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Composer's Music Library - Mine to date

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I collected some introductory stuff to fill the gaps in my autodidact knowledge. Main focus on (early) 20th cent.

Some easy reading like some Tovey Essays and Ales Ross' 'the rest is noise'.

Schoenbergs Structural Functions of Harmony

Norton Anthology of Western Music (vols I and II) by Burkholder and Palisca

A History of western music

Nortons 20th cent. music (+ anthology) by Morgan

I second the good words Persichetti s 20th cent Harmony and Gorden Jacob's Orchestral Technique

Out of historic curiosity I bought Piston Harmony and Counterpoint.

Roig-Francoli's Understanding post-tonal Music is a easy read, but I feel it is somewhat childish with its exercises.

Many scores (mostly Dover or Eulenburg)

Symphonies: Brahms (1-4), Shostakovich (1,5,9,10,11,12, mainly sikorski), Barber 1 (Schrimmer), Vaughan Williams 6 (Oxford), Tchaikofsky (4,5,6), Mahler (1&2, 5&6)

Stravinskys Firebird and Rite, Bartok Concerto for Orchestra, Debussy's Pelleas & Melisande, la Mer, several orchestral Hindemith, Britten Sinfonietta.

Concerti: Shostakovich both piano concerti, The prokofiev Cello concertante work. The Berg violin concerto. The violin concerti of Elgar, Sibelius and Glazunov

Chamber: Debussy sonatas, Stringquartets by Debussy/Ravel. Beethoven complete quartets. Schubert complete string works, Brahms chamber sonatas

Choral. Kodaly, Faure Requiem, Durufle Requiem and Messe cum Jubilo, Poulenc Gloria.

If you spotted a gap in this collection, please tell me.

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I forgot to add these texts I have

Bartok - All Six String Quartets

Stravinsky - Rite of Spring and Les Noces

Bona's Rhythmic Articulation - great for securing your rhythm and solfege syllables for sight singing and ear training

Scores I'd like to get are Penderecki's Threnody, Stravinsky's Five pieces for Orchestra, and a Ligeti work

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Samuel adler orchestration: this is a pretty excellent orchestration book, but I sometimes consult my pdf of Piston's Orchestration book for more detail on instrument's fingerings and so on

Chord scale theory and jazz harmony - Barrie Nettles and Richard Graf

Complete guide to film scoring - richard davis


Bach - Six Brandenburg Cncertos

Bach - Cantata No. 140 (Wachet auf)

Beethoven - Symphonies 5, 6, and 7

Debussy/Ravel - string quartets

Debussy - book of piano music

Stravinsky - Firebird, Petrushka, Rite, A sermon, a Narrative and a Prayer

Takemitsu - Dorian Horizon

Lachenmann - tema, dal niente (interieru iii)

+ heaps of pdfs

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Cecil Forsyth - Orchestration

Andrew Ford - Composer to Composer

Andrew Ford - Undue Noise

Otto Karolyi - Introducing Music

Roger Kamien - Music an Apprecitation

Hugh M. Miller - History of Music


Bach - The Six Brandenburg Concertos and Four Orchestral Suites

Bach - Christmas Oratorio

Brett Dean - Etudenfest

Arvo Pärt - Fratres, Cantus in Memoriam Benjamin Britten, Tabula Rasa

Adès - Living Toys

Ligeti - Kammerkonzert

Schönberg - Pierrot Lunaire

Mozart - Complete Piano Sonatas

Mozart - Symphony no. 41

Mozart/Sußmayr - Requiem (vocal score)

Mozart - Die Zauberflöte (vocal score)

Wagner - Tristan und Isolde (vocal score)

Beethoven - Symphony no. 5

Beethoven - Symphony no. 3

Beethoven - Complete Piano Trios arr. for Piano Four Hands

Beethoven - Grosse Fuge

Haydn - Symphony no. 103

Schumann - Symphony no. 3

Schumann - Piano Concerto

Tchaikovsky - The Nutcracker Suite

Handel - Messiah

Mussorgsky/Ravel - Pictures from an Exhibition

Saint-Saens - Symphony no. 3

Dvorak - Symphony no. 5

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The more famous one but I also have downloaded No 25 - both are great symphonies. I also think starting with the little G minor of No 25 we enter Mozart's mature orchestral writing.

