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I purchased this audiobook in an attempt to improve my knowledge of classical music. I am a ?casual? fan of classical music and have been for most of my life but felt it was time I addressed my woeful lack of knowledge around the composers and their histories. I was also looking to enhance my appreciation and to discover pieces that I had not heard or, if I had heard them, to learn to more fully appreciate them.
The medium of the audiobook is unique ? it is not the same as reading a paper book, nor is it like watching a movie ? you have scope to deliver imagination or knowledge through auditory senses that I would like to think are ideally suited to the study of a subject such as classical music but in this case we have little more than a written book being read (somewhat monotonously, it has to be said) page by page, chapter by chapter. Bizarrely this extends to ?pauses? in the text where you are invited to go and listen to a particular recording or composition.
Why the produces of this audiobook did not make the connection and think ? ?hey, we could include at lease some of the subject matter along with the text? is beyond me. For over ?45.00 (and that?s audible.co.uk discounted !!) I would have expected more.
I am sorry to say that the majority of this audiobook will go un-listened to in my collection ? I have better things to do with my short life ? such as listen to classical music!
34 of 37 people found this review helpful
I listened to this book about three years ago, at least until my car was broken into and the device stolen! I am sure the thief got a surprise if he was able to figure out how to turn it on.
I share the disappointment with the other listeners about the lack of music on the book. However, this is a book which needs to be "read" very slowly with several trips to the musical library in order to listen to particular pieces recommended by the author. Most of the music is familiar but the discipline of listening to the same piece more than once,looking for one thing or another, can be very enriching.
I recommend this book highly but it cannot be used as a typical Audible book listened to on the go without access to a stereo system in order to actually play the music referred to as you go along.
This book is really a musical lecture and should be viewed in that light.
22 of 22 people found this review helpful
There's a fine line between assuming nothing about a listener's prior knowledge of a subject and treating them like a dummy. Fred Plotkin stayed on the high side of that line, in my opinion. "...allowing the strings to be tightened or loosened. This is called tuning." Yes, I knew that, but Plotkin is assuming nothing about my prior exposure to music, musical instruments or the business end of the industry.
Fred Plotkin's love of music shines through every word of the book, I'll give him that. This is the first time I've ever found a description of a musical instrument in need of a PG rating. ;) His is not necessarily the voice of a professional reader, but he adds a fair about of expression to a heavily academic discussion.
No, the book is not a thrill a minute, but it isn't intended to be. Almost too dry for a popular audience, but not quite dry enough for a textbook. Definitely an education in classical music for the uninitiated, though.
16 of 16 people found this review helpful