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- From the actual classical period: listen to anything by Mozart or Haydn, or Beethoven's early works.
- From other periods: listen to Bach or Vivaldi (Baroque), Brahms, Schubert, Chopin, or Tchaikovsky, or Beethoven's later works (Romantic), Ravel or Debussy (Impressionist), Stravinsky, Hindemith, or Schoenberg (Modern).
- A History of Western Music by Donald Jay Grout is a scholarly source of information.
- The Music Makers, edited by Clive Unger-Hamilton, is an easy-to-read combination of history and reference book.
- Most standard music dictionaries and encyclopedias also focus almost exclusively on Western Classical music.
- For children, there are many appropriate picture books and even videos on the lives and music of the most famous composers. Also, look for picture books that summarize the plot of a famous opera or ballet.
- Any standard music theory book or course will introduce the basics of Western music.