Best opera & classical music songbooks according to redditors

We found 49 Reddit comments discussing the best opera & classical music songbooks. We ranked the 19 resulting products by number of redditors who mentioned them. Here are the top 20.

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Top Reddit comments about Opera & Classical Songbooks:

u/spoonopoulos · 19 pointsr/musictheory

There are a lot of courses. Any specific topics you're interested in?

Edit: I'll just list a few anyway that I've used in classes (this may not reflect all professors' choices for the same subjects).

Tonal Harmony: Kostka-Payne - Tonal Harmony

Counterpoint 1: A Berklee book by the late professor Rick Applin. Some also use this Fux translation/adaptation

Counterpoint 2: Bach Inventions & Sinfonias (any edition, really)

"Advanced" Counterpoint: The Well-Tempered Clavier (again, any edition)

Early Twentieth-Century Harmony: Persichetti - Twentieth-Century Harmony

Post-Tonal Theory/Analysis: Straus - Intro to Post-Tonal Theory

Instrumentation/Orchestration: Adler - The Study of Orchestration &
Casella/Mortari - The Technique of Contemporary Orchestration

Western Music History - Burkholder/Paiisca - A History of Western Music (8th or 9th edition)

Conducting 1 - Notion Conducting

Conducting 2 Notion + Stravinsky's Petrushka

Berklee's own (jazz-based) core harmony and ear-training curricula use Berklee textbooks written by professors which, as someone else mentioned, come unbound and shrink-wrapped at the bookstore. You can find older (PDF) versions of the Berklee harmony textbooks here. Of course this list only represents explicit book choices - there are a lot of excerpt-readings, and there's a lot of instruction that isn't found in these books even in the associated courses.

u/helplesslyselfish · 9 pointsr/baseball

I just finished reading To Every Thing A Season, which is all about the history of Shibe Park and the surrounding urban landscape. Super interesting read about the intersection of baseball and city life in the 20th century, and it's probably available at your library.

u/TootTootTootToot · 6 pointsr/trumpet

Like /u/MarioKartGuy27 said, the most important part of becoming a better sight reader is to practice sight reading every day. The "Famous Melodies" in the back of the Arban are a good starting point. Another good book is Sachse's 100 Studies, or maybe try some books by Sigmund Hering.

Here are a few more tips that will really help your sight reading:

  • Sight reading is mostly just pattern recognition. Learn all your major scales, then all your minor scales, then all your major and minor arpeggios, then dominant 7th arpeggios, then diminished 7th arpeggios (these are all in the Arban). If you can play these with ease, most music will seem much easier to sight read, because a shocking amount of music is just different versions of these patterns strung together.
  • Start practicing transposition - the Sachse linked above is a really good book for this. A nice approach for Sachse is to play one study a week, transposing to one or two new keys each day. It will be painful at first but just go slowly and it will get better in time. Nobody was born knowing how to transpose, we all had to practice it.
  • Finally, deliberately train yourself to read a few notes ahead at a time. Etudes (which usually have the same rhythm over and over) are good practice for this. Try "seeing" the notes in groups of two, then three, then four.
u/Monkey_Bach · 6 pointsr/piano

If you want to learn piano, go to amazon and get these 4 books:

1.The Musician’s Way

2.First Lessons in Bach

3. Two and Three Part Inventions

And finally

4. The Well-Tempered Clavier

These books will teach you all you need to know about music. This is how I personally started playing piano. Work through the books in order, as each one builds on top of the other. Once you can play counterpoint excellently you can play pretty much anything else.

In the words of Brahms: “Study Bach. There you will find everything.”

As far as a keyboard goes, I have a Yamaha P-60 and it gets the job done. Just make sure you have weighted keys and 88 and you’re good. Bach’s music doesn’t require a pedal, so you don’t even really need that.

Good luck on your musical journey! To work through all these books will take a life time.

u/gillyguthrie · 5 pointsr/piano

Well, yeah, if you want to be satisfied with your performance you'll have to dedicate yourself somewhat. But let it not be underestimated the insight gained from listening to the piece - ideas for the song will be gleaned there that were not contained within the notation itself.

