The Oxford Companion to Musical Instruments

The Oxford Companion to Musical Instruments

4.66 (3 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 3 business days
When will my order arrive?

Description

Musical instruments, from the simplest pipes and drums to those of the utmost complexity, have formed an integral part of the cultures of all peoples of the world from the beginning of time. Their range and diversity have inspired the skill and genius of maker, composer, and player. This book celebrates that achievement and examines in a single A-Z sequence the astonishing variety of acoustic instruments throughout the ages. Each entry provides a concise description of the instrument itself, its construction, development, and playing techniques, together with details of its sound and use within the orchestra or, for ethnomusicological instruments, within rites of passage. Musical examples highlight these points, and the whole text is beautifully illustrated with over two hundred photographs and figures. General articles cover instruments by period, continent, family, and other common groupings, such as orchestra and brass band, while there is wide coverage of related topics, including pitch, chord symbols, forgeries, and oddities.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 416 pages
  • 157.48 x 233.68 x 30.48mm | 703.06g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New.
  • numerous halftones, music examples, figures, tables
  • 0193113341
  • 9780193113343
  • 1,341,496

Back cover copy

Musical instruments, from the simplest pipes and drums to those of the utmost complexity, have formed an integral part of the cultures of all peoples of the world from the beginning of time. Their range and diversity have inspired the skill and genius of maker, composer, and player. This book is a celebration of that achievement, examining in one alphabetical sequence the astonishing variety of Western and non-Western acoustic musical instruments. Individual entries encapsulate the essential information about the instrument considered. Each entry offers a concise description and, with the aid of numerous line drawings, illustrates details of its construction. Playing techniques are also discussed and major entries draw attention to significant developments in the history of the instrument. Dr Baines also deftly conveys the sound of the instrument and highlights characteristic examples of its use within the orchestral repertoire or, for ethnomusicological instruments, within rites of passage. Musical examples elucidate these points and the whole text is beautifully illustrated with over one hundred photographs. There are general articles on the instruments of specific periods, such as the Renaissance or Baroque, and the instruments of individual continents are considered as an entity. Instruments are also treated by family (woodwind, etc.) and by other common groupings, such as orchestra, brass band. In addition the book deals with a whole range of related subjects, for example acoustics, pitch, chord symbols; methods of playing, such as harmonics, circular breathing; and also such topics as fakes and forgeries and oddities like walking-stick instruments. There is an Appendix of makersmentioned within the text and full bibliographical details are provided for the books and other sources cited. In all, this book bears witness to the author's lifelong passion for musical instruments in all their splendid variety and is distinguished by his elegant prose and scholarship.show more

About Anthony C. Baines

Anthony Baines is the retired Curator of the Bate Collection of Historical Instruments in the University of Oxford. The author of several books and articles on instruments, he co-founded the Galpin Society, formed in 1946 to promote the study of musical instruments, and edited its journal 1956-63, and from 1971.show more

Review quote

Many scholarly books exist about the history and development of musical instruments, but seldom does one encounter a single volume which covers this vast subject quite so comprehensively and in such an accessible manner as Anthony Baines' carefully researched volume ... has covered virtually every aspect of this vast field, and few music lovers or musical scholars will find a lack of any of the basic information they might be seeking ... excellent value ... this is the perfect ready reference guide for any music lover or music student, all of whom should have a copy on their music bookshelf - but don't merely turn to it when you need to look up a reference - it is also enourmous fun to dip into at random since one can glean a great deal of truly fascinating information. On every page one senses the author's passion and love for his subject. * Scenario * 'Anyone sufficiently interested in musical instruments to be reading GSJ will find the Companion a friend for life, and should rush out and buy a copy instead of reading reviews. It is the kind of book that is not easy to consult for just a single word at a time without getting drawn to a host of others one hadn't thought of asking about. The book is excellent value for money: ... the contents are wholesome and appetising. It is a solid reference work to which one turns again and again with pleasure and confidence,' Raymond Parks. The Galpin Society 'This is a tour de force, the work of a master. However much you know about instruments, about any instrument, you will learn more here. Also, it's a pleasure to read.' Jeremy Montagu, FOMRHI Quarterly, No. 69, October, 1992 'Anyone sufficiently interested in musical instruments to be reading GSJ will find the Companion a friend for life, and should rush out and buy a copy instead of reading reviews.' Raymond Parks, Galpin Society Journal, XLVII 'This encyclopedic work provides rich detail about the standard orchestral instruments, describes hundreds of obscure instruments from both hemispheres, and explains such terms as "cross-fingering" and "overblowing".' Symphony, March/April 1993 'This new book is an essential reference work for all school and college libraries where the study and practice of music is taken seriously. All its contents have been displayed with the utmost clarity with the text of the volume in double columns. The volume should provide a valuable Companion for many years to come, and will open up the subject for many new readers in a very handy and compelling way.' The Consort, Odemetsd Foundation 'offers concise and interesting explanations of instruments the world over' Classical Music, January 1993 `A large and comphensive dictionary ... gives the reader accurate information on all the usual musical instruments and most of the unusual ones, however bizarre. This is a reference book of immense importance and interest. D.R.C., The Organ Winter 1992 Vol 72, 283 'ravishingly authoritative' Paul Driver, Financial Times I`a straightforward, unfussy dictionary format, with clear cross-references...for quick reference The Oxford Companion to Musical Instruments is little short of ideal. And in addition to its value as a working tool, dipping into the book offers a great deal of entertainment and no little elucidation.' BBC Music Magazineshow more

Rating details

3 ratings
4.66 out of 5 stars
5 67% (2)
4 33% (1)
3 0% (0)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X