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