*So as far as exercises go, well, I've spend plenty of time running scales and methodical etudes which contribute significantly to well-rounded technique. However, there's so much to learn you really should pick a song that sounds enjoyable to you and one that you would feel satisfied after learning to play. After learning a couple Joplin rags I heard Morton playing and thought, "now that sounds great, I wish I could sound like that" and found a great book with 40 transcriptions of Morton piano solos. I would say pick a artist you would feel accomplished after emulating and find transcriptions for their pieces, this is usually a pretty effective way to at least get started.

u/PotatoJo · 5 pointsr/piano

For anyone interested in Early Jazz/Stride piano I consider Ferdinand "Jelly Roll" Morton Collected Piano Works by Dapogny to be a must have.

It's more than just a collection of his pieces, but rather includes a brief history and musical analyses of each piece. The songs have their structures marked in the sheets and a number of footnotes point to further description of the passage or note. There are often times entire verses that have an alternate version that Jelly Roll soloed that are transcribed here indicated as such.

u/d_b_christopher · 4 pointsr/classicalmusic

Search Amazon for:

A3 manuscript pad

Check this out at
75-Page A3 Manuscript Pad, 18-Stave: (White Pad)

u/Klairvoyant · 3 pointsr/piano

First what you want to do is probably get a decent book of beginner songs and just work your way through them.

The piano literature series is popular, but I personally have not used them. I know volume 2 has a bunch of popular songs like Sonatina that everyone plays.

Burgmuller is also very popular among intermediate beginners.

You probably also want to get Hanon because everyone uses it for warm ups no matter what level, and it has all the scales.

And you might want Czerny, which are really short decent sounding pieces that people use for warmups.

These few books will get you started. Just start working through the books. Work on something from all three or four books.

Just a note. You'll probably be very enthusiastic in the beginning and get really bored before you reach your third month. You need to persist if you want to get good. I personally did not enjoy playing piano until I got pretty good and was able to play the more virtuoso piano pieces.

u/EntropyOrSloth · 3 pointsr/piano

Take a look at these: this and this. I have a relative who minored in piano in college and who sent me the latter book. Checked and it is still published. Intend to jump into it when I finish my current method book in about 2 months.

Because I am two months away from your point, I would be interested in answers from others too.

EDIT: Forgot to add this series that I found awhile ago. Books 7, 8, and/or 9 might be good as a continuation.

u/foundring · 3 pointsr/piano

Most can find one version in this book: Ferdinand 'Jelly Roll' Morton: The Collected Piano Music

Totally worth the money, it's a superb resource.

u/belsambar · 3 pointsr/piano

If you're going to print it you might as well just buy a published version, the pages will be larger and better quality and easier to read, it's on Amazon for $3.99:

u/timbo16 · 3 pointsr/piano
u/tommyspianocorner · 2 pointsr/piano

I don't have a teacher and came back to piano after a 20+ year absence. I initially just picked pieces I could either remember playing or things I heard and liked. I then came across a set of books called Play it Again Piano by Melanie Spanswick. These contain a set of progressively more difficult pieces with each being accompanied by practice tips and exercises. I got hold of Book 2 (available on Amazon) which is late intermediate to advanced. I probably spend 50% of my practice time working through the pieces in this book and the rest on other stuff.

I also did a full video review of the book that you can watch here.

u/iamhaz · 2 pointsr/Bass

Learn to sight read, and learn basic music theory in general (even a basic music theory class at your local college). Dandelot is a fantastic resource to help sight reading, even though it's in French.

Once you're decent reading music you can try transcribing bass parts (and eventually other instruments) and then analyzing it to see why the part works the way it does.

