The 11 Best Classical Music Books

7 min read

Classical music can be a powerful source of relaxation, inspiration and enjoyment. Whether you are an experienced musician or just starting out, there is something special to find in the world of classical music. To help make the most of it, this article offers reviews on some of the best books available that explore its vast range – from detailed guides to collections of classic pieces. From works by Bach and Beethoven to Mozart’s Moonlight Sonata, these titles offer insights into both their composers and compositions for every level of knowledge.

  1. Year of Wonder: Classical Music to Enjoy Day by Day

    Year of Wonder: Classical Music to Enjoy Day by Day
    Clemency Burton-Hill
    Published in 2018

    Year of Wonder: Classical Music to Enjoy Day by Day is an outstanding resource for classical music aficionados and novices alike. Written by award-winning violinist and BBC Radio personality, Lucy Burton-Hill, this book offers a unique celebration that showcases one inspirational piece each day of the year. With her deep love for the art form, Burton-Hill encourages readers to open their ears and minds to explore diverse wonders found in classical pieces from Bach, Beethoven, Mozart and Puccini through Gershwin, Schumann, Glass and Ellington. Thoughtfully curated with masterful research behind it – Year of Wonder will inspire readers with its musical journey through time periods while nourishing them in unexpected ways. It’s truly a daily gift waiting to be discovered!

  2. The Complete Classical Music Guide

    The Complete Classical Music Guide
    Published in 2020

    The Complete Classical Music Guide is an essential book for those interested in exploring the rich history of classical music. It offers a comprehensive survey from Bach to Bernstein, charting musical instruments, styles and genres over more than 1000 years. With biographies of major and lesser-known composers as well as timelines, quotes and color photographs, this guide gives readers invaluable insights into their lives, works and cultural contexts that influenced them. Discover the spiritual beauty of Byrd’s masses or Handel’s Messiah; explore features that defined each era such as ornate brilliance of Baroque or drama of Romanticism; learn about contemporary forms like minimalism or electronic music – all with this must-have companion. Beautifully packaged in a box shaped like a horizontal grand piano it makes an ideal gift too!

  3. Masterwork Classics: Level 3, Book & CD

    Masterwork Classics: Level 3, Book & CD
    Jane Magrath, Valery Lloyd-Watts
    Published in 1988

    Masterwork Classics: Level 3, Book & CD by Valery Lloyd-Watts is an effective and motivational way to introduce students to classical music. This progressive repertoire series is ideal for progressing smoothly from the earliest classics towards intermediate literature, with a corresponding CD included in each volume. Featuring pieces chosen from standard classical literature, it appeals to both teacher and student alike. It’s perfect for self-motivated musicians or those seeking guidance via their piano tutor. The book offers carefully selected melodies that are longer and more varied than lower level books, allowing students to become familiar with older European compositions as well as American standards – all of which can be heard on YouTube! With this comprehensive collection of musical selections and expert advice provided by Dr Suzuki himself, Masterwork Classics: Level 3 provides an excellent resource for any aspiring pianist who wishes to develop their skills further.

  4. 65 Famous Pieces of Classical Music for Solo Piano

    65 Famous Pieces of Classical Music for Solo Piano
    Music Masterpiece Library
    Published in 2020

    This book contains an excellent collection of 65 classical music pieces for solo piano, composed by some of the greatest composers in western music. It includes a variety of works from Corelli to Joplin that are suitable for all levels – beginner, intermediate and advanced players alike – such as Mozart’s Rondo Alla Turca and Bach’s Prelude in C Major alongside Clair de Lune, Fur Elise and more! The selection is varied with something to suit everyone; it has been carefully compiled using high-quality notation making each piece easy to read. Furthermore this compilation also features Debussy’s timeless La Fille aux Cheveux de Lin under its new title – ensuring offensive language remains absent whilst honouring his work. An ideal choice for those who want to explore or expand their repertoire with beloved classics by renowned masters.

  5. Moonlight Sonata, Op. 27, No. 2

    Moonlight Sonata, Op. 27, No. 2
    Ludwig van Beethoven, Willard A. Palmer
    Published in 1986

    Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata, Op. 27, No. 2 has been expertly edited by Willard A. Palmer and is the complete sonata including historical notes about the work and composer as well as performance suggestions regarding staccato, footnotes within the score and illustrative images throughout. This edition has been carefully prepared from original autograph manuscripts and first editions making it an ideal choice for any student of classical music looking to tackle this masterpiece. The notation is clear with instructions on how to practice presented at the beginning of the composition; all three movements are included in this volume which features Carl Czerny’s notes alongside Mr Palmer’s fingering advice making it a comprehensive yet concise learning tool for intermediate players upwards who desire to hone their skills playing Beethoven’s most romantic piece composed especially for Countess Giucciardi whom he proposed marriage too – but alas did not wed! With generous pagination, big fonts and its excellent binding quality, you can expect nothing less than quintessential Alfred/Palmer standards when buying this book – perfect for those wishing to embrace one of history’s greatest composers’ timeless works!

