Classical Music: Books to Deepen Your Enjoyment

When you think of classical music, Beethoven, Mozart or Bach may be the first names that come to mind, but they're not all there is to it. Classical music is some of the most beautiful, stimulating and emotionally intense music in the world; it has the ability to move us. As a longtime fan, I've experienced how music of this genre can be both energizing and relaxing. And it can be fun when you know how to listen.

September is Classical Music Month, so declared by President Clinton in 1994's Proclamation 6716 — Classical Music Month: "...a celebration of artistic excellence...Classical music speaks to both the mind and to the heart, giving us something to think about as well as experience." He couldn't have said it better.

To celebrate, why not watch a movie about your favorite composer, such as Immortal Beloved (Beethoven) or Amadeus (Mozart); or learn something new about the genre with one of these impressive reads?

Secret Lives of Great Composers: If you ever wanted to know the nitty-gritty details on well-known composers, this book should be your first stop.

Mozart in the Jungle: Sex, Drugs and Classical Music: As the basis for the popular Amazon show Mozart in the Jungle, this title may be familiar. The memoir gives you a behind-the-scenes look at the real lives of classical musicians. 

The NPR Curious Listener's Guide to Classical Music: Learn about the history of classical music and major composers in this expertly written and exceptionally informative book for classical music enthusiasts.

How to Listen to Great Music: If you're clueless on how to listen to classical music and would love to know more, use this guide to learn basic music theory and music appreciation. 

Check out my Classical Music booklist for more recommendations, including biographies and how-to guides.

Do you listen to classical music? Who are your favorite composers?