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No. 25 was still written for a smaller orchestra of two oboes two horns and strings, but I agree that it was the start of Mozart's more mature writing. Have you heard his seventh symphony? It is my favourite symphony of his.

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I too have Adler's The Study of Orchestration. Generally a great book although he does gloss over something I often want to know such as where to pitch horn glissandi, and the pipe organ.

- Alfed Blatter: Instrumentation and Orchestration. Rather old typesetting but very good for music examples and discussion. Also fingering charts and the like for every standard instrument. Particularly commendable is the chapter on laying out music correctly and why.

- Essential Dictionary of Orchestration (no author). A great little reference book, sometimes covers more than the 'big' texts without all the prose. Loads of charts, diagrams and concise advice

- Berlioz Treatise on Orchestration (as an e-book)

- Geoffrey Rendal: The Clarinet

- Anthony Baines: Musical Instruments

- Walter Hill Baroque Music

- Annie Warburton: Melody Writing and Analysis

-The Associated Board Guide to Music Theory Books 1 and 2. I don't use this much nowadays but it got me through theory exams long ago

- A New Dictionary of Music

- Ernest Newman: Wagner Nights

- Robert W. Gutman: Richard Wagner (I'm not a Wagner obsessive, my father happened to have these)

- Stravinsky in Conversation with Robert Craft. I have yet to read this properly through but it looks to be a fascinating insight into Stravinsky's technique.

- Diana McVeah: Gerald Finzi: His Life and Music

- Otto Karolyi: Introducing Music. In my opinion one of the greatest music texts ever written. Clear explanations that are as interesting and readable to a professional as a music newcomer.

- Nicholas Cook: Music in Medieval Manuscripts (he was my lecturer as a postgrad)

- Andrew Wilson-Dickson: A Short History of Christian Music

- The Oxford Book of English Madrigals

- The Cambridge Companion to Conducting. Very useful to get the view from the other side of the podium and historical orchestral practices

- Sergei Prokofiev: Diaries 1907-1914. Ok, not really a composition book but a fantastic read.


- Bach: B Minor Mass; Magnificat

- Bartok: Concerto for Orchestra( this, the Britten and Stravinsky below belonged to Lionel Bentley, leader of the Amici Quartet)

- Beethoven: Egmont Music (not the overture though - I bought this in error thinking it was included); Violin Concerto; Symphony No.7; Symphony No.8; String Quartet Op.18 No.3

- Brahms: German Requiem

- Britten: Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings

- Dvorak: Serenades 1 and 2

- Elgar: Serenade for Strings; Cello Concerto

- Haydn: The Creation

-Mendelssohn: Symphony No.4; Elijah

- Mozart: Symphony No.36; Symphony No.40; Symphony No.41 'Jupiter'

- Prokofiev: Peter and the Wolf

- Schubert: Symphony No.8

- Smetana: Richard III (a piece I cannot find a recording of)

- Stravinsky: Symphony in Three Movements

- Vaughan Williams: Symphony No.5

PIeces for cello, piano, quartet and organ are too numerous to mention but I use them for study as well as performance.

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WOW!!! I'm impressed. I don't have ANY of those books. Maybe one day!


Daphnis and Chloe

Beethoven 6&7

Mozart, the Later Symphonys


La Boheme

Mendelssohn's Symphonies

Brahm's Symphonies

Soon I'll be adding:

Hanson #2 (if I can buy it)

La Traviata

Rossini's Cinderella

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That's "Brahms'" actually. The apostrophe goes after the 's.'

That should be "That's 'Brahms',' actually."

You need a comma after the word "Brahms'."

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^ Another example of froglegs being a hypocrite: complaining about people being pedantic in another thread yet, saying things like this. The difference here is that misplacing an apostrophe in Brahms' name is trivial in comparison to correcting the statement that perfect 4ths are consonant.

I learnt that perfect fourths were consonant, so I just accepted it as true.

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^ like like, including its pedantic tone :D

edit, because of Phils pedantism ;)

ok, back on topic now?

Edited by jrcramer

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Maestrowick, you can pick up most popular texts on orchestration and the like on places like Amazon; if you look for second-hand ones you can often get a very reasonable price. Worth the cost of even new ones because you will use them a lot.

I forgot to add to my list Fundamentals of Musical Composition by Arnold Schoenberg. Very important book and one you might also want to read.

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