Music Related Reads...

December 22, 2006 at 01:45 AM · Does anyone have any suggestions for some music related books, that would be appropriate for a 10th grade Honors English Book report?



Replies (36)

December 22, 2006 at 02:23 AM · Sure--google Gutenberg project and search for violin--there's some good things related to some of the masters there. A couple articles actually.

December 22, 2006 at 02:48 AM · Richard, go find Scott 68's Listmania lists on Amazon. He put 8 volumes of "Great Violin Publications". Very nifty.

December 22, 2006 at 02:53 AM · The Student Conductor, by Richard Ford, is a really interesting recent novel set in Germany just before the fall of the Berlin Wall.

December 22, 2006 at 03:03 AM · Anne--I looked for every combination and couldn't find it.. Help!. al

December 22, 2006 at 03:09 AM · Mr. Al, you want computer help...from me? I was browsing through Amazon and came across a review from Scott 68 (Try Applebaum's "The Way They Play") and then bookmarked it.

Scott 68 is my Violin Library Hero.

December 22, 2006 at 03:21 AM · Got it!

December 22, 2006 at 03:25 AM · Thank you, Maura. Another batch of Chicken Paprikas for you!

December 22, 2006 at 03:27 AM · aaaahhh...köszönöm szépen, a paprikás-csirke nagyon finom van.... :)

December 22, 2006 at 03:30 AM · My CP is good, but my dumplings never come out just right. More practice...

December 22, 2006 at 03:35 AM · "Temperament" was a fascinating read...

December 22, 2006 at 03:34 AM · Love's Sorrow Love's Joy, by Amy Biancolli, is a great read about Fritz Kreisler. It would be great to use for a book report. I did my eighth-grade research project on Kreisler; he's definitely a fascinating subject to research.

December 22, 2006 at 04:04 AM · Greetings,

one of my favorite books is `Indivisible by Four` by Arnold Steinhardt,



December 22, 2006 at 04:26 AM · His new one "Violin Dreams" is also a good read.

December 22, 2006 at 04:32 AM · Thank you Maura--Anne-found it--bookmark...

I normally know how to ask the right questions in search engines--I'm humilated!. ;)

Maura--speaking of chicken paprika... I do a blackened ''boneless'' chicken breast with copious amounts of fresh black pepper and paprika in olive oil and real butter. Simple as it sounds, plus some garlic powder, and salt--cook it quickly--keep it juicy, and throw it on a salad.


December 22, 2006 at 04:41 AM · Is it fictional or non-fictional literature? Anyway, try the "The Rosendorf Quartet" (Nathan Shaham), in which he tells of the string quartet established in Tel Aviv in 1936 by musicians belonging to the Palestine Symphony Orchestra, which had been founded that year by the violinist Bronislaw Huberman. The story is set against the situation existing before the state was established, when superb musicians arrived in Palestine, while it was still possible to do so, and wanted to set up a temple to the European culture from which they had been uprooted. It was a time of riots, disrupting the life of the country's small Jewish population. These disturbances shattered the harmony of the artists whose only talent lay in expressing their emotions through their playing.

Short stories are o.k. also? If so, read "The Alien Corn" by Somerset Maugham or Rothschilds fiddle (Text) by Anton Chekhov. What's your exact goal to write about (nonfiction, novel, essay)?

December 22, 2006 at 04:41 AM · Albert, that sounds delicious! Real paprikas-csirke involves lots and lots of onions cooked to melt-in-your-mouth perfection, gobs of sour cream, several buckets full of *authentic* paprika (ideally from the Szeged region), salt, herbs and a few spices I've forgotten, and nice tender, juicy chicken. Hungarian food is the best...but now I'm starving just thinking about it!! :)

sorry for the off-topic, favorite violin book is of course Joseph Szigeti's memoirs, "With Strings Attached". Really terrific book, he was as good a writer as violinist, and has some very funny and touching stories to tell.

December 22, 2006 at 06:33 AM · For a fictional book, try Vikram Seth's An Equal Music. Deals with lots of musical issues, including patronage, and the inner workings of a quartet.

December 22, 2006 at 05:19 PM · Totally have to second An Equal Music. Seth is one of the few authors I've read who really understands the classical music world. Plus, his writing is just beautiful. Once I started I couldn't stop reading it.

December 22, 2006 at 05:34 PM · Another good one I just read is a novel called The Song of Names, by Norman Lebrecht. An excellent book by a very renowned music critic.

December 22, 2006 at 09:11 PM · Consider "Evenings With the Orchestra" by Hector Berlioz.

Not for your report, but just for fun-On the fictional side, here are a couple of mysteries by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles-

DEAD END (Published as GRAVE MUSIC in the USA)

ISBN Hardback: 0-316-90981-5

ISBN Paperback: 0-7515-1354-7

“Inspector Bill Slider confirms his place among those intelligent fictional British coppers whose presence guarantees a satisfying read. After Sir Stefan Radek, conductor of the Royal London Philharmonic, is fatally shot during a rehearsal, Slider suspects the case will be a ‘domestic’… After nabbing the shooter, Slider senses that something about catching the right man is itself wrong, as wrong as his estrangement from Joanna. To the remaining question – can the fallible man put things, personal and professional, right – Harrod-Eagles offers an intricate, credible reply.” Publishers Weekly


ISBN Hardback: 0-356-19681-X

ISBN Paperback: 0-7088-4900-8

“A naked, unidentified girl murdered in a derelict flat near the BBC TV Centre turns out to own a £1 million Stradivarius violin – or had she stolen it? Along with teasing whodunnit puzzles, ORCHESTRATED DEATH offers a touching, modern love story as fallible Detective Inspector Slider falls for the victim’s friend (Joanna). Series hero Slider and his creator are real discoveries for detection fans demanding quality and heart as well as ingenious plots.” Shaun Usher Daily Mail

There is another mystery written around WWII called "Death at the Bowl" or "Death at the Hollywood Bowl" (sorry, some of our stuff is still packed from a cross-country move). It starts with someone in a bi-plane flying into the hollywood bowl during an orchestra concert and shooting the conductor.

