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Compendium of Modern Instrumental Techniques Hardcover – February 18, 1993

ISBN-13: 978-0313285127 ISBN-10: 0313285128

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Greenwood (February 18, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0313285128
  • ISBN-13: 978-0313285127
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,971,756 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Composers may well wish to study the entire volume, as they seek to determine which techniques will endure in compositional practice; but for most readers the book will serve as an excellent resource for exploring individual interests or needs. A debt of gratitude is owned the author for making so much information available in a concise and accessible form. Recommended for upper-division undergraduates and above." -- Choice

Book Description

Codification of unconventional techniques using conventional instruments, with numerous citations and examples.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 25, 1997
Format: Hardcover
Gardner Read has compiled an exhaustive account of modern instrumental techniques, putting aside sujective opinions of their worth or importance and including information about instruments foreign to traditional orchestras, such as the banjo. He sites numerous source examples of each techniques use and the varying methods of notation suggested by pioneering composers.
The book serves a dual service to both modern composers and musicians. First, it serves as a reference manual for reviewing and understanding the history of new notations of a particular instrumental techiniue. Second, it serves as a source for ideas and inspiration, simply by flipping through randomly and stumbling upon examples.
The first part of the book contains "Generalized Techniques" about extended ranges, muting, glissandi, harmonics, percussive devices, microtones (several suggested notations), amplification and extranmusical devices.
The second part of the book focuses on "Idiomatic Techniques" in detail regarding woodwinds and brasses, percussion, harp and plucked instruments, keyboard instruments, and strings.
Gardner Read's details suggest that technique experiments of 20th century composer's, mainly the "scrape and scratcher's", in my personal opinion, have been explored to such an extent that they should now be a part of a musician's and composer's arsenal: meaning they should no longer be consider experimental. Composers can get back to composing listenable and interesting music, utilizing the assorted intsrumental techniques when they will benefit the music vs being used primarily as an experiment, resulting in a "composition" that sounds terrible. (It was a good idea on paper, but it sounds like crap.) The experiments have been thourougly hashed out. It's time to start using the results in compositions accesible to those not wearing stuffed shirts.
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