Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
17 internautes sur 17 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
Unfairly condemned12 juillet 2010
- Publié sur Amazon.com
I bought the Idiots Guide to Orchestration while being aware of exceptionally strong criticism of the book. The first critiques I encountered on Amazon were clearly from experts in the field who, to my mind, were trying to impress me with their great knowledge. My reaction to those critiques was really "where is your book?". So I bought the Idiot's guide. I'm a jazz guitarist trying to glean whatever I can without an enormous commitment to years of study. The ideas about harmonisation and inversion are solid and reliable information. The also remind me that their are many inversions possible that are outside of the possibilities of the guitar. The biggest criticism by other reviewers was regarding the included CD. The sampled sounds are, in many cases, absolutely awful. But I think his musical intention is accurate enough. I'm still able to learn from them (although the big band sounds and the trumpet in particular are some of the worst in history!). So, I'm still reading the book. I'm reasonable happy with it. It didn't cost me $100!! It was cheap and it was an "idiot's guide" - basic stuff. So, in summary, helpful, fairly clear, not expensive and quite enjoyable if you can live with the poor audio samples. But their is much more to the subject, clearly.
13 internautes sur 13 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
4 solid stars, and I'll tell you why.12 juillet 2012
- Publié sur Amazon.com
a little about myself. Although I am not very knowdgeable about arranging and orchestration (otherwise I would have not bought a book. Duh, right?). I am definitely no idiot. I studied harmony for a number of years, off textbooks such as Schoenberg's 'Theory of Harmony'. I did not learn atonal composition or anything like that from it, ( contrary to popular belief, in that book Schoenberg teaches traditional harmony, not atonal concepts, except slight touches in the very later parts of the book, which I did not study yet as my focus was just on the traditional , good old rules).
I also studied off other harmony books of university level. I can say quite confidently that I know my harmony and theory, (up to level 6 ABRSM, which is advanced) really solidly (meaning, I can use it on my music, on command)
In fact I am quite 'traditional' ( if I listen to classical, I listen to music of the Romantic period, and anything older than that, until the Middle Ages and Renaissance). I also like a lot of popular music, from Christmas tunes to smooth jazz. You name it. I listen to anything that's good.
I also have composed for as far back as I can remember. Mainly pieces for one or two instruments. Yes, arranging and orchestration was never my forte, I never found it as naturally as composing a melody and devising a good chord progression for it, which I have absolutely no trouble with.
So why am I mentioning all this? Well, so that I can assure you I am no idiot. Which takes me full circle to the book here by Miller. First of all, this book has solid advice and will give you, very quickly, all the essentials about arranging and orchestration. I have bought an orchestration book by Rimsky-Korsakov a few years ago, unfortunately, as it always happens with classical music, such books are a VERY long term project. Right now I just wanted to get the essentials, the long and the short of it. This idiot's book is PERFECT for that. It is easy to read, won't require long attention span cycles, and still, I am actually learning a lot.
Many people seemed to hate it because of the sound quality in the example. I too dislike the sound quality, however I don't hate the book for that.
Well, here's how I see it: not many composition books come with a CD with music examples, let alone arranging books. In light of that, would you have a CD with a 'computer orchestra', or would you just have the book with no CD at all? To me, the answer is obvious. I'd have the CD too. Yes, the sound quality of the instruments are just the MIDI ones you find on computers. The author has notated the music into a program like Sibelius. I am pretty sure it is Sibelius, I remember the bad quality of it's samples. I use Notion 3, which is cheaper and sounds a little better,but not much. The problem is: there is no notation software that sounds great.
Now, considering that the book is such low cost ( it is certainly the lowest arranging book I know of, that includes a cd), what do you think the author should have done? Hire a small orchestra, a brass section and invite them all in a studio? Then he would have not been able to price the book as he did. It would have costed a lot more. It's all logical, guys. I can tell you without the shadow of a doubt, that I always prefer a music book that includes a CD , to one that has no CD. It simply makes it all faster to learn whatever you are learning about music. Hell, doesn't it make sense? A cd helps a lot, in a music book ! It saves you time and you have the thing playing under your nose while you have your feet on the table, instead of learning the examples on a piano or a guitar, etc.
To recap, (and keeping in mind that I am actually not easy to please when it comes to musical instruction), I give this book 4 solid stars, for the exact following reasons:
1. the author knows what he's talking about. He's no Rimsky-Korsakov or Henry Mancini or Don Sebesky, but I wasn't expecting him to be. He's not an idiot who started writing a book about arranging , out of the blue, just because that month had nothing to do. He learned his stuff. It is evident in his clear and to the point instructions. The book is actually better than I was even expecting, and I was NOT expecting a bad book, since I previewed it before buying. If you are starting out on arrangement/orchestration, this book is most probably the best. Thus it fills an hole in the market: most arranging /orchestration books are very dense, -not at all easy- and require a long term dedication if you want to learn anything out of them.
I remember I had an orchestration book by Don Sebesky. Back then, I was a complete beginner. Needless to say, I read the book for a couple of hours, and I it was all Greek to me (yes at the time I was an 'idiot' )
2. this is the cheapest arranging book that COMES WITH A CD, that I came across. If you find better value for money, let me know.
