Cover Image: Know It All Classical Music

Know It All Classical Music

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Know it all Classical Music brings you 50 topics, from different eras of Western classical music in about 30 seconds each. The nice thing about it is that you get to learn a lot of different things in a short amount of time. Of course, the extent of information that can be learned in this style is rather limited. So I would see this, and other works in the series, more like an introduction to the topic. I got some nice little facts from this collection, and also thought the layout was nicely done.

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

Was this review helpful?

All of the Know-It-All series of books are excellent! Each of them gives a synopsis of the most important things to know on the topic in a brief but well-laid-out manner, and Classical Music is no exception! These books are a good introduction or a good review, as well as a starting place for discovering which topics you'd like to learn more about afterwards -- and then you can get a more in-depth book on just that topic.

Was this review helpful?

I really like how this book was organized and laid out. I think it's a great way for people who want to learn the basics of classical music and as a way to dive into more in-depth coverage of it.

Was this review helpful?

This book makes western classical music accessible to the layman. Not only does it give a chronological history of famous composers and musicians, it also explains the different techniques popularly used in specific periods. The seven sections covered are the Middle Ages, the Renaissance period, Baroque, Classical, 19th Century, late 19th & early 20th century and 20th and 21st century.

Splitting the history of classical music into 7 segments was good because the reader could recognize how western classical music has evolved over time. I particularly liked how each segment was prefaced with a glossary of terms specific to the period. This way, the jargons were introduced in bite-size and I got slowly initiated to the terms which sounded alien to me.

Classical music can be an intimidating subject to learn, but this book gives a great summary and introduces the reader to so many wonderful musicians. The way the content is presented makes the reading fun. I liked how there were notes on the margins and pictures in every other page.

I would highly recommend this book to people who are interested in classical music, who are new to classical music and people who like music in general. To reap the full benefits of this book, I'd suggest enjoying it a page at a time while listening to the music mentioned on the page.

Was this review helpful?

A fascinating book about music, it's history, and it's terminology. It also includes information about the different time periods of music and it's best musicians. I'd also like to mention that the illustrations we're very interesting too. I recommend for ages 10 & up.
4 stars

Was this review helpful?

A know-it-all overview of the history of Western classical music - very useful if you're trying to determine what in the world is currently playing on the classical music channel.

Was this review helpful?

The first reason I chose this book to read was the synopsis: "The 50 Most Significant Genres, Composers & Forms, Each Explained in Under a Minute." A minute? Complicated stuff explained in an understandable way and can be understood in a short time? OH YES.
The part that I loved most about this book was the pictures. The page design, the elegant graphics all made the content a lot more interesting and attractive. What's better than reading a book that looks good?
Love it.
Overall: 4.5/5
Cover: 5/5
Content: 5/5 (some concepts were still written in a way too hard to understand)
Writing: 4/5
Appealing: 5/5
Will I buy it? Yeah, probably.

Was this review helpful?

This kind of book are always interesting. We learn a lot of things very usefull. A great book for who want to learn more about classical music.

Was this review helpful?

I learned so much from reading this even though it really just scratched the surface of classical music history. I was surprised by how much information was packed into this small book.

The book is organized into seven sections:
- The Middle Ages
- The Renaissance
- Baroque
- Classical
- The 19th Century
- The Late 19th & Early 20th Centuries
- The 20th & 21st Centuries

Each section tells facts about composers, famous works, special motifs, and specific vocabulary of that time period. It also features a modern musician/composer who dedicates their time to creating or cataloguing that era of music. Some of the later “sections” of music were a bit more choppy and focused on styles more than individual composers, but I still learned a lot.

I also really liked the interesting collage illustrations that were on every other page. It helped to visualize the composers, but it was also interesting to see how staff notation changed over time.

Some things that really stuck out to me:
— Music was originally thought to be a type of math when Pythagorus noticed that different sized hammers create different notes when slammed on an anvil.

— Gregorian chants were said to be transcribed straight from the Holy Spirit - in the form of a dove humming into St. Gregory’s ear.

— Early written pieces of music focused on creating a baseline of music and encouraged improvisation from musicians for the rest of the harmonies.

— The piano was invented in 1700 (and later refined in the 1800s) as an instrument that could produce both soft (piano) and loud (forte) sounds.

— I really hate minimalist music, and I think Steve Reich’s musical art is very bad.

I was given a copy of this ebook from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

This is a brief look at classical music for someone not familiar with it. Because it is so short it does not go into depth but instead gives very short and easy to understand information about the different eras of classical music. It uses lots of pictures and highlights many important people in classical music, both composers and performers. I knew a lot that was in the book but was pleasantly surprised to find that I did learn a few new interesting things I had not known before. I also learned about some performers of classical music that I had not heard of. It is an interesting little book.

Was this review helpful?

I thought I knew, if not a lot, at last enough about this topic, instead I learned many new things and mostly some connections I've never made before, plus everything is very clear and the book is full of notions and illustrations that made the subject lighter. If you are interested about classical music, but you don't know where to start, this is a good book for beginners.

Pensavo di sapere, se non tanto, quanto meno parecchio su questo argomento, invece anche stavolta ho imparato parecchie cose nuove e soprattutto collegamenti che non avevo mai fatto; inoltre il libro ha un formato accattivante e le immagini rendono l'argomento piú leggero. Se vi interessa la musica classica, ma in qualche modo non sapete da dove iniziare, questo é un buon libro per i principianti.


Was this review helpful?

This is a cool little book. A lot of solid information on Classical Music for the layman.

Was this review helpful?