I’ve just finished reading “What to Listen for in Music” by Aaron Copland, one of the USA’s most famous composers.
It’s not a bad book and would be great for a non-musical person. I found it a little basic but still quite valuable and it’s interesting to note how Copland decides to order and organise the essential most basic information on various musical forms when writing for the layperson.
Towards the end of the book there is a chapter called “From Composer to Interpreter to Listener” and I particularly liked this phrase:
“What after all, do we listen for when we listen to a composer? ……………
“He gives us himself. Every artist’s work is, of course an expression of himself, but none so direct as that of the creative musician. He gives us, without relation to exterior “events,” the quintessential part of himself-that part which embodies the fullest and deepest expression of himself as a man and of his experience as a fellow being.”
Now it’s on to “Music, the Brain and Ecstasy“. I’m only a couple of chapters in, but so far it’s been quite a good read.