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Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
Eyewitness Companions: Classical Music
Format: Paperback|Change
Price:£16.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on 7 May 2016
I bought this second hand edition as a quick and convenient back-up for my Oxford Companion to Music which is large,heavy and comprehensive.
I find the smaller format easy to use with many cheerful facts on individual composers, pieces of music, brief descriptions of instruments and simple music theory.
I already had the DK Eyewitness Guide to Opera so the format was familiar to me and I would recommend this book as an introduction to classical music. The book is well illustrated in full colour and divided into easiliy referenced sections.

The copy arrived in good time in the condition stated by the vendor.
5 people found this helpful
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As classical music guides go, this is one of my favourites. It's described as `hardcover' but is more `stiff paperback' like the other Eyewitness Companions in this series.

The book is produced in association with Classic FM, which is one of the main reasons it is so readable and yet informative. Classic FM, having spent more than a decade successfully popularizing classical music, have helped present the information in layman terms instead of the rather `dry' methods used by some authors.

Divided into ten main sections, with a foreword by Lady Solti (of the late Sir Georg Solti), the book is on quality paper with numerous colour illustrations and photographs.

The contents are briefly as follows:

THE ELEMENTS OF CLASSICAL MUSIC (7 pages) - a very brief intro to the basics of classical music.

CLASSICAL MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS (11 pages) - a run down of the popular instruments of the orchestra.

CLASSICAL MUSIC IN PERFORMANCE (7 pages) - where and how classical music is performed.

EARLY MUSIC (29 pages) - from Middle Ages to Renaissance.

THE BAROQUE ERA (49 pages) - from 1600 to 1750.

THE CLASSICAL ERA (39 pages) - from 1750 to 1820.

THE ROMANTIC ERA (65 pages) - from 1810 to 1920.

THE ROMANTIC OPERA (39 pages) - opera from 1810 to 1920.

NATIONAL SCHOOLS (107 pages) - 1830 to 1950, an account of each composer from their respective country.

MODERN MUSIC (120 pages) - 1900 to the present, a large section covering the period variably described as `neo-classical', `modern classical or `minimalist'.

This book comfortably fills the gap between an all-to-brief `pocket guide' and an all-to-heavy encyclopedic `tome'. It is easily my first choice recommendation for the newcomer to classical music, while still offering an excellent read to the more knowledgeable classical music enthusiast.
99 people found this helpful
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on 14 October 2017
It's a lovely book to dip into at regular intervals and have a good overview as well as lots of details at your fingertips. I love the sayings that are linked to many composers. For the older reader, it has a major drawback: the print of the boxes of information are too small! Otherwise I would have given it 5 stars. I wonder it hasn't been published in a larger-sized edition?
2 people found this helpful
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on 27 June 2013
This book has everything. It's very detailed and well put together, I found it easy to dip in and out of rather than read cover to cover. I really enjoyed it and would recommend.
11 people found this helpful
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on 27 September 2017
Good way to begin a voyage within the classical music world.
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on 24 July 2013
This is the 4th time I have bought this book................I keep giving mine away as I recommend to friends and students alike.
6 people found this helpful
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on 4 May 2014
Very easy to use book, even though not comprehensive, covers the most vital information well. I like it and commend it.
3 people found this helpful
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on 10 January 2017
a valuable book in the Classical Series artlines
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on 27 September 2017
good book with lots of useful information,Would recommend to anyone interested in classical music.
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on 29 October 2015
A very informative book, beautifully illustrated.
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