On My Bookshelf: A Natural History of the Piano

a natural history of the pianoStuart Isacoff’s book–I could call this a biography–is a hugely enjoyable read. Great combo of historical information, personal testimony of artists and by artists, and the occasional supporting illustration.

Mr Isacoff starts with the ancient history of the instrument, early efforts to improve it, and how it became mainstream in classical music by the end of the 18th century.

The author doesn’t progress straight from A to Z, but addresses various styles of playing (like the Combustibles and the Melodists), a few select nations (like Germany and Russia), and moves freely between various genres, mainly jazz and classical periods.

You don’t need to be a pianist or a musician to appreciate this book, but it helps a bit.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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