- Publisher: Criterion Music Corp(Goldm) (June 1954)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0910468052
- ISBN-13: 978-0910468053
- Product Dimensions: 27.2 x 21.3 x 1.3 cm
- Shipping Weight: 340 g
Russ Garcia has written a non-pretentious tell it like it is book that would jump-start ANY musician at any level. It has the unusual ability to be both simple and probing. Written in an age before political correctness - he makes certain sweeping statements like "this type of chord is PRETTY". I *LOVED* that, because in music, there are certain universals. It's not about rules (Russ makes that clear), and it doesn't mean these "universals" are written in stone exactly, but let's face it, folks; Major 7th chords ARE "pretty".
Although written in the fifties, "The Professional Arranger Composer: Book 1" is forward looking. Russ was obviously for experimentation and new ideas. I got it in 1974, and although I wasn't into some of the genres he mentions and covers, the ideas behind them were easily converted to my areas of interest. It would be the same now. Russ Garcia knew that in music the times were changing. But he floods the reader with many usable ideas that can make you arrange better, compose better, or play your instrument better (probably particularly keyboards, but I'm certain other instruments as well). I've been arranging and composing for years, and I am always thankful I found this book fairly early on. I've got a whole shelf of music books, from a four-part Julliard series on Jazz to a very nice book from Henri Mancini called Sounds and Scores that has audio examples... on vinyl, no less... and although they've all been helpful, I think Mr. Garcia takes the cake. Mr. Mancini is HIGH on the list, though!!
The Professional Arranger Composer comes in Book 1 & Book 2. I recently got Book 2, having looked for ages to find it. Book 1 looks like he wrote on score paper with a felt tip pen, and he left it that way on purpose. SMART! It takes it away from any sort of lofty academic realm and helps to bring the message home. The writing does the same. Russ WANTS you to exceed, excel, and make music! Between the two books, if you only get one book, go for Book 1. Book two loses the "look and feel", and although some of the tone remains, it basically extends Book 1, but perhaps in a not as easy to digest way. Book 1 becomes your friend; a book to wear out and buy again (it's paperback ONLY).
Strike up the BAND!!