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Best Book(s) on Music Theory & Composition

Discussion in 'Accessories / Connections' started by inkd, Jun 13, 2010.

  1. inkd

    inkd Active Member

    Hey, guys. I'm looking to delve into music theory and composition/arrangement this summer. I was wondering if there exist any books geared towards composing/arranging for a small instrumental ensemble (small orchestra?). The only book I could find with similar content dealt with arranging for small to medium jazz ensembles. Are there any books you all would recommend on either subject?
     
  2. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Distinguished Member

    I have never found a go-to book for arrangers. There's David Baker's Arranging and Composing for the Small Ensemble, which is the one I assume you have already found, and also the vintage Music arranging and orchestration by John Cacavas, which has some great tips and examples from the pre-digital age.

    I have looked at Modern arranging technique: A comprehensive approach to arranging and orchestration for the contemporary stage band, dance band, and studio orchestra by Gordon Delamont, and The Professional Arranger/Composer by Russell Garcia. If you want to study jazz arrangements, besides Baker's book, you could take a look at what Leslie Sabina has written.

    I also know of, but have not seen, Music Composition and Arranging by Samuel Walter and the Mel Bay Basic Concepts of Arranging and Orchestrating Music, which, by all accounts, is a little elementary.

    Berklee Press has a section on writing and arranging, including Arranging For Large Jazz Ensemble by Ken Pullig and Dick Lowell, which I don't know, but looks to be an authoritative work on that topic.

    Here is a bibliography compiled by Roy D. Magnuson on orchestration and arranging.

    This is not a long list, but I hope it helps. What it shows is that there is a niche for an up-to-date book on professional arranging in the digital age. If I had the time....
     

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