Another cheesy book (again, sorry for the incomplete info)is "Antonius". It traces the history of a strad through a couple of centuries and is full of fun historical inaccuracies.

December 22, 2006 at 11:07 PM · Not quite what you're looking for, Richard, but I stumbled fully unaware upon the description of Beethoven 5 in Forster's "Howard's End" - was all the more delightful as a surprise, but it's still worth reading for many reasons, including the references to Ysaye as the must-see violinist of the moment back then.

December 23, 2006 at 02:00 AM · there is a newer book by Arnold Steinhardt (Indivisible by Four), which is also excellent, "Violin Dreams"

December 23, 2006 at 02:21 AM · Richard, and when you are finished with this paper, send us all 6 bucks....

December 23, 2006 at 03:25 AM · Doctor Faustus (Thomas Mann)

"A work written in old age and suffused with Mann's moral despair over his country's complacent embrace of Nazism, Doctor Faustus unrelentingly details the rise and fall of Adrian Leverkühn, a gifted musician (modeled, as Mann admitted, on modernist innovator Arnold Schoenberg) who effectively sells his soul to the devil for a generation of renown as the greatest living composer."

Mann wrote a lot about music, but from a very theoretical perspective.

Gänsemännchen: not published in english. Hmm.

Mara: story narrated by the point of view of a Stradivari-cello, beginning with its creation.

Schlafes Bruder (Robert Schneider):

In the beginning of the 19th century, Johannes Elias Alder is born in a small village in the Austrian mountains. While growing up he is considered strange by the other villagers and discovers his love to music, especially to playing the organ at the local church. After experiencing an "acoustic wonder", his eye color changes and he can hear even the most subtle sounds. Elias falls in platonic love with Elsbeth, the sister of Peter, a neighbor's son, who has loving feelings towards Elias ever since. After Elsbeth marries someone else, Elias (aged 22) decides to end his life by not sleeping anymore.

The movie is quite bad, but the book was a sensation, when it became published.

The loser (Thomas Bernhard)

"For music lovers, perfectionists, and estheticians, Thomas Bernhard's The Loser (1983) poses an irresistible drama of failed excellence. In 1953 three friends, among whom is the famed Glenn Gould, study with Horowitz. Rarely sleeping, hardly eating, they burn intensely with the white and ruthless flame of virtuosity. Only Gould ascends. But this is no conventional narrative--neat, action-driven, or linear. It opens with the specter of death--Gould's at 51, and a suicide."

A never ending depressive yakking monolog, literature you can put down a dog with.

Or just make an easy christmas and copy this =)

December 23, 2006 at 04:33 AM · Al- Ill send you 6 bucks if you send me a bunch of that blackened chicken ;).

December 23, 2006 at 06:02 AM · I hear ya... It really is easy to do... I use to get the cheap bags of frozen breasts and keep them handy to make one dish meals with--on top of a super spinach salad with all the trimmings.

Richard, you could also compare and contrast "The Red Violin" and "The piano" for assigning meanings to instruments through art. ....

December 23, 2006 at 06:41 AM · There's a book called "The Cremona Violin" by E.T.A. Hoffman that's great. There's more to it than a book that would just be informational. Spooky and gothic and psychological.

You can download it here:

December 23, 2006 at 04:01 PM · Albert, that post probably looked really funny to anyone who missed our little seminar on Chicken Paprikas...(I mean, they wouldn't know you were talking about CHICKEN breasts)....LOL

December 23, 2006 at 06:12 PM · Sorry--I meant prunes ;).

December 23, 2006 at 06:18 PM · Unfortunetally I cant compare and contrast. My assignment is very specific (and not due until the end of February!!! Lots of time!). I have to relate the book to one of like 15 quotes that our english teacher gives us (I believe there is one about music and one about art, so any violin book should fit in).

December 23, 2006 at 06:24 PM ·

December 24, 2006 at 01:38 AM · Ok, so does anyone know any books (or if any of these books) are as good/simular to Facing the Music By Henri T.? I loved that book.

December 24, 2006 at 02:36 AM · Richard! You already had an answer! Forget the chicken!. And send my six bucks :0... Merry Christmas.

December 24, 2006 at 02:45 AM · Agree, Facing the Music, by Henri Tamianka (sp) was excellent.

December 24, 2006 at 04:19 AM · I'm sorry, I don't have six bucks for you. But I can send you six Prunes!... And Merry Christmas to you too :).

December 24, 2006 at 04:27 AM · Prunes he says! Sheesh. Alright Buri--give up the recipe for paprika prune-brew...

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