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Behind Bars: The Definitive Guide To Music Notation (Hardback)
  • Behind Bars: The Definitive Guide To Music Notation (Hardback)

Behind Bars: The Definitive Guide To Music Notation (Hardback)

Hardback 704 Pages / Published: 20/01/2011
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Behind Bars is the indispensable reference book for composers, arrangers, teachers and students of composition, editors, and music processors. In the most thorough and painstakingly researched book to be published since the 1980s, specialist music editor Elaine Gould provides a comprehensive grounding in notational principles.

Behind Bars covers everything from basic rules, conventions and themes to complex instrumental techniques, empowering the reader to prepare music with total clarity and precision. With the advent of computer technology, it has never been more important for musicians to have ready access to principles of best practice in this dynamic field, and this book will support the endeavours of software users and devotees of hand-copying alike. The author's understanding of, and passion for, her subject has resulted in a book that is not only practical but also compellingly readable.

This seminal and all-encompassing guide encourages new standards of excellence and accuracy and, at a weighty 704 pages, it is supported by 1,500 music examples of published scores from Bach to Xenakis. This is a hardback book, with dust jacket.

Publisher: Faber Music Ltd
ISBN: 9780571514564
Number of pages: 704
Weight: 1411 g
Dimensions: 234 x 156 x 48 mm


If books, like hotels, had a star-rating system then this book would be off the top of the scale! Among the technical reference books it's colossus. It's a book for composers, arrangers, copyists, typesetters, and anyone who interacts in any way with music notation. If you want to know how to write it clearly and unambiguously, this book will tell you.

With this book by your side any chance of inaccurate, lazy or impractical notation becomes quite impossible. But it's not only a useful book, it's also a fascinating one, and it's going to become my bedside reading for many months to come.

I couldn't begin to list the areas that it covers: there are far too many of them. As a clarinettist I headed straight for the woodwind techniques section and learned lots on multiphonics, harmonics and how to note unusual modern performance practice ideas. Each area is accompanied by appropriate and generous musical examples from the widest of repertoires - there are evidently over 1,500 examples.

Simon Rattle, in his munificient introduction, rightly calls this a reference for musicians for decades to come. He also describes the book as part of the living texture of music itself rather than a book of dry rules. He's right.

Music Teacher Magazine, April 2011

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