This won't just help you be a better jazz/classical bassist, it will help you become a better musician.

u/Chuber120 · 2 pointsr/piano

24 Contemporary Pieces for Solo Piano
Here's the intermediate collection. For easy stuff however, check out Max Richter's Piano Works. it doesn't have the chromaticism of Dustin O'Halloran and doesn't have the trickier rhythms of Philip Glass's Etudes (which by the way I think are wildly pretentious but that's a story for another day)

u/menevets · 2 pointsr/TheLeftovers

Richter recently published some of his piano solo works, you might be interested in this:

It has that devastating piece from the movie, Arrival.

u/itchycuticles · 2 pointsr/piano

While people are giving good suggestions, they're posting links to sites that overcharge. Unless you have reasons to hate Amazon, Amazon Japan sells pretty much everything that's been mentioned with zero markup and very low shipping costs.

For example, the one from japancoolbooks costs only $26.82 on, shipped to California (it'll arrive in 2-3 days). If you order multiple books at once, you'll save even more.

Japan has a relatively large percentage of population that play the piano well, and from my experience, has more high quality piano arrangements for all sorts of music (including Western pop music) than the US does.

Edit: Added links to some of the books mentioned here:

Studio Ghibli Collection Easy Piano Solo Sheet Music

Joe Hisaishi Piano Collection

Ghibli Best Stories

Chopin de Ghibli

Hayao Mizayaki & Studio Ghibli Best Album

Also, I'm assuming the OP can read kanji or 漢字, since zhulin is a Chinese name. Just search for "上級 宮崎駿 ピアノ", which translates into "advanced hayao miyazaki piano".

u/FierceInBattle · 2 pointsr/harp

Do you have a method book? I started with this book when I was very young and I'm pretty sure it taught me all the basics - like crossing over and under. Might be an easier place to start than trying to find songs that fit the bill!

u/Garathmir · 2 pointsr/GetMotivated

Sure! Here are the following book's I've used for exercises:

Brahms 51 Exercises: link

Cortot Chopin Studies: link

The Cortot ones definitely are a little more advanced, but he has a LOT of comments written along with in his book to help you guide in how you're supposed to perform the exercises. These exercises would help you eventually lead into playing some of the chopin etudes. As you said, this is based off Chopin, but quite honestly, Chopin was one of the first composers to really implement pretty much every kind of hand movement/technique at the piano into his pieces. If you study chopin and his exercises/etudes, you cannot go wrong, and you will enjoy being able to do more technical things as well. It's a struggle, I know, but that's the point!

I'll add more to the list later but I'm on my phone lol, if you're just looking for 'advanced sight reading', why not just pick up some good sheet music and play it? When I was starting out, I was a huge fan of the Final Fantasy Piano Collections stuff and honestly just played extremely slow through it while sight reading. Where you're at right now, you should be able to read any of Nobuo's stuff. The general strategy for sight reading is to NOT slow down/stop playing when you make a mistake. If you have to, then you need to slow down so you can read what's going on. If you're fumbling through a particular section of a piece while sight-reading, you've hit a gold mine! This is something you have no idea how to handle, so you can just work on that section repeatedly before moving on.

There are honestly hundreds of hand exercises that help you do different things depending on what you're trying to work on. If you're looking for something a little bit more modern, Jordan Rudess has some great exercises floating around, but they're just as good as the classics too. Really playing the piano and sounding great is the product of you working hard and LEARNING TO PRACTICE CORRECTLY. If you learn to practice efficiently, then you can honestly become an amazing player. There's actually quite a good story about how Rubenstein (one of the greater pianists of the last ~100 years) was terrible at practicing in his early years and just had a raw talent. He eventually started to practice in his later years and became the legend that he is today.

I've got a bunch of misc exercises around my study somewhere, I'll have to get them and put them up sometime. PM me if you ever have questions!

