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on 20 June 2012
Having dabbled, bought Cds, gone to concerts and listened to Classical FM as quite a novice to classical music but throughly captivated by it this book was a really good way to get a bit deeper and gain further background and understanding. Even for me some parts were more basic than I expected but overall I found it a good read and well worth the outlay.
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on 14 June 2013
Loved this book & found it very informative as a handy guide. No, it doesn't cover absolutely everything, & some people will quibble over what was included vs what was left out, but it's not supposed to be an exhaustive guide - more a beginner's primer to impart the basic & inspire further investigation.

One small annoyance though is that there were occasional links to a special section of the Classic FM website set up associated with the book, with download links & more info, & this no longer exists. I understand that eventually webpages will be considered outdated & no longer necessary, but it's only been a year since the book was first published - surely a little soon to retire resources?
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on 15 May 2012
Brilliant book bought for my son-in-law. He now listens to classic fm and understands more about the words and information that is spoken about.

Easy to read, good reference book and lots of very intesting facts about the composers.
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on 6 August 2012
To the question:'Should any novice interested in classical music purchase this book?' the answer would be a definite 'Yes'. A great deal of concise information is included in this quick reference book even if a lot more is missing. We are not talking about digesting an encyclopedia here: reading this book is like using a road map i.e. spotting landmarks at a glance without wasting time on the tourist sites to visit. This type of information can be gleaned later at a leisurely pace and as the mood takes you. Overall, a great enjoyable acquisition, which will undoubtedly lead me to many more relating to the diving realm of classical music.
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on 12 June 2013
A well written book entirely suitable for someone like me who enjoys a limited range of classical music but knew little of its history and less about terms used in discussing it. I particularly liked the recommended listening under each composer listed and will certainly try to listen to many of these recommendations. Ideally, I would have liked a little more on technical terms and a little less on suggested venues - a section I did not find so useful.
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on 8 February 2013
If this book had been entitled 'an Introduction to popular classical music' referring to the basics played on Classic FM, then I would not have bought the book and not have felt disappointed.

I expected a tome of a book with details of 'everything', but found to my disappointment that even the basics contained therein were sketchy to say the least. Like a previous disappointed reviewer, I could list all the errors and omissions, but he has done a good job of his list and I can't be bothered to waste any more time on this book. I wish someone had written an honest review before I bought the book, which is why I write this. This is not even the book I would buy to teach my children about this genre of music.

Extremely arrogant of the authors to claim this is 'Everything you wanted to know' - change the title and be honest.
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on 11 April 2014
Bought for my wife who is interested in this and she is highly delighted! Although I am already a musician (have been for years), even I found myself reading it.
Full of interesting facts and explains music simply and not too technically.
Would recommend it, and the supplier, very highly.
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on 9 February 2013
My musical knowledge is very limited. I have no ear for key etc but do enjoy listening to classical music, even if I usually can't identify which piece it is! This book certainly helps with understanding some of the terminology relating to classical music and I am enjoying dipping into it.
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on 31 May 2015
Little useful information for the target audience stated in the opening blurb: it suggests it for laymen wishing to understand more about classical music, but i found it reads rather like a magazine column or an encyclopaedia. I struggled through it but can't say I learned much more than when I started. The glossary of terms was the most useful bit (!). Rather sameful plugging of the radio station and their compilation CDs taking place also!
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on 1 October 2012
Title says it all. Very informative for newcomers to classical music and self confessed buffs as well.Easy to read with well laid out format.Understandable terminology.Some excellent reference charts .
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