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The Norton Scores, Vols. 1 and 2, 10th Edition

The Norton Scores, Vols. 1 and 2, 10th Edition

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Chapter 22: Ten Recommended Books for Composers

The best way to use these books is to own or check out a recording of the

score being studied so that you can follow along with the written material.

For the novice score reader, this is an exciting new way to study music; for

the more advanced score reader, these books provide the opportunity to

really study a composer’s technique in a whole new way. Both books are written for the expert and the novice alike, with significant sections of the scores

highlighted to make following the piece easier without dumbing down any of

the material.

Another great thing about these books is that you have all this truly amazing

sheet music at your fingertips. When you’re feeling particularly uninspired to

write your own music, sit down and analyze and play a section of Mozart’s

Don Giovanni or Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto — it might be just the thing

you need to get inspired to write something entirely new!

How to Grow as a Musician

by Sheila E. Anderson, Allworth Press

This is a really fun and informative book to read, one that is aimed specifically at the touring and recording musician. There is a lot of information here

about booking a tour, mentally preparing yourself for live performances in

both familiar and unfamiliar settings, marketing yourself, and even figuring

out how much to charge for different types of performances. Contracts and

royalties are discussed in great detail, as are all the hidden fees that can pop

up even after a contract is signed.

Anderson’s background as a jazz radio journalist makes this a great book to

just sit down and read even if you’re not planning on going on tour or even

into the studio; the book contains tons of great stories about the ups and

downs of being a professional musician, including anecdotes from jazz greats

like Ruth Brown and Michael Wolff. It also contains advice provided by attorneys working within the music business.

Analysis of Tonal Music:

A Schenkerian Approach

by Alan Cadwallader and David Gagné, Oxford University Press

Schenkerian analysis is a method of musical analysis based on the theories of

Heinrich Schenker, a music theorist of the early 20th century. In Schenkerian

analysis, the basic goal is to reveal the tonal structure of a piece of music by

reducing the music using a specialized, symbolic form of musical notation



Part V: The Part of Tens

devised by Schenker. The analysis reveals the inner musical workings of the

music, dividing it into what is called the foreground and the fundamental

structure. The foreground is the part of the music that immediately attracts a

listener’s attention, such as the rhythm or the repeated chord changes; the

fundamental structure is composed of the arrhythmic pitch events that help

keep the music from sounding mechanical.

The beauty of Schenkerian analysis is that it is completely subjective, and

there is no right or wrong answer to how each individual dissects a piece of

music. Each analysis reflects the musical intuitions of the analyst, and shows

what he or she thinks is the underlying structure or most important parts of

a given piece of music. It’s a more philosophical way of studying music than

most theoretical approaches, and one more way to learn how to really sit and

listen to a piece of music, instead of allowing it to disappear into background

noises at a cocktail party.

The Virgin Directory of World Music

by Philip Sweeney, Owl Books/Henry Holt & Company

This is an extremely well-organized summary of traditional music from

around the world. The book is divided into specific regions of the world:

Africa (North, West, Central, South, and East), Europe (North, South, and

East), the Middle East and India, and so on. Each division is then broken

down into the states and countries of those regions, with detailed descriptions of the types of traditional music coming from those regions. There’s

even detailed mention of notable performers who recorded and released

albums of the music of their region, from Ladysmith Black Mambazo to

Jamaica’s Jolly Boys.

The Rough Guide to Classical

Music, 4th Edition

edited by Joe Staines and Duncan Clark, published by Rough Guides,

distributed by Penguin

The Rough Guides are arguably the best music-critique book series out there,

with titles ranging from The Rough Guide to Reggae to The Rough Guide to

Opera. This book works for people who are just taking their first steps into

the world of classical music appreciation — and for those who are massive

classical music fans already but want to see if they’ve overlooked any essential

Chapter 22: Ten Recommended Books for Composers

composers or recordings. Each composer’s entry is divided into the types of

music the composer delved into, where his or her influence is most felt in

later composers’ works, and even the political pressures that made them

write the types of music they did.

Overall, the guidebook contains the biographies of more than 160 classical

composers, spanning from as far back as the 14th century to the present,

and offers print reviews of some of the most relevant recordings of each composer’s work. The main performers on these recordings are also discussed

in brief, with an explanation of why the album being mentioned is the absolute

best one for you to pick up.

Fun to either read straight through or to jump around in as a reference book,

it’s an indispensable guide to anyone who wants to learn more about classical music without getting bogged down by the snobbery that can accompany

the genre.

American Mavericks

edited by Susan Key and Larry Roethe, University of California Press

This book is gorgeous enough to be a coffee table book, and, if you’re as

obsessed with music as we are and you have a coffee table, you really should

pick up a copy. It’s loaded with fantastic photographs of unique American

composers and their equally unique choices of instruments. It features indepth profiles of composers as varied and dissimilar as John Cage, Aaron

Copland, Steve Mackey, and Carl Ruggles. The book also comes with a CD

containing 18 tracks of music — one for every composer and several from

albums that are just about impossible to find in your local record store.

RE/Search #14 & #15: Incredibly

Strange Music, Vols. I and II

RE/Search Publications

Anyone familiar with the RE/Search books already knows they’re in for a treat

when they pick up either one of these books. For those not familiar with the

RE/Search series — well, you should be. They’re a lot of fun to read.

RE/Search #14 and #15 are both filled with interviews with fringe performers

and radio personalities all about their personal record collections. In #14,

Vol. 1, Ivy and Lux from The Cramps talk about their collection of easy-



Part V: The Part of Tens

listening records, Eartha Kitt talks about her own records and the scandal

caused by her performance at President Johnson’s White House, Gershon

Kingsley reminisces about his first recordings on a Moog synthesizer, and

Martin Denny talks about the world of exotica. Vol. 2 features Jello Biafra on

Les Baxter, Robert Moog on the theremin, Juan Esquivel on the Latin music

of the 1950s, and Yma Sumac on her own mythical life. Both volumes contain

many, many more interviews and articles than what we’ve just mentioned

here, but these are just a few examples of why these books belong in every

music-lover’s collection.

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The Norton Scores, Vols. 1 and 2, 10th Edition

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