Review of my piano book on David Barton Music

19th October 2021 | Books, Reviews | 2 comments

Another nice review of The Piano – a History in 100 Pieces, this time on David Barton Music, the website of an educator and researcher.

He begins with a description of the book’s contents – and here’s how he sums up:

‘Tomes explores each selected piece in turn, placing it within a historical, cultural and musical context. Whilst reference is made to the musical components of each work, this isn’t an analytical volume. It’s an absorbing, and often surprising, read. It’s easy to lose yourself in Tomes’ compelling and personal writing. Perhaps one of the book’s greatest assets is that it is very much written from the hand of an experienced pianist. Tomes knows many, if not all of these works intimately.

‘Whilst its primary audience is pianists, musicians and those interested in the great repertoire of the piano, it should also be of great historical and wider cultural interest. This is a book about music, and indeed the piano itself, in context.

‘To complement the book, Susan Tomes has curated a Spotify playlist which you can access here.

‘I want to also make special mention of the beautiful cover design for the book which makes it both modern and eye-catching.’

The Piano: A History in 100 Pieces by Susan Tomes, is published by Yale University Press, ISBN 9780300253924, RRP £16.99.


  1. Piotr

    Susan – another great review of yet another superb book. Well done.

    David’s review mentions a Spotify playlist you curated, but the link is to a YouTube playlist. Is there one on Spotify too?

    • Susan Tomes

      Thank you Piotr! I think the playlist referred to is YouTube, not Spotify. Not everyone has access to Spotify so it was considered better to use YouTube.


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