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Technique of Orchestration and CD Recording Package The (6th Edition) [Hardcover]

Kent Kennan Donald Grantham
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Most helpful customer reviews
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I was touched by the concern of the Amazon company about the delay of delivery. I expressed my frustration requiring this text book in a short delay and not having the possibility to accelerate the process. I have received the book a day after the 5 weeks delay they promised at start.
They offered me another book of my choice (which is so useful book in my field of endeavour), the delay of delivery was within a wek, which is fantastic.
I hope they continue to express their concern about the satisfaction of their clientele. In my case, it was a complete success
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Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  27 reviews
58 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent beginner's textbook and overall reference Aug. 19 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
(6th Ed.) Although I've played classical piano for a long time, I'm a beginner in this aspect of music. This book provides a fantastic, detailed survey of the entire symphony orchestra for those who don't know an English horn from an oboe; however, it seems like it's one of those handy books you will refer back to for a very long time:
- basic introduction to various configurations of orchestras
- all the instruments individually described & photographed
- idiosyncracies, limits, abilities of each instrument
- the realistic note ranges of each instrument
- scoring for sections (strings, woodwinds, brass, percussion)
- excerpts from real scores demonstrate techniques
- some important aspects of color/blend/orch.texture
- arranging for school orchestras, smaller groups
- contains small suggested assignments and listening refs.
Personally, I am using it as a reference for working with a sampler-based orchestra, to give me better insight towards creating more realistic arrangements and mockups.
33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful text for study and reference with a very useful CD March 13 2006
By Craig Matteson - Published on Amazon.com
We used the second edition of this book when I was an undergraduate studying music theory. I loved that book and have always had it on my shelf as a reference for correct transpositions, ranges, and all the little things one needs to know to write correctly for an instrument. When I read through this edition I was simply blown away. You know how you can get attached to an older edition and not want to give it up because the improvements don't overcome the familiarity? Well, the sixth edition clearly obsoletes my trusty old friend.

The book still has the same general format in considering each family of instruments together and has all the good information of the previous editions. However, there is more information, better photographs, improved explanations, well chosen examples, great suggested readings, listenings, and assignments. And the included CD has over 90 short examples of the sounds any orchestrator needs to have in his or her mind when putting pen to paper (or pointing a mouse to the staff on a computer). The first few dozen are different versions of the same two measures of the Bach chorale designated in the book so the student can compare a variety of ways to set that four part chorale for various families of instruments (strings, woodwinds, brass, and in various combinations). Then several dozen orchestral chords of various combinations are provided. Every example is designated in the book and explicitly identified on the CD.

The appendices are also quite useful and contain ready references on ranges and specialized considerations. I especially appreciate the addition of vocal ranges since it is quite common to use voices with orchestras.

This is a terrific text for students, for teachers because the information is so well presented, and for reference after school. Heck, if all you do is read orchestral scores while listening to music, this book can be most helpful in helping you understand the instruments you are hearing and their transpositions.

Most wonderfully done.
29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good basic text, but needs some updating Sept. 25 2006
By Music Prof. in FL - Published on Amazon.com
I have taught Orchestration/Instrumentation three times using this book, and find it has its strengths and weaknesses. The practical information about each instrument--such as ranges, typical scorings, and excerpts--is helpful, and I think Kennan really focuses on what an arranger/orchestrator *needs* to know. I also like some of the accompanying examples/excercises in the workbook, which can save preparation time. On the negative side, there are numerous typos in the workbook that still haven't been changed through multiple editions, the photos are quite dated, saxophone is included in a chapter called "Infrequently Used Instruments" (perhaps in the orchestra, but not in band music, the subject of some discussion in the book), and some of the discussions are confusing for students (string harmonics, to take one example). While the CD is helpful for hearing subtle differences in orchestration, the orchestra is out of tune in several places and the sound quality is somewhat poor.

Overall, I think Kennan's book is good for the beginning orchestration student, with lots of practical information and exercises, but I wish that some of its more problematic aspects could be changed or updated.
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best orchestration text available Aug. 5 2005
By Kuru - Published on Amazon.com
Few books are useful in learning to write music. This is one of the rare few. I first got acquainted with the book a quarter century ago, and have been using it ever since. The book assumes basic competence in music performance and theory. The necessary information about the various instruments is provided simply and accessibly -- e.g., where the timbre breaks occur on the clarinet, how to figure out if a particular triple-stop can be fingered on the viola, etc. There is also useful guidance in writing for sections and other combinations of instruments, although nothing can replace a good set of ears and numerous years of orchestral or band playing time for learning that particular skill. Kennan helpfully distinguishes what is practical and idiomatic (what an ordinarily competent player can be expected to be able to do) from what is possible (what the best players might be able to pull off on a good day). Thus, this book should be useful for everything from making high school band arrangements to writing for professional orchestras.
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still the standard Jan. 10 2001
By Nasser Sharaf - Published on Amazon.com
With a new updated edition appearing every few years, this book still manages to maintain its place as the standard for entry level orchestration.
Along with the basic need to know information, you will find it packed with musical examples of each instrument as well as in context with relative sections and the entire orchestra.
Also there are suggested assignments and suggested listening at the end of each chapter. This is invaluble in assimilating and applying the vast amount of information presented here - especially if you don't have access to a live orchestra.
Any aspiring composer or orchestrator should consider this book a "must have" - pick it up, you won't regret it.
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