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Bach, Beethoven and the Boys: Music History as It Ought to Be Taught

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Bach, Beethoven and the Boys chronicles the lives of the great (and not-so-great) composers as you've never read them before - exploring their sex lives, exposing their foibles and expanding our knowledge of these remarkable but also human creatures.


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Bach, Beethoven and the Boys chronicles the lives of the great (and not-so-great) composers as you've never read them before - exploring their sex lives, exposing their foibles and expanding our knowledge of these remarkable but also human creatures.

30 review for Bach, Beethoven and the Boys: Music History as It Ought to Be Taught

  1. 4 out of 5

    David W.

    Thank you to everyone who has made BBB such a success! And yes, what I wrote was to the best of my knowledge (and to my research) the truth! My books are now being republished under www.IndentPublishing.com and new and revised editions are available on Amazon Kindle, KOBO and through online stores around the world! (amazon.com / amazon.uk to name a few). You can send me an email anytime at [email protected] or to my publisher at [email protected] I look forward to hearing from Thank you to everyone who has made BBB such a success! And yes, what I wrote was to the best of my knowledge (and to my research) the truth! My books are now being republished under www.IndentPublishing.com and new and revised editions are available on Amazon Kindle, KOBO and through online stores around the world! (amazon.com / amazon.uk to name a few). You can send me an email anytime at [email protected] or to my publisher at [email protected] I look forward to hearing from you and if you are a music teacher or music professor I would love to help you to promote classical music learning in whatever way I can. Thanks again, David W. Barber Toronto September 2013

  2. 5 out of 5

    Don Libes

    Cute book but with excessive focus on humor and trivia which hurt the overall coherency an readability. And I really don't like his style of footnotes. I found myself either looking carefully at every word to see if there was a footnote marker OR, if I'd reached the end of the page somehow having missed a reference to a footnote, I'd have to laboriously scan the entire page again for the marker. Update: The humor is lame. I stopped reading the footnotes entirely and I realize now that the main tex Cute book but with excessive focus on humor and trivia which hurt the overall coherency an readability. And I really don't like his style of footnotes. I found myself either looking carefully at every word to see if there was a footnote marker OR, if I'd reached the end of the page somehow having missed a reference to a footnote, I'd have to laboriously scan the entire page again for the marker. Update: The humor is lame. I stopped reading the footnotes entirely and I realize now that the main text is no different. Mounds and mounds of childish humor that has nothing to do with the content. I'm lowering my rating to one star. I'm convinced this book is written for 8-10 year olds - and even then I'm not sure they would find the humor good enough to keep slogging through it. And the content is probably a little too hard for that age. (What child is going to care about all the places Bach lived?) And he makes useless references to other things without explanation. And without actual tracks to listen to, this book is near useless.

  3. 5 out of 5

    lysslyss

    One word: HUH!? Two words: NO WAY!! Three words: Is that true? Four words: That CAN'T be true! This book was borderline crazy and comical. Some of the ridiculous ideas and habits of respected composers and musicians were more than hard to believe. I mean, DID Beethoven REALLY saw the legs off of his pianos so he could sit on the floor and feel the vibrations? Did Mozart at age 7 really propose to Marie Antoinette? And seriously... was Tchaikovsky weird enough to seriously hold his head up while he comp One word: HUH!? Two words: NO WAY!! Three words: Is that true? Four words: That CAN'T be true! This book was borderline crazy and comical. Some of the ridiculous ideas and habits of respected composers and musicians were more than hard to believe. I mean, DID Beethoven REALLY saw the legs off of his pianos so he could sit on the floor and feel the vibrations? Did Mozart at age 7 really propose to Marie Antoinette? And seriously... was Tchaikovsky weird enough to seriously hold his head up while he composed because he we afraid it would fall off? And the trying to give himself pneumonia by standing in a river in the winter part is just plain, like... WHAT?! This book is hilarious, and I know that SOME of it is true. But it's written to be funny. In fact, I bet Jerry Seinfeld could have written this one.

  4. 5 out of 5

    ElizabethRose

    I bought this book when I graduated from college with a music degree. Many of my fellow graduates also purchased it. We actually bought a copy for our music history teacher who would appreciate the humor in this book (he was Jewish, sarcastic, clever no had a habit of giving the Hitler salute whenever Wagner was mentioned). It's a fun read and I find I agree with many of the things the author says. If you are new to music history or you are an expert but bored with the same old narratives I high I bought this book when I graduated from college with a music degree. Many of my fellow graduates also purchased it. We actually bought a copy for our music history teacher who would appreciate the humor in this book (he was Jewish, sarcastic, clever no had a habit of giving the Hitler salute whenever Wagner was mentioned). It's a fun read and I find I agree with many of the things the author says. If you are new to music history or you are an expert but bored with the same old narratives I highly suggest this read. The footnotes totally make the book that much better!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Denise

    Bit light on music more of a gossip column on long dead composers which could have been written by Andy Griffiths.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Mary Catelli

    A short, light-hearted, but accurate history of Western music Starting with Gregorian chant because that's the first time anyone wrote down the music (having invented a way to do so) and go onward, through the composer named Palestrina -- actually that's his home town, not his last name -- through the greats. Purcell writing an ode to St. Cecelia every year; he died the day before her feast. . Haydn's staid, settled life -- his love life was a little lacking, though -- and the time he wrote a sym A short, light-hearted, but accurate history of Western music Starting with Gregorian chant because that's the first time anyone wrote down the music (having invented a way to do so) and go onward, through the composer named Palestrina -- actually that's his home town, not his last name -- through the greats. Purcell writing an ode to St. Cecelia every year; he died the day before her feast. . Haydn's staid, settled life -- his love life was a little lacking, though -- and the time he wrote a symphony to let his employer know that the orchestra really wanted to go home. Handel's prolonged trip to England. Mozart's precocity. Wagner's temperment and demands; he liked pink. And quite a bit more.