I don't think I need to add more. This is a good book on arranging and orchestration, and all considered, very good value for money. I have no reason not to recommend it. The CD is there to give an idea of the techniques, and for that purpose, it is adequate. I'd still have it rather than not.
35 internautes sur 41 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
I expected more11 août 2007
- Publié sur Amazon.com
Although this book teaches some of the basics of arranging/orchestrating, and the author does a good job explaining things so that they are easy to understand, the audio examples included are pretty horrible. Not that I expect educators to be extremely talented (well, there sometimes is some truth to the saying "Those who can't, teach")--they just have to be able to pass on knowledge, but I think teachers in general are that much more compelling when they display actual talent and a real sense of creative authority.
The audio examples for this book are at best hack-jobs that you'd expect from a hack composer/arranger. For example, if you're going to compose examples that demonstrate counter-melodies or melodic variations, you better come up with examples that are actually compelling and really add something significant to the original. But when done badly, the student will wonder why they should bother with those approaches at all if they just muck up the original and make things worse. The fully arranged examples are just as bad--with horrible MIDI orchestration that manages to sell cheap sample libraries even shorter than they already are (it's absolutely possible to achieve far better MIDI orchestration using the tools/sample libraries that the author used--just browse online forums like Northern Sound Source or V.I. Control and you'll hear tons of examples from far better composers/arrangers--pro or amateur). The various examples of different musical styles are all bad enough to make you cringe--some are even laughable. But then again, what else is new, right? It's the same thing with books that teach you how to draw, paint, photograph, write...etc--plenty of them are written by people who have the knowledge but lack the skill or talent. This is why I suggest people always try to buy instructional materials created by authors who have a body of works you respect. That way, you know the examples they use are always compelling and full of creative authority.
Overall, if you are an absolute beginner to arranging, then this book should be helpful. It does not go into any detail about various uses of different articulations of instruments--just very basic descriptions. If you can look past the horrible audio examples the author composed/arranged, you should be able to get some stuff out of the book. It's very likely that after learning what you need from the book, you'll be able to compose/arrange better music than those audio examples.
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
Some strengths, more weaknesses5 septembre 2012
- Publié sur Amazon.com
Mr. Miller has attempted to write a book about a very broad subject area and, unfortunately, did not really do it justice. For someone with a novice background, it's sort of an overview of the subject. I, too, found the sampled sounds on the CD examples somewhat annoying, and yes, there are folks out there who can do a better job. It is probably useful for someone who has some musical training, say, as a singer or instrumentalist, but no college music theory courses. The pop music style sections could be useful to someone who wants to put together a band and really doesn't know how to do it.
Unfortunately, Mr. Miller has tried to make it relevant to someone who is going to be hired to arrange. I am a retired music teacher and band director, and I think that even if one of my students wanted to learn to arrange I would help him find more in-depth material. The marching band section is very dated, and contains some pretty outlandish statements. In referring to the lack of double reeds, he says, "That's right, for some reason you don't find a lot of oboes and bassoons in marching bands..." Perhaps he does not recall his instrument methods classes at Indiana University. The reason for the lack of double reeds is simple...it is virtually impossible to play one effectively while marching. The player could suffer serious lip injury and the delicate reed could be damaged...not to mention the instrument itself. Bassoonists must be seated to play just to hold the instrument correctly! (Perhaps his comment was meant tongue-in-cheek.)
I find most of his other comments on marching bands to be perhaps correct in 1970, but not for the 21st century - and his arrangement is similarly dated and hokey.
His section on drum and bugle corps is even less accurate...or should I say, too cursory to be of any use. The changeover from G bugles to B flat instruments in the early 2000s is not so simple as he describes.
So...the book is perhaps useful for a high school student in a garage band who then wants to make things a little more sophisticated. Beyond that, I'm afraid I cannot recommend it...which is unfortunate, because I am always looking for books on this subject that I could recommend to my students, and there are very few available that are not overly technical.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
Well presented toolbox for beginner to intermediate24 avril 2013
- Publié sur Amazon.com
True to the theme of the Idiot's series: necessary beginning material well presented, not intended to be more. I have not found a better introduction to arranging and orchestration. And perhaps by accident the book illustrates two essential aspects of learning an art or craft. First, one can be an excellent teacher of the essential elements of a field, as I believe this author is, without being a memorable creative genius in the field. The full score examples on the CD demonstrate this only too well. Second, the student must learn the basics of a craft or art very well indeed, fill his/her toolbox with the correct tools. But then it is a matter of how the tools are used to express creativity, the beautiful, or whatever it is that makes art that might be of essential merit, be appreciated, and that might even be lasting. Mozart used the same tools all the composers of his era were using. Mozart lasts. Why? You listen to one of his piano sonatas and think, gee, anyone could write that, it's so simple and obvious. But there's just that extra quality in there, creativity, humor, effortless mastery, who can say just what it is. So Mozart lasts. Great teachers who are also great artists might convey some of this essence to the student, almost by osmosis, but to a large degree it is up the the growth and development of the student, both as a human being and as an artist. Which the author does mention. Here are the tools, now see what you can do with them.