Friday, 26 October 2007

Aaron Copland's What to Listen for in Music

What is the best way to appreciate music? Of course, the most basic and best way would be to listen to it, or to experience it.

If that is the case, why on earth would I want to write a post on the American composer, Aaron Copland's book, What to Listen for in Music?

Simply, as outlined by composer, William Schuman, in the Introduction section of this book, "Listening to music is a skill that is acquired through experience and learning. Knowledge enhances enjoyment." As such, it does help to read about and learn how to listen to music with greater skill.

In this book, Aaron Copland provides insightful suggestions for listening to music that will bring one a deeper appreciation of music. The book discusses how one can hear what is going on in a piece of music. It discusses how one could not just listen to music for the sheer pleasure of the musical sound, and not just experience the expressive meaning behind a piece of music, but to be sufficiently conscious of the sheerly musical plane, i.e to be aware of the melodies, rhythms, harmonies, tone colours and the musical form in a more conscious fashion.

I had myself acquainted with this book during my undergraduate years when I had studied a module on Contemporary Music as one of my electives. However, I had not read the entire book then. Last year, Emily presented this book to me as a Christmas gift, and I eventually got down to read the entire book. Although I had previously been acquainted to learn how to listen to music in a more conscious fashion, I have found that I was much more able to know how to and what to listen for in music after reading this book entirely. I have particularly found the book's discussion on the topic of musical form to be easy-to-understand and fairly comprehensive. I believe I would still refer to this book from time to time.

This book was written primarily with the layman in mind, but I am sure that music students and anyone else would find it a fruitful read if they were to read this book with the objective of learning how they could experience greater enjoyment when listening to music.

This book is available from Borders (Singapore) and Kinokuniya (Singapore). It is also available for purchase from Aaron Copland's What to Listen for in Music.

Credits: Image source:

Saturday, 20 October 2007

Emily the composer

Credit: Image taken from

Emily, local composer, has her own website with her own domain name. Find out more about Emily and her endeavours in composing music here:

Besides composing, Emily is also an avid double bassist. She is a founding member of d’Bassists.

Saturday, 13 October 2007

10 Nov 2007: The Bass Line

The Bass Line. 10 Nov 2007

Students from the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music (Singapore) will be presenting The Bass Line, a concert of Double Bass Music on 10 November 2007 (Sat), 7.30 p.m.

Venue: Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, Orchestra Hall (3rd level)
Please click here for the link to the location map

Do make time to support this interesting concert. Admission is free.

For more information about the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, please check out this URL:

Also read about Mr Guennadi Mouzyka, Artist Faculty, Double Bass, Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music.

Sunday, 7 October 2007

Practice Tracks on Jason Heath's Double Bass Blog

For the strings players, while practising scales, have you ever wish that someone could be playing scales on the keyboard together with you so that you could listen to how each note would sound and then pitch your notes to the correct intonation?

While practising a piece of music, have you ever hope that someone could play the same of music along with you?

Practice tracks can be a solution to the above demands. One particular site which I recommend double bass players should check out is the series of practice tracks available on Jason Health's Double Bass Blog. Jason Health's Double Bass Blog is an online resources that I would turn to for double-bass-related news and contents. I have been reading it almost every day.

You can find the links to these practice tracks right below:

Double Bass MP3 Scales
Double Bass MP3 Sonatas, Concertos, and Solos
Double Bass MP3 Orchestral Excerpts

Happy learning.