The Musical Ascent of Herman Being

I picked up a copy of The Musical Ascent of Herman Being recently, and this morning it seemed like a good short text to read while lounging at the pool. Ah, summer.

If you know absolutely nothing about classical music and would like a little impetus to sit down and listen to a forty-minute symphony and actually learn to like it, I’d recommend this book. If you’re so immersed in the music that you have trouble explaining the basics to a novice, it stands as a nice reminder that really, this stuff isn’t your average pop music, and no, not everyone just gets it from day one.

It’s short – less than 100 pages, and in a larger text format. I read it in less than an hour, and I’m a slow reader. So there’s no excuse. Pick it up.

The author, Robert Danziger (from CSU), takes a stab at presenting western art music to beginners, without any technical jargon. He introduces a twenty-five year old guy with no musical background who wants to learn: Herman Being. Herman consults a music guru friend of his, and through this, he is pushed up the ladder – on a musical ascent. His motivation is also driven forward as he crushes on a graduate music student (okay, it adds interest). (more…)