The Essential Canon of Classical Music

David Dubal

North Point Press

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The ultimate guide to classical composers and their music-for both the novice and the experienced listener

Music, according to Aaron Copland, can thrive only if there are "gifted listeners." But today's listeners must choose between classical and rock, opera and rap, and the choices can seem overwhelming at times. In The Essential Canon of Classical Music, David Dubal comes to the aid of the struggling listener and provides a cultural-literacy handbook for classical music. Dubal identifies the 240 composers whose works are most important to an understanding of classical music and offers a comprehensive, chronological guide to their lives and works. He has searched beyond the traditional canon to introduce readers to little-known works by some of the most revered names in classical music-Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Schubert-as well as to the major works of lesser-known composers. In a spirited and opinionated voice, Dubal seeks to rid us of the notion of "masterpieces" and instead to foster a new generation of master listeners. The result is an uncommon collection of the wonders classical music has to offer.

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Book Excerpts

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The Essential Canon of Classical Music
PART ONETHE MEDIEVAL, RENAISSANCE, AND ELIZABETHAN AGESWe can only speculate about the origins of music, but its seemingly magical qualities must have been apparent early in human prehistory. Primitive music of some sort probably preceded speech by thousands of years. Those with unusual vocal abilities may have used their power in rituals or to convey messages over a distance. These ancient singers, like their brothers the cave painters, may even have been privileged members of the clan. But it was a long time before people started making vocal utterances

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Reviews

Praise for The Essential Canon of Classical Music

"The Essential Canon of Classical Music is a terrific book. David Dubal's spirited essays are wonderful introductions to the composers, and his vivid descriptions of the music and recommendations of recordings are invaluable. This book has something for everyone, from the beginner to the sophisticated listener. It has a permanent resting place on my CD player."--Tony Randall

"No one writes more cogently on music than David Dubal. I learned a lot. Dubal instructs even as he entertains. And he cares deeply." --Ned Rorem

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About the Author

David Dubal

David Dubal is an acclaimed pianist and a professor at the Julliard School. He has won several awards, including the Peabody Award and an Emmy for the documentary The Golden Age of the Piano. The former classical music program director at WNCN, Dubal is currently a broadcaster on WQXR. He is also the author of many books.

David Dubal

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Available Formats and Book Details

The Essential Canon of Classical Music
David Dubal

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
North Point Press
October 2003
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781466807266
ISBN10: 1466807261
800 pages, 62 Black-and-White Illustrations, Source lis, Glossary, Index
$12.99

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
North Point Press
October 2003
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780865476646
ISBN10: 0865476640
6 1/8 x 9 1/4 inches, 800 pages, Includes 62 Black-and-White Illustrations, a Source List, a Glossary, and an Index
$27.00
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North Point Press

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