Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Rest is Noise

I'm not too familiar with 20th century music. I know all the names: Schoenberg, Stravinski, Cage, Britten, Stockhausen, Copland ect. - I read a lot. But I never listened much to any of the music, with the exception of Stockhausen (weird stuff, but cool).
Then I picked up The Rest is Noise by Alex Ross just because the library I work at had just bought it and I needed something to read for the ride home. It has been an amazing trip through the music of the last century and I have learned so many things, something I really love when reading a non-fiction book. It's a story not just about music, but also about culture and history and you get to know all the great composers, their quirks and personality. It also made me curious about all the music I had never listened to until now. There are recommendations at the end of the book and the author's website has music samples you can listen to - once again, I enjoy living in the Information Age.
The book has spawned a very long list of other books Ross mentions that I want to read and of people who's biography I need to read as well. This is how I love to find new books, through another book, a kind of literary six degrees of separation.

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