Synopses & Reviews
Do you enjoy classical music but wish you knew more about it? Do you buy CDs, tune in to radio programs, go to concerts, and sometimes wonder just what, precisely, all those Italian musical terms mean? In this wonderfully engaging guide, Miles Hoffman demystifies the terms and concepts of classical music in an accessible and witty style. With more than one hundred entries, The NPR Classical Music Companion delves into definitions and etymologies, explores terms with reference to famous composers and works, and calls upon amusing analogies to make sense of music's finer points. Ranging from a paragraph to a few pages, the explanations gathered here tackle both the familiar and the not so familiar, from " a cappella " to " motet," from " opus numbers " to " zarzuela." The result is a delightful and comprehensive assemblage. For anyone who thinks that only professional musicians can understand classical music, this guide offers a clear path through a potentially daunting world. As much a companion to keep by the radio as an enjoyable book to read in a few sittings, The NPR Classical Music Companion makes understanding music a pleasure.
Hoffman demystifies the terms and concepts of classical music in an accessible and witty style. He delves into definitions and etymologies, explores terms with reference to famous composers and works, and calls upon amusing analogies to make sense of music's finer points.
"Whether you know a lot about music or nothing at all, Miles Hoffman will help you think about what you listen to and how you listen. This book is a great achievement. There's nothing else out there like it." -- Wynton Marsalis, composer, trumpeter, and winner of the Pulitzer Prize in music
An irresistible tour through the lexicon of classical music, The NPR Classical Music Companionoffers an essential education certain to increase any listener's understanding and appreciation of this potentially daunting musical genre. Miles Hoffman sheds light on more than 130 words and concepts that listeners may encounter in CD booklets, on the radio, in classical concert programs, or in newspaper reviews. These wholly delightful, accessible entries touch on fascinating topics, including what makes a good or a bad conductor, what musical term is most often misused, and why opera was invented. Whether you are an experienced concertgoer or have only recently been introduced to the music of Mozart and Beethoven, Hoffman's clear explanations will both enlighten and entertain.
"A musical guide filled with wit and unique charm. There are delicious musical morsels to delight everyone, from the novice to the scholar." -- Eugenia Zukerman, author, flutist, and arts correspondent for CBS News Sunday Morning
"[Hoffman] takes the myth and starch out of classical music." -- Cleveland Plain Dealer
"Carefully researched . . . informal and informative. . . a reader-friendly book." -- Washington Post
Miles Hoffman is music commentator for National Public Radio(R) 's Morning Edition(R). A graduate of Yale University and the Juilliard School, he is the violist and artistic director of the American Chamber Players.
About the Author
MILES HOFFMAN is the music commentator for NPR's Morning Edition. Every week for thirteen years, from 1989 to 2002, he delighted the nationwide audience of NPR's Performance Today with his sparkling commentary "Coming to Terms." A graduate of Yale University and the Juilliard School, Hoffman is the violist and artistic director of the American Chamber Players and is the dean of the Petrie School of Music at Converse College in South Carolina.