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Mel Bay presents Recorder in the Baroque Era Paperback – August 15, 2008

3 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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About the Author

Robert Bancalari has been a musician since the age of ten. He played viola for the Burbank Symphony at the age of fourteen and taught himself mandolin in his spare time. At seventeen, he took up the guitar and Hammond B-3 organ and has played with various R & B bands in the Los Angeles area ever since. He also enjoys studying Baroque music for recorder, lute, mandolin, guitar and viola da gamba.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Mel Bay Publications, Inc. (August 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786625481
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786625482
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.1 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,236,700 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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The first thing I noticed upon opening this folio is how amateurish the typesetting is. There are measures with one lonely whole note that are just as wide as measures with a whole flurry of sixteenth notes. Music notation is an art form. The music needs to be laid out in a way that helps the reader.
There is a short table of embellishments that a novice will likely find pretty useless. I have studied baroque ornamentation and I've read many tables of this type, but the written-out forms of two of the ornaments are confusing to me. A paragraph of text explaining a bit more about ornamentation in baroque music would have been a good addition to a page that is half blank. There is not a bit of information about how ornaments should be fingered when standard recorder fingering is awkward.
The music is given in lead sheet form - just melodies with chord symbols of guitar. I like the idea of including chord symbols so that a guitarist who doesn't really read music could accompany the recorder player, but, again, there is absolutely no guidance for guitarists. The kinds of accompaniment patterns guitarists would ordinarily play along with American or Irish fiddle tunes are just wrong with baroque music. I fear that novice guitarists would have a hard time figuring out how to play these pieces in ways that would suit the styles.
Most of the tunes seem like reasonable choices, even though a great many appear to be from keyboard music rather than music for melodic instruments. A few strike me as odd choices for a book of this typel The whole notes in the Bach sarabande will feel pretty empty and meaningless without the carefully worked-out bass lines that are in the original.
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