Few people in recent memory have dedicated themselves as devotedly to the story of twentieth- century American music as Rob Kapilow, the composer, conductor, and host of the hit NPR music radio program, What Makes It Great? Now, in Listening for America, he turns his keen ear to the Great American Songbook, bringing many of our favorite classics to life through the songs and stories of eight of the twentieth century's most treasured American composers--Kern, Porter, Gershwin, Arlen, Berlin, Rodgers, Bernstein, and Sondheim. Hardly confi ning himself to celebrating what makes these catchy melodies so unforgettable, Kapilow delves deeply into how issues of race, immigration, sexuality, and appropriation intertwine in masterpieces like Show Boat and West Side Story. A book not just about musical theater but about America itself, Listening for America is equally for the devotee, the singer, the music student, or for anyone intrigued by how popular music has shaped the larger culture, and promises to be the ideal gift book for years to come.
An NPR Best Book of the Year
Winner of the Chicago Tribune Literary Award
Finalist for the Marfield Prize, National Award for Arts Writing
"Reads the way Mr. Glass's compositions sound at their best: propulsive, with a surreptitious emotional undertow." --Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim, New York Times
Introducing another volume of Alfred Music's most popular reproducible book PDFs of the entire book are included on the enhanced CD. Includes lessons, assessments, and professional recordings for Berlioz, Bernstein, Britten, Chopin, Dufay, Ellington, Gershwin, Grieg, Mahler, Mussorgsky, Offenbach, Pachelbel, Palestrina, Prokofiev, Puccini, Purcell, Rachmaninoff, Rimsky-Korsakov, Rossini, Saint-Sa ns, Schoenberg, and Strauss.
Scoring for Voice
is a comprehensive, easy-to-use guide covering all aspects of vocal arranging. It includes a compact disc containing 50 examples of arranging techniques found in the text and covers such topics as scoring for 2-, 3-, and 4-part voices, scoring behind a soloist, vocal ranges, rehearsal techniques and voice-leading concepts.
John Cacavas has written an extensive book on the techniques of composing, orchestrating and arranging. Includes chapters on each section of the band and orchestra, voicing techniques as well as special chapters on concert band writing, choral writing, el
(Book). This volume collects, for the first time, 28 biographies of the greatest songwriters and lyricists of Broadway musicals. It goes below the surface to see what made them tick and to uncover the secrets of their success as well as the personal foibles that sometimes led to their downfall. Longtime theatre lover and stage veteran Herbert Keyser takes us on a personal journey through the music that made these great artists so much a part of our history and our lives. Keyser has assembled a reader-friendly collection of stories that will capture your heart, bring a tear to your eye or a smile to your face, and all the while have you singing along. In presenting these life histories, full of drama, humor, and poignancy, The Geniuses of the American Musical Theatre gives us the story of the golden age of Broadway from a well-informed, witty, and warmhearted new perspective. The first book of its type ever assembled, it is a tremendous attraction for all those who love theatre and popular music, with intimate, little-known details of popular songwriters' lives.
What's the secret to writing a hit song? It's as simple as 1-2-3-4-5-6 Innovative, practical, and inspiring, Six Steps to Songwriting Success presents a surefire step-by-step approach to mastering the elements consistently found in hit songs. Author Jason Blume, a songwriter with the rare distinction of having had songs on the Country, Pop, and R&B charts simultaneously, has packed this book with such key aids as the three-step lyric writing technique used by the pros; lyric, melody, and demo checklists; and tools for self-evaluation-plus many other exercises that work. Blume's warm, humorous style features motivational anecdotes and entertaining stories of how hit songs came to be written and recorded. Get Six Steps to Songwriting Success, and get on the charts
Alec Wilder wrote songs and lyrics of unsurpassed beauty and originality, and his work won the respect and admiration of such important musical figures as Frank Sinatra, Peggy Lee, Mitch Miller, Gunther Schuller, and many others. Yet Wilder seemed almost to court obscurity. Both in the music he composed and in the way he lived his life, Wilder valued the unique and eccentric over the established and easily acceptable. And though he authored the definitive American Popular Song--which critics praised as "singular" (Studs Terkel), "pioneering" (Whitney Balliett), "rewarding" (Milton Babbitt), and "a joy to anyone who really cares about American popular music" (Max Morath)--his own contribution to that music has remained, until now, too little known and far too little appreciated.
Desmond Stone's engaging and lively biography brings Alec Wilder's life and music into the spotlight where it belongs. Ranging from Wilder's childhood in Rochester, New York, to his rise as a major writer of popular songs in the 1940s, to his relationships with Frank Sinatra and the cabaret singer Mabel Mercer, Stone gives us rich insight into the creative process and profound influence of this highly unorthodox composer. We see the impulses and musical concerns that led to such standards as "I'll Be Around" and "It's So Peaceful in the Country." We also get an inside view of how he wrote his monumental American Popular Song, which remains the most significant study of America's great songwriters. More important, we get a vivid sense of a haunting, incorruptible melodist whose unique personality was mirrored in his music. Man and composer dared to be different. When Wilder in the late 1930s wrote his famous Octets, the music world did not know what to make of these irreverent, highly original pieces. Yet they had a seminal influence on jazz chamber music in America. Wilder would go on to compose hundreds of instrumental numbers. Whether he was writing concert pieces for an unprecedented and highly unusual group of instruments, or mixing jazz, classical, and popular idioms in a single song, or dashing off a sonata for a friend, Wilder followed the dictates of his own creativity rather than the expectations of the musical establishment. Such independence and unpredictability earned him the hostility of many critics but the enduring respect of the musicians he wrote for.
Here then is a fascinating private portrait of a man who lived a nomad's life, who loved riding trains so much he kept a timetable in his pocket at all times, a man whose only home was a small room he maintained at the Algonquin Hotel in Manhattan (where he often held court in the lobby), a man with a serious drinking problem as well as the kindest and most generous of friends. Essential reading for anyone interested in American popular music, Alec Wilder in Spite of Himself provides a much needed account of this complex, colorful, and highly original life.
This reference guide to the life and work of the prolific American wind band composer, Alfred Reed, includes a brief biography followed by detailed bibliography and discography sections. The biography traces Reed's life and those experiences that helped to shape his music and philosophies. Attention is given to Reed's popularity with and influences upon bands throughout the world and especially in Japan. A complete listing of Reed's more than 250 works and premiers are categorized by genre. The extensive discography section cites more than 400 recordings, and the bibliography section includes the many writings by and about Reed.
This unique reference will appeal to music scholars and band directors with an interest in Alfred Reed and in wind band music. As a useful research tool, each section of the volume is cross-referenced. Additionally, two appendices list Reed's compositions, one alphabetically and the other chronologically.