  6. The Ultimate Classic FM Hall of Fame

    The Ultimate Classic FM Hall of Fame
    Darren Henley, Sam Jackson, Tim Lihoreau
    Published in 2016

    The Ultimate Classic FM Hall of Fame is a stunning hardback book that takes readers on an unforgettable journey through the 300 greatest pieces of classical music ever composed. This special 20th anniversary edition features delightful stories, beautiful illustrations and recommended recordings for each piece alongside biographies of some of the leading composers in history. The perfect gift for any fan – from casual listeners to serious aficionados – this book will keep them enthralled with its wealth of information about many different works. A must-have addition to any bookshelf, it provides hours upon hours worth of pleasure and appreciation for anyone who loves classical music.

  7. 37 Simplified Classical Pieces for Piano

    37 Simplified Classical Pieces for Piano
    mauro costa
    Published in 2022

    This book presents 37 simplified classical pieces for piano, making even the most complex piece accessible to beginners. Containing famous and popular melodies that have made their mark in musical history, each score is illustrated with detailed finger placements to provide a valid support system while learning how to play piano. With progressive difficulty as its strength, this collection gives budding pianists an exciting journey through well-known classic compositions. All of these features make it an ideal choice for music teachers looking for quick and easy scores without having to create them from scratch themselves! This compilation is sure to engage learners who will be thrilled at their progress once they hear the recognizable tunes ringing out across the room. It’s time to expand your music archive with this invaluable resource – grab yours today!

  8. Every Good Boy Does Fine

    Every Good Boy Does Fine
    Jeremy Denk
    Published in 2022

    Jeremy Denk’s Every Good Boy Does Fine is an engrossing and witty memoir that offers readers a powerful insight into the world of classical music, from the perspective of one its most renowned practitioners. Drawing on his own life experiences as a precocious six-year-old prodigy in New Jersey through to his current status as a MacArthur “Genius” Grant–winning pianist, Denk paints vivid portraits of both those who were kind and cruel during his formative years. Through lively writing he takes us deeply into pieces by Bach, Mozart, Brahms and many others; exploring melody, harmony and rhythm with clarity and imagination. This book also pays tribute to teachers – it is truly a love letter to them – while simultaneously challenging us never stop questioning music’s role in our lives: consolation, pleasure or refuge? An enjoyable read for any lover of music which will leave you feeling inspired long after turning the last page.

  9. PlayTime Piano Classics: Level 1

    PlayTime Piano Classics: Level 1
    Nancy Faber, Randall Faber
    Published in 1990

    PlayTime Piano Classics: Level 1 (Faber Piano Adventures) is a superb introduction to the renowned symphonic and operatic literature of famous composers. This attractive collection includes captivating melodies with lively rhythms, such as Beethoven’s Turkish March from The Ruins of Athens, Mozart’s Romance from A Little Night Music, Schubert’s Die Forelle (The Trout), Brahms’ Lullaby and Gabriel-Marie’s La Cinquantaine. Other pieces include Country Dance by Beethoven, Sleeping Beauty Waltz by Tchaikovsky and Dvoraks Symphony No 5 From the New World plus many more. Ideal for beginners following John Thompson’s Teaching Little Fingers to Play book this selection provides students with recognisable tunes that help develop their musicality whilst offering an enjoyable yet educational experience. It features accompaniments which enhance each piece in addition to helpful margin notes which link up nicely with Faber & Faber Lesson Book One making it indispensable for those starting out on their piano journey or honing already established skills!

  10. The Library of Piano Classics

    The Library of Piano Classics
    Music Sales
    Published in 1987

    This book, The Library of Piano Classics (Music Sales America) contains over 100 works from some of the greatest composers ever. It is spiral bound and provides a great selection for both students and teachers alike with pieces such as Schubert’s “Moment Musical,” Chopin’s “Minute Waltz” and Beethoven’s “Rondo a Capriccio.” It offers an abundance of classical music in one place without having to search through multiple sources or buy several books. This comprehensive collection includes masterpieces ranging from easier songs like ‘The Happy Farmer’ to more difficult ones such as Rachmaninoff’s ‘Prelude Op. 3 No 2’ that are sure to challenge even experienced pianists; plus it features clear print for easy reading! Therefore this volume is ideal for musicians looking for popular classics all contained within one source at an excellent price point.

  11. Beginner Classical Piano Music

    Beginner Classical Piano Music
    Damon Ferrante
    Published in 2016

    Damon Ferrante’s Beginner Classical Piano Music is a fantastic resource for aspiring pianists, providing interactive lessons and streaming video tutorials. This comprehensive book contains over 20 pieces of classical music such as Beethoven’s Für Elise, Mozart’s Turkish Rondo and Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite – no musical notation reading required! With step-by-step piano instruction from the renowned Piano Professor Damon Ferrante himself, this engaging course will take your playing to the next level. Perfectly designed for both independent learners or those with an instructor, it even includes practice tips on how to use a metronome effectively and guidance in essential techniques like hand positioning and posture. Reviews consistently praise its usefulness; what are you waiting for? Get ready to master some of the most famous classics today!

Additional resources

If you are looking for more information on classical music, the following websites are a great place to start:

  • Classical Music offers a comprehensive guide to classical music, including reviews and music news.
  • AllMusic provides a vast database of artist biographies, album reviews, and music recommendations.
  • Gramophone is a leading source of classical music news and reviews.
  • Naxos Music Library is a streaming service with over two million tracks of classical music.
  • is an online streaming platform featuring live performances and interviews with classical music artists.
  • Classical Archives is an online library with over one million classical music tracks.

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9 Replies to “The 11 Best Classical Music Books”

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