Ask an expert: “I love classical music, but I don’t have a real understanding of it in terms of the emotion. I’m not looking to learn about the composers and I don’t want to learn an instrument, but I want to know more about how what moves me moves me. Does that make sense? Can you recommend a book or books?”

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Howard Popeck: Certainly. Now forgive me for saying this, but it is possible to over-analyse the wonder of music, the magic and the emotion. It’s a danger, but somehow I sense you aren’t going to fall into the trap. The most wonderful book on the sheer unadulterated joy of classical music without the usual patronising tone that accompanies these sorts of things I have ever read, and one of the finest I have read on any subject is “The Piano Shop on the Left Bank” by T. E Carhart. ISBN number 0-099-28823-0.

I am indebted to Antony Michaelson of Musical Fidelity for his gift of my copy. It truly changed my life for the better. It might do the same for you. I hope so. I cannot recommend it too highly.

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  • Cartel

    Available for Kindle too.

  • Cartel

    Also available for Kindle.

    • The Editor

      Thank you; i wasn’t aware of this. I did attend a reading of the book by the author himself. a very happy experience. Kind regards – Howard

  • Ray Purchase

    Sounds great, so I’ve bought it.

    The subject matter feels quite ‘zeitgeisty’ to me, as I’m just about to start restoring and modifying an old piano…

    • The Editor

      I hope it delivers on ‘the promise’ Another contributor here said it was ‘inspirational’ and he is right. I wonder why I didn’t use the same word, given that I experienced that precise emotion? I seriously wonder if it should be included in a school’s curriculum? Thank you. Kind regards ¬– Howard

  • LarryO

    I (sort of) joke that my business model is based on this book. It is inspirational.

    But I don’t really know if someone effectively communicating their feelings about music is helpful other than to remind you of your own response. I think someone once said that “talking about music is like dancing about architecture”