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“A refreshingly fun guide to the intimidating world of sonatas, symphonies and Schumann.” —The New York Times

“[A] refreshingly quick and actually fun study guide to the intimidating world of sonatas, symphonies and Schumann…Warsaw-Fan Rauch [narrates] the book with the easy nature of a best friend…Some of the most entertaining sections of Declassified make you feel as if you’re a fly on the wall in conservatory auditions, cutthroat competitions and the obsessive practice routines of professional musicians.” —New York Times Book Review


"An informed, funny, delightfully unjaded music-appreciation survey." 

—Wall Street Journal

“There’s nothing quite like the just-released Declassified by Arianna Warsaw-Fan Rauch…[Rauch] takes the mold for music appreciation and breaks it in a fit of irreverent humor and desperate soul-searching…Hilarious and heartrending.” —The Objective Standard

“Cue vigorous applause and a standing ovation because Declassified is an enchanting and exhilarating tour de force.” —Booklist (starred review)

“This insider’s look at a rarefied world is sure to intrigue music lovers.”

—Publishers Weekly

Arianna Warsaw-Fan Rauch’s life-long fascination with classical music has taken her through Juilliard and into the shiny world of symphony halls and international concert tours. She’s loved classical music her whole life. But she’s also hated classical music her whole life. After all, if you can like Beyoncé without liking Bieber, you can certainly like Brahms without liking Bach—especially since they were born 148 years apart and the thing we call “classical music” is really just centuries of compositions shoved into one hodge-podge of a genre.


In Declassified, Warsaw-Fan Rauch blows through the cobwebs of elitism and exclusion and invites everyone to love and hate this music as much as she does. She offers a backstage tour of the industry and equips you for every listening scenario, covering: the seven main compositional periods (even the soul-crushingly depressing Medieval period), a breakdown of the instruments and their associated personality types (apologies to violists and conductors), what it’s like to be a musician at the highest level (it’s hard), how to steal a Stradivarius (and make no money in the process), and when to clap during a live performance (also: when not to). 

Declassified cheekily demystifies the world of High Art while making the case that classical music matters, perhaps now more than ever.

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