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By R. Ryan Endris

Illustrations By Joe Lee


Music History/ Classical

ISBN-13: 978-1-939994-26-4 
Price: US $15.95
eBook ISBN: 978-1-939994-27-1 
eBook Price: US $15.95
October 7, 2014


B/W Illustrations

Music history is nearly as old as human civilization itself, and while it has permeated the arts and popular culture for centuries, it still has this mystifying aura surrounding it. But fear not—it’s not as complicated as it seems, and anyone can learn the origins and history of Western art music. In addition to learning how better to understand (and enjoy!) classical music, The History of Classical Music For Beginners will help you learn of some of the more interesting and sometimes comical stories behind the music and composers.

Did you know that Jean-Baptiste Lully actually died from conducting one of his own compositions? You may have heard of Gregorian chant, but did you know there are many forms of chant, including Ambrosian and Byzantine chant? And did you also know that only a small portion of “classical music” is even technically Classical? These interesting, insightful facts and more are yours to discover in The History of Classical Music For Beginners.


R. Ryan Endris, D. Mus, currently serves as Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at Colgate University. He is also in demand as an arranger of choral and instrumental music throughout the country, and his arrangements have been heard by audiences around the world. Dr. Endris holds Doctor of Music and Master of Music of Choral Conducting degrees from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, as well as a Bachelor of Music Education (K-12 Choral/General Music). He has studied voice with internationally acclaimed soprano Sylvia McNair, and his conducting teachers and mentors include Robert Porco of the Cleveland Orchestra; John Poole of the BBC Singers; Dale Warland of the Dale Warland Singers; and Vance George, Director Emeritus of the San Francisco Symphony Chorus.


Joe Lee is an illustrator, cartoonist, writer, and clown.  With a degree from Indiana University centering on Medieval History, Joe is also a graduate of Ringling Brothers, Barnum and Bailey’s Clown College.  He worked for some years as a circus clown.  He is the illustrator of a baker’s dozen of For Beginners books, including Barack Obama For Beginners, [Howard] Zinn For Beginners, Shakespeare For Beginners, Postmodernism For BeginnersDeconstruction For BeginnersEastern Philosophy For BeginnersDante For BeginnersDada & Surrealism For BeginnersJane Austen For Beginners and Climate Change For Beginners among others. Joe lives in Bloomington, Indiana with his wife Mary Bess, son Brandon, cat George, and the terriers (or rather terrors) Max and Jack.


New York Times - Classical Music News 

NPR - Classical Music News

Amateur Classical Music Association

ACMA (The Amateur Classical Musicians Association) is a nonprofit performing arts organization, dedicated to providing performance and networking opportunities to non-professional classical musicians.

Brief History of Classical Music

Naxos is the world's leading classical music group. "Since 1987, Naxos has redefined how classical music is presented and marketed. Innovative strategies of recording exciting new repertoire with exceptional talent have enabled the label to develop one of the largest and fastest growing catalogues of unduplicated repertoire available anywhere--currently over 2500 titles--with state-of-the-art sound and consumer-friendly prices."

Music History 102:
Guide to Western Composers and their Music 
from the Middle Ages to the Present 

 "As is usual with information on the history of Western music,this site has been organized according to the eras of history:
The Middle Ages 
The Renaissance 
The Baroque Age 
The Classical Period 
The Romantic Era 
The Twentieth Century"

"Classical Net features more than 9000 pages and 20,000+ images including more than 7000 CD, SACD, DVD, Blu-ray, Book and Concert reviews and over 5500 links to other classical music web sites."

"Making Overtures: The Emergence of Indie Classical"

"An examination of the ever-melding worlds of indie and classical music."

BBC: Does listening to Mozart really boost your brainpower?





• In his piece 4’33’, John Cage remains silent and the audience is supposed to listen to the ambient sounds.

• An early version of the trombone was called a sackbut.

• Couac is a French word for a bad note from a defective or mishandled reed instrument, so named because it sounds like a duck's quack.

The following facts were taken from

• Ludwig van Beethoven ended the classical period of music because his work had become so new and different that it needed to be called something else; the Romantic Period was born. 

• Johann Sebastian Bach wrote over 1000 pieces of music. 

• Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart had the ability to hear a piece just one time and write it down without any mistakes. 

• Tragically, Beethoven had become totally deaf by the time of his death. 

• The Tzar of Russia gave 15 year old Frederic Chopin a diamond ring for his excellent performance on the piano. 

• Beethoven would stop playing if people were talking.


The Greatest Classical Music Pieces Ever Composed II

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Thank you and enjoy!

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