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Listen to the Birds: An Introduction to Classical Music    by Ana Gerhard & Cecilia Varela Amazon.com order for
Listen to the Birds
by Ana Gerhard
Order:  USA  Can
Secret Mountain, 2013 (2013)
Hardcover
* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

What better way to introduce a child to classical music than by relating it to song birds? Using the works of Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Vivaldi and other famous composers, Ana Gerhard looks at the melodious similarities between notes produced by instruments such as the flute, the organ and the harpsichord and birdsí songs.

'Some scientists and historians believe that humansí desire to imitate birdsong may be at the root of music,' writes the author. 'Even if it is just a theory, it is indisputable that several composers drew their inspiration from birds, either by subtly evoking their voice or movements, mimicking their melodies with various instruments. Or incorporating birdsongs recorded in nature into their works.'

Twenty musical selections are discussed in this informative book and a CD offers excerpts from these works. The selections include The Goldfinch by Vivaldi, The Bird from Peter and the Wolf by Prokofiev, Hens and Roosters from The Carnival of Animals by Saint-Saens, and Vaughan Williams' The Lark Ascending.

You'll also find a Listening Guide which tells you more about each musical selection, a timeline that shows when the composers lived and short biographies of each composer.

A fun and informative book and CD, Listen to the Birds will provide plenty of musical enjoyment not only to children five years of age and older but also to all members of the family. Bird lovers will also find this a wonderful addition to their libraries.

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