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Topic: Theory books?

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  1. #1

    Theory books?

    can anyone recommend some good books on music theory and/or orchestration theory? i\'m interested in it overall but specifically i\'d like to learn more in depth about typical instrumentation, voicings, harmonies, etc. in various settings, be it symphonic orchestras, jazz ensembles, smaller ensembles, and so on...

    i\'m as determined to develop more music background as i am determined to teach it to myself.

  2. #2

    Re: Theory books?

    I don\'t know if this would be a help but check out Sibelius .com They have a program called compass that would help teach you the art of composition I don\'t know if you have the basics behind you or you need something more advanced .

  3. #3

    Re: Theory books?

    I have a bunch of reference books I like to recommend listed at http://www.allhands.com/main/resources.html, including theory, composition, notation, orchestration, etc.

    Hope that helps.

  4. #4

    Re: Theory books?

    Try Peter Alexanders web site, he sells a Revised Rimsky Korsikov orchestration book, \"Counter Point by Fux,\" and a couple of \"Applied Professional Harmony books, 1 & 2. Very good stuff.

    Rick

    peter@alexanderpublishing.com

  5. #5

    Re: Theory books?

    I suggest The study of orchestration by Samuel Adler, published at Norton & Company, 1982 (2nd ed. 1989), ISBN 0-393-95807-8. Maybe is it a little expensive but presents 640 pages of in depth study. The nice thing is that most of the examples of the book are to be listened on the 5 CDs coming with it. There is also an exercice book available. Otherwise, there is also Orchestration by Water Piston. Same style as the former one. The Traité d\'instrumentation et d\'orchestration by H. Berlioz is worth too, but I don\'t know if there is an english translation available. Check in an university library. A copy should exist. Definitively, GPO is THE tool to study efficiently orchestration.

  6. #6

    Re: Theory books?

    I suggest The study of orchestration by Samuel Adler, published at Norton & Company, 1982 (2nd ed. 1989), ISBN 0-393-95807-8. Maybe is it a little expensive but presents 640 pages of in depth study. The nice thing is that most of the examples of the book are to be listened on the 5 CDs coming with it. There is also an exercice book available. Otherwise, there is also Orchestration by Water Piston. Same style as the former one. The Traité d\'instrumentation et d\'orchestration by H. Berlioz is worth too, but I don\'t know if there is an english translation available. Check in an university library. A copy should exist. Definitively, GPO is THE tool to study efficiently orchestration.

  7. #7

    Re: Theory books?

    I\'m checking out Sam Aler myself also. Just to clarify tho, when I ordered through Amazon, I had to order the book, and the CD as separate items. It\'s also sold as a bood+CD package also? (which would probably be a better deal)

    Personally, fiddling with GPO has taught me much more than what I\'ve read from Sam Adler\'s book so far. Of course, I already knew old school 4 part vocal harmonizing, which does help... but in the end, getting a feel of the intensities of the instrument\'s ranges, and also the different combinations of parts seems to be what leads to an expressive orchestration.

    In terms of counterpoint, I did an easy entry course for 2 voice counterpoint. In terms of orchestration, it seems like keeping the harmony at its fullest always helps, and counterpoint helps you achieve that. It keeps you from making \"deadly\" moves that cause harmonic discontinuity. But who knows, there are people who swears by counterpoint. I don\'t take it too seriously. If the arrangement sounds full and consistant enough, go on to the next phrase.

    What\'s awesome about GPO is that no matter what mistakes you make, it just throws it back to you as a result. You don\'t get that \"look\" from the professor like I got during my counterpoint classes. hehe. The importance is, GPO lets you feel proud of what you\'ve done. Professors can make you feel ashamed of trying. (sometimes [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img] )

  8. #8

    Re: Theory books?

    Here is an excellent book on music theory, covering notation, voice leading (counterpoint), form and harmony (but NOT orchestration, except for listing th ranges of each instrument). As the series title suggests, the book presents a terse outline of each subject that may be more suitable for a review or reference. But the book is still very complete and readable. Plus, as a paperback book, it is very affordable. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

    \"Music Theory,\" by George Thaddeus Jones, The Barnes & Noble Outline Series, A Division of Harper & Row, Publishers, New York.

    Also, please remember that most University libraries have many such books, perhaps too many, but is also a good place to start.

    YBaCuO

  9. #9

    Re: Theory books?

    thanks fellas. that rimsky one looks interesting and i\'ll probably check out the fux and adler books too.

  10. #10

    Re: Theory books?

    Just wanted to add another mention of the Adler book. It is the first book I pick up if I need a reference on orchestration.

    Another good orchestration book is \"The Technique of Orchestration\" by Kent Wheeler Kennan. It is a book a teacher gave to me from his college days, so I have no idea if it is still in print.

    I would still recommend the Adler first, and then, if you desire some more reading, the Kennan is a nice supplement to Adler.

    As for theory, I have never found a really good one. The books I got for classes when I was in school were for the most part bad. I found taking scores and analyzing them as I listened to be the most helpful to me. Basically, I just like to listen and break down all sorts of music, so when I compose I can draw from all these styles (from jazz to rock to gamelan to classical). My advice is to take other people\'s recommendations on theory books if they know good ones, but you may find that listening and analyzing will help you too (and if you can get your hands on the score, it will REALLY help out).

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