  7. 4 out of 5

    David W.

    Thank you everyone who has made BBB such a success! And yes, what I wrote was to the best of my knowledge (and to my research) the truth! My books are now being republished under www.IndentPublishing.com and new and revised editions are available on Amazon Kindle, KOBO and through online stores around the world! (amazon.com / amazon.uk to name a few). You can send me an email anytime at [email protected] or to my publisher at [email protected] I look forward to hearing from yo Thank you everyone who has made BBB such a success! And yes, what I wrote was to the best of my knowledge (and to my research) the truth! My books are now being republished under www.IndentPublishing.com and new and revised editions are available on Amazon Kindle, KOBO and through online stores around the world! (amazon.com / amazon.uk to name a few). You can send me an email anytime at [email protected] or to my publisher at [email protected] I look forward to hearing from you and if you are a music teacher or music professor I would love to help you to promote classical music learning in whatever way I can. Thanks again, David W. Barber Toronto September 2013

  8. 5 out of 5

    Keith

    A pleasant diversion into a lighthearted view of musical history. While reading I checked a few facts to see if it was made up, and usually found what he stated. My favorite part of the whole book is a paragraph that helps me tell two composers apart: "For some reason, many people have trouble telling Schubert and Schumann apart. It's really quite simple: Schubert was the short, dumpy one, with curly black hair and little wire-rimmed glasses. Schumann was taller and married to Clara." (Page 97)

  9. 5 out of 5

    Nima

    I found this book a little Referring one!you know may be (the thing that happened to me)if you want to start reading it from the first page up to the last it will be some kind of Boring because of the form and structure of the book itself..It would be so much better if you guys get back to the book every time you wanna know anything about a particular singer or musician or on a project,article,workshops related to Music and these kind of things. Good luck with that

  10. 4 out of 5

    Rhapsodyblue00

    Talk about information! Wow! This is so informative. The footnotes are the best part. If you are interested in a comprehensive study of a composer, then this book is not for you. But for sheer joy, and if you need a good laugh, then this is the ticket. Barber has other books that are equally terrific.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Alycia Griesi

    A hilarious historical novel on the famous to not-so-famous composers of the past. Definitely a more interesting and comical non-fiction I've read in a long time. I'd suggest it to anyone who is even slightly interested in music (classical I suppose), for the satirical and sarcastic edge the narrator has makes the novel all the more fun to read.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Vicki

    Would recommend for a teenager interested in music history or an adult who knows very little about music history that doesn't mind reading a style that sounds like a perpetually distracted person. Would not recommend to anyone who already knows anything about music history because you won't learn much, though the stories are entertaining.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Judith

    Short, humorous and factual. A great introduction to music history. This is the first book written by David Barber which I read. I loaned my copy out to students several times and finally lost it. I shall have to replace it, since it and _If it ain't Baroque_ are two books I frequently encourage my music students to read.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Peter

    A fun primer of classical composers in the vein of 1066 And All That. A fun primer of classical composers in the vein of 1066 And All That.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Christina

    An entertaining and interesting account of music history... This book was a gift to me as a piano student in elementary school, and even then it intrigued me. I love to share the bits of trivia gleaned from this book with other music lovers!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jorge

    This is the way music history should be taught! The composers as people and not infallible machines. Their surprising and often hilarious antics remind you of your musician friend that always gets in trouble.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kristen

    I loved that this book was hysterical while still very factual (and a little bit not so factual in certain places!). I laughed out loud many times, but also felt like I learned a lot. A good read for anyone interested in history, specifically music history.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Eirene Ritznore

    A farcical, yet informative glance into the history of classical music. Highly recommend this one for people who want to dip their toes into music appreciation, yet don't feel like wafting through a literary tome in order to do so.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    Quick, fun read! If you know anything about classical music, you'll enjoy this one. Not your normal history lesson. This has much more fun facts about the composers and who they really were. I'm interested to look into some of the author's other books.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Rosebud

    I expected to like this book, especially since it's about composers/music. I laughed a few times in the beginning, but it grew old very quickly and I gave up on it. The author commented that his friends found all the footnotes tedious and I agree!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Holli Moote

    This book was everything it promised and more. It was hilarious and informative. There is tons of surface humor and then he manages to constantly slip in small jokes that prove he really does know what he is talking about when it comes to music history.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Trish

    Barber definitely applies to music the same historical acumen as Sellar and Yeatman did to English history. But with a few more facts and a lot more dates! Also, make a point of reading the footnotes...

  23. 4 out of 5

    Mindpirate

    This is an incredible for a music appreciation class or if your just want to know a little more about composers and their music.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Steve

    Superb. Should be a textbook! Very funny.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    I am so glad I've read this book! I always wanted to know this stuff, and Barber presents an incredibly entertaining way to learn it.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Definitely laughed out loud while reading this one, and learned some awesomely random facts about famous composers. I'm a big fan of the footnotes.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    This is a real laugh out loud book, and educational!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Tj

    It was a fun book to read the odd facts of different composers

  29. 4 out of 5

    Susie

    A humorous look at the history of music. This book makes light of what could be a dry subject.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    Succinct, and funny Music history.

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