Recommended Reading


The Cello Suites by Eric Siblin Crows Nest, N.S.W. : Allen and Unwin, 2011

One autumn evening, not long after ending a stint as a rock music critic, Eric Siblin attended a recital of Johann Sebastian Bach's Cello Suites. There, in a spine-tingling moment, something unlikely happened: he fell deeply in love with the music, and had to hear more, know more.

The Late Starters Orchestra by Ari L. Goldman, Chapel Hill : Algonquin, 2015

Goldman led a rich, full life in his late 50s, with family, faith, and career (former New York Times reporter, professor of journalism at Columbia, author of three books, including the best-selling The Search for God at Harvard, 1991). But when he took his cello to his first rehearsal of the New York Late Starters String Orchestra, his “middle-aged musical obsession” blossomed. 

Never too Late : my musical life story  by John Caldwell Holt, Ticknall, Derbyshire : Education Now and Lighthouse books : 1992, c 1978

“If I could learn to play the cello well, as I thought I could, I could show by my own example that we all have greater powers than we think; that whatever we want to learn or learn to do, we probably can learn; that our lives and our possibilities are not determined and fixed by what happened to us when we were little, or by what experts say we can or cannot do.”

This is your brain on music : understanding a human obsessionby Daniel Levitin : London Atlantic 2006

Musicophilia by Oliver Sacks, London : Picador, 2018 (new edition)

Revised and Expanded. With the same trademark compassion and erudition he brought to The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, Oliver Sacks explores the place music occupies in the brain and how it affects the human condition. In Musicophilia, he shows us a variety of what he calls “musical misalignments.” Among them: a man struck by lightning who suddenly desires to become a pianist at the age of forty-two; an entire group of children with Williams syndrome, who are hypermusical from birth; people with “amusia,” to whom a symphony sounds like the clattering of pots and pans; and a man whose memory spans only seven seconds-for everything but music. Illuminating, inspiring, and utterly unforgettable, Musicophilia is Oliver Sacks' latest masterpiece.

See Also: CelloBooks from CelloBello offers an extensive section about books related to cello and music generally.


"Music And The Mind: The Lifelong Benefits Of Music For The Brain" ( (Interview with Dr. Ewan McNay recorded on March 21, 2019 on WAMC, Northeast Public Radio)

"Playing bass lines in the context of Bach's Cello Suites and Cantatas" (Jennifer Morsches Lecture notes, July 27, 2021)