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Editorial Musings with Basil Ramsey

Book search

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The other day I found myself trying to establish a choice of the three best books about music. I do not have a vast library, which is probably why my thoughts are inconclusive. I have read many books about music, especially as for two or three years I acted as book reviewer for the English Musical Opinion. What came to my mind first today is illuminating in some way I suppose of my thought processes. Charles Rosen's The Classical Style is a profound book, and I felt quite elated at the apparent priority accorded to it by my mind. I then tried again and came to a collision with Thayer's classic Beethoven ((which needs a forklift truck between bookshelf and chair), from which I enjoy 'dips'; and then a fine collection of Vaughan Williams' writings -- National Music and other essays which gives me pleasure as I recall the man and his gruff but delightful shrewdness.

That, however, is much less interesting than widening the enquiry and inviting readers in all their geographical variety and innumerable musical persuasions to select from their own experience three books devoted to music that have remained in mind as influential on their musical thinking and development. Do please co-operate if you feel able to contribute. When we get enough for some conclusions to be drawn another feature will appear.

 

Copyright © 17 May 2001 Basil Ramsey, Eastwood, Essex, UK

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BOOK SURVEY

Which three books remain in your mind as most influential on your musical thinking and development? Please complete the form below.

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