EDIT: Forgot to say, definitely pick up a Bach fugue/prelude or two. They are literally written to not give a shit about your hands, so they can be quite the good challenge to figure out how to play well. Also you play them without your pedal, so you learn to not be so dependent upon it. :)

u/sleaze_bag_alert · 2 pointsr/Guitar

work through the original Aaron Shearer books (I linked book 1, there are 3, you should at least go through the first two and maybe some of the supplemental ones) . If your classical technique is decent then you will breeze through them pretty quickly but you might pick up a few subtle things like playing rest-stroke with your thumb at the same time as free-stroke with your fingers and vice-versa. Once you are good there there are two books you should buy: Pumping Nylon for the various exercises it has. They are very good if you play them regularly. Then buy The Library of Guitar Classics. It is a big spiral bound book of repertoire that looks like a lot of those piano-rep books. It has music ranging from easy to very hard and from the renaissance period all the way through the romantic era with pieces by Tarrega and Albeniz. There is a lot of really good rep in there. There is also a second volume of the book that is almost as good. When it comes to more modern music buy the Villa-Lobos book and work through some of that stuff. It is a great book that was edited by - if I remember correctly - Frederick Noad. There are also some really good books with the complete Bach cello/lute suites (although some of that can be found in the books I already mentioned).

If you REALLY want to kick your ass, see if you can dig up a copy of the Abel Carlevaro right hand book. It is like the Giuliani 120 studies on steroids. I have never struggled that hard to play an arpeggio in my life! I think it is this book but I am not sure. I had a really old photo-copy of it and I don't know where it came from.

u/frozenmexicandinner · 2 pointsr/opera

Woof that's hard! I haven't heard any personally performed but it looks like recordi has an anthology specifically for what you're looking for!

I'm getting more into the baroque Rep world as well! It has been an interesting search even as a soprano.

u/TerrificHips · 2 pointsr/musictheory

I absolutely love solfege. It comes in handy for composing in my opinion.

There are two schools of though when it comes to moveable vs fixed “do” and both have good reasonings. So you just need to decide which one is best for you. I was taught moveable do in school and I prefer it.

As far as learning apps or anything, I don’t know of any. You can use interval training websites and just be aware that when you’re hearing a p5, you can think about it being do->so, etc...

Assuming you understand the basic principles of what solfege is, and you know all of the diatonic and chromatic syllables, (if you don’t I’m sure there are YouTube tutorials of it) the best way to get comfortable with solfege is to use it while singing melodies. If you’re willing to spend a little money this book is what many universities use to practice it. Otherwise I would just try to find melodies that you can sing, and just try singing them only using solfege.

I hope that helps!

u/2001spaceoddessy · 2 pointsr/piano

I bought the Jelly Roll Morton Collection a while back, and while it's not a theory book, there was always some sort of a foreword that broke down the piece which helped me to understand the 'basics'.

The majority of his pieces are late ragtime/early jazz, BUT, there's some amazing pieces that are written in a style that he calls, the 'Spanish tinge'; this amazing man describes it here in detail.

PS: all of his pieces are hard as hell.

u/and_of_four · 2 pointsr/piano

You're right on the first point. On the second point, I would say to you that using good fingerings may be deceptively difficult, and it doesn't necessarily correspond with the difficulty of your piece. Something as simple as a closed position (within an octave) C major chord in 2nd inversion in the left hand can throw you off. Typically, you'd want to use 5 on the G, 2 on the C, and 1 on the E, but a lot of students try to use 5 on the G, 3 on the C, and 1 on the E. 5 - 2 - 1 is the better choice. I'm just talking about this chord as if it's an isolated thing, where you're coming from and where you're going will effect your fingering, so you might not be using 5 - 2 - 1. It depends.

You might think that you're using the best fingering because it feels most comfortable, but sometimes what's most comfortable isn't necessarily the best fingering, especially for beginners.

It might be a good idea to practice your major and minor scales and arpeggios with the correct fingering. Check out Hanon to learn all of your major and minor scales and arpeggios. If I remember correctly, they only have the harmonic minor scales, not melodic or natural. That wouldn't effect the fingering though.

u/kronak09 · 2 pointsr/piano

Buy a Hanon book.

If you've been playing a good bit, get the original.

