan Harkness DembskaClassical Net
Your Introduction to Music-Record Copyright ContractsClassical Net


13 Best Classical Music Book Sources



SourceArticle
Classical CD Guide Top 10 Books About Classical Music and Classical Music Recordings
Classical Net Recommended Books & Scores
Classical-Music Twelve of the best: books featuring classical music
Music Branding 10 Books for Classical Musicans
Musical Toronto LISZTS | Top 6 Books About Classical Music
Questia Classical Music
The Guardian Howard Goodall’s top 10 music books
The Telegraph Christmas 2013: the best classical music books of the year
WQXR Top Five New Nonfiction Books About Classical Music
ABQ Journal The classical music lover’s summer reading list
Lib Guides Music Research – General: Books – Music History Texts
Taruskin Challenge Musicology Must Reads
About Great Books 50 Great Books About Classical Music

 

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