Have you ever been carried away by a piece of classical music? The sad song of a single violin might make us cry, but the idea of finding out more about classical music can often be intimidating. In this funny, evocative, personal book, Gareth takes us on a journey of musical discovery that explains and entertains in equal measure.
Over the course of three series of the Bafta award-winning The Choir, Gareth has unearthed a passion for classical music in schoolchildren, reluctant teenage boys, and even a whole town.
With his infectious enthusiasm and gift for explanation, Gareth's very personal narrative takes you by the hand and leads you through a world of eccentric composers, flamboyant conductors, troubled geniuses and all the colourful personalities that make up the story of Classical Music. It will also provide a foundation of classical music understanding and give the reader the tools to appreciate a whole new world of music.
So whether you want to expand your horizons, spend time with the great composers, introduce an almost infinite variety into your iPod playlist, or are just curious about what you might be missing out on, Music for The People will leave you entertained, informed and completely inspired.
©2011 Gareth Malone (P)2011 HarperCollins Publishers Limited
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"Good but opportunities missed"
There is no doubt that Gareth Malone is inspirational - one has just to observe his work with the most unlikely of people in The Choir to appreciate that. This enthusiasm is carried over into this book/audibook. I came to this as someone who has a lifelong liking of classical music but lacked the indepth understanding of music theory to really appreciate the music I was listening to. This book is a good introduction to understanding music though at times was a bit too basic for me - though admittedly I do play the piano (albeit badly) and therefore already knew the basics of music.
There are two problems with this audiobook. The first is that it is a reading of the book and this includes lists. In the book lists are great for reference and going back to but are not great in an audiobook. This often included lists of compositions to listen to. For these the book would be a better option.
My second problem is that insufficient advantage was taken of the audio form of the book. Whilst there are some pieces of music played there would have been enormous benefit for more demonstration of musical instruments and instrumental pieces.
Really what Gareth Malone needs to do is to produce a special version for audiobook which would really use the advantage of musical demonstration and comparison to really help the listener understand music.
Having said this I thoroughly enjoyed listening and learnt a lot.
"Why didn't I have a music teacher like Gareth?"
The content of this book was excellent: diverse and sometimes challenging. However, I never felt that I was stupid for not understanding this type of music and Gareth is never snobby about it. I bought the book as I wanted to be able to listen to more music without getting frustrated by it and just switching it off. I now listen to music on radio 3 and classic FM with a different 'ear' and am starting to enjoy things I would never have listened to before. Gareth's voice is perfect for explanation and commentary and I was sad that it ended so soon!
My only comment for improvement is: as this is an audiobook, I do wish that there had been more excerpts of the pieces of music that he was talking about, within the text. I listen 'on the go' and don't have access to quickly find a piece of music to listen to and 'get' what he is talking about.
Otherwise, a fab book - but it, you won't be disappointed!
I am a music lover and teach piano privtely, but I m come from a music background family. I did some music training when I was kid, and really decide to pick up music serious around 25. The purpose of this book is the purpose of my believe. In this modern fast food culture which filled with hit pop, dancing beat based, or purely dirty or catching lyrics type of music, people kind of scared or simply drifting away from classical music. There is a misunderstanding about the word "classical". It is not means old, it means basic, where all music began, the foundation structure of the melody and rythem. If u truely want to understand and enjoy all kinds of music, u need to know what is music. Music is a language which requires gramma and vocabulary. Though nowadays we were surrounding with music, but that doesn't means music culture is got deeper, actually quite opposite. By reading this book, u can rediscover the secret of the music, glance the behind the scenes work, and start to learn things next time u hear a piece of any music.
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