If you're really just getting started, consider getting the junior book. Most of the exercises serve the same purpose, the notation is just a bit easier to read.

Each exercise is a little different, and focuses on different skills and techniques that will help you boost finger strength and dexterity.

u/Koan_Industries · 1 pointr/piano

Hey man, glad you have picked up piano! I'm by far not the best pianist out there, but I can give you some advice on this.

When I was younger (elementary to middle school) I would practice each piano piece I knew 10 times a day and then continue to learn the piece I was on. I can tell you that while I did learn quickly, just as quickly I began to not like piano. Then on the opposing side, near the end of middle school throughout high school I would only play when I went to my piano teacher. As you can probably tell, my progress slowed down incredibly and I believe I only learned about 4 pieces over that time. Now I am finally back into piano after a 4 year hiatus and while I am practicing every day I still only put in about half an hour and on rare occasions will put in an hour.

My point in saying this is that you should prioritize playing and practicing so that you still enjoy it versus trying to hit some kind of benchmark because you feel you have to.

If you really feel like you want to be playing more than you are my tip is pretty simple and is one I employ all the time. Just have more than one practice session per day. I often will spend 10-15 minutes on the piano at a time but will go back multiple times a day whenever I feel an urge. It will all add up to an hour in the end and you won't feel like you are forcing yourself to continue playing when you don't want to.

As for scales, like I said i'm not the best player in the world, I only really know C major and A minor (the gimme ones because they have no flats or sharps). It is definitely important to know if you want to go into composing or are going to school for it, but for a casual player it isn't the end all be all if you don't know them. Knowing your scales is definitely important when you are sight reading hard pieces as you can pretty much just make an assumption as to how the continue the piece without having to dictate all of your energy to reading every note. That being said, it is still possible to sight read (albeit more slowly) pieces without knowing all the theory.

Finally, if you want to add something to your practice without having to learn new pieces or just work on the piece you are on you could definitely try out Henle's virtuoso pianist.

This will also help you with scale memorization and technique.

u/Yeargdribble · 1 pointr/piano

The Piano Solo books (OST/OSV) are basically the full soundtracks arranged for piano and often simplified. Most of these are out of print and so they are usually very expensive and second hand.

The Piano Collections included 10-15 selections per game and were arrangements. They started with IV. The earlier ones were pretty reasonable, but they got increasingly difficult with each game. These were originally released with CDs, went out of print for years, and I think eventually had a reprinting without the CDs. Some of these can be found at reasonable prices, though you'll likely have to import.

The Piano Opera ones are newer arrangements of the older games. They are a lot like the Piano Collections, except each of the 3 cover three games (I/II/III, IV/V/VI, VII/VIII/IX). These arrangements are very difficult.

u/eddjc · 1 pointr/classicalmusic

Hey! Thanks! You're not the first person to ask - here's my reply to the last person that did :) hope it helps!

The manuscript I use is the Warner Bros 75-page A3 manuscript pad, 18 Stave Landscape. You can order it from Amazon here.

Also, manuscript choice is surprisingly important - I was gutted several years ago when my favourite manuscript paper company Panopus went into liquidation. Took me a while to find a good alternative :)

u/distant_earth · 1 pointr/piano

This is quite good and intermediate. This is very good, more standards and popular pieces. Really nice arrangements of some of them though. Also intermediate.

u/SoulScrolls · 1 pointr/piano

When I started sight reading, we had this book:


I tried to find a version in english but it seems that it's hard to find (mine is in spanish). Really good book, though. You start with a couple of notes as reference and it teaches you from there.

u/french_violist · 1 pointr/violinist

Practice :) I have this book, albeit it is in french. There is a Spanish version available but I'm not aware of an English one. Not that you need to understand what it written. It is mostly progressive exercises with a very specific technique to recognise the notes. It is very good.

In a nutshell: know master notes on the stave (C, G on the treble key) then know the one immediately below and above. Then the two below and above. Then add more master notes. And practice recognising the intervals (second, third, fourth, fifth).