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There is no doubt that Gareth Malone is inspirational - one has just to observe his work with the most unlikely of people in The Choir to appreciate that. This enthusiasm is carried over into this book/audibook. I came to this as someone who has a lifelong liking of classical music but lacked the indepth understanding of music theory to really appreciate the music I was listening to. This book is a good introduction to understanding music though at times was a bit too basic for me - though admittedly I do play the piano (albeit badly) and therefore already knew the basics of music.
There are two problems with this audiobook. The first is that it is a reading of the book and this includes lists. In the book lists are great for reference and going back to but are not great in an audiobook. This often included lists of compositions to listen to. For these the book would be a better option.
My second problem is that insufficient advantage was taken of the audio form of the book. Whilst there are some pieces of music played there would have been enormous benefit for more demonstration of musical instruments and instrumental pieces.
Really what Gareth Malone needs to do is to produce a special version for audiobook which would really use the advantage of musical demonstration and comparison to really help the listener understand music.
Having said this I thoroughly enjoyed listening and learnt a lot.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
The content of this book was excellent: diverse and sometimes challenging. However, I never felt that I was stupid for not understanding this type of music and Gareth is never snobby about it. I bought the book as I wanted to be able to listen to more music without getting frustrated by it and just switching it off. I now listen to music on radio 3 and classic FM with a different 'ear' and am starting to enjoy things I would never have listened to before. Gareth's voice is perfect for explanation and commentary and I was sad that it ended so soon!
My only comment for improvement is: as this is an audiobook, I do wish that there had been more excerpts of the pieces of music that he was talking about, within the text. I listen 'on the go' and don't have access to quickly find a piece of music to listen to and 'get' what he is talking about.
Otherwise, a fab book - but it, you won't be disappointed!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful