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Musician’s Alphabet

Susan Tomes

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Have you ever wondered whether musicians notice the audience or are influenced by them? Wanted to know how performers might learn particularly difficult pieces? Thought about the terms ‘old’ and ‘young’ in reference to music?

Using the letters of the alphabet as her starting point, Susan Tomes presents a series of lively reflections on performing music, and on the classical music world. Drawing on her international experience as a solo pianist and chamber musician, she offers intriguing insights into rehearsal and practice, coping with nerves, and on the relationship between musicians and their audience. The book also contains thought-provoking meditations on the role of classical music in society, and the most rewarding attitudes to performance. This pocket-sized musical ‘A to Z’ is an invaluable guide and is a must for anyone interested in what makes musicians tick.

Critic Reviews

Fascinating ..... like a chocolate box of philosophy of music

The Guardian
Critic Reviews

Tomes writes intelligently and fluently about the act of performing. It is a glimpse of a world that the unmusical can appreciate as listener's but never enter.

Financial Times
Critic Reviews

I found myself completely enthralled by each thought-provoking entry ... Wise, contentious and questioning by turns, this engaging little book will be of as much interest to Tomes's fellow professionals as to the more discerning members of her audiences

Classic FM Magazine - Book of the Month
Critic Reviews

A sequence of serious yet very readable reflections on the strange business of being a musician ...
she speaks with contained authenticity, intelligence and unforced wit. A Musician's Alphabet deserves a readership way beyond the usual niche market. Let's hope it gets it

BBC Music Magazine