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Story of the Orchestra : Listen While You Learn About the Instruments, the Music and the Composers Who Wrote the Music! Hardcover – October 2, 2000
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From School Library Journal
Susan Shaver, Hemingford Public Schools, NE
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Top Customer Reviews
This book is for kids somewhat older and even adults really, it's a thicker book but no less colorful than "Meet the Orchestra" by Ann Hayes and Karmen Thompson which is a perfect complement to "Story of the Orchestra" but "Meet the Orchestra" is definitely for younger kids in primary grades.
Part I of the book concerns composers and is separated into the periods in which they composed, ie., Baroque, etc., with a brief description of art, architecture and feeling of the period. The composers covered for all periods are Vivaldi, Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Wagner, Tchaikovsky, Brahms, Mahler, Debussy, Stravinsky, Schoenberg, Gershwin, Copland and Bernstein.
Part II of the book is about the instruments of the orchestra. Again, this is further broken down into the different sections of the orchestra such as strings, woodwinds, etc. Then within each of those sections a feature on the individual instruments.
The accompanying CD has brief examples of the compositions introduced in the composers section and for each instrument. It really helps the kids hear what they've been discussing.
One of the best things about this book are the illustrations. They are colorful and entertaining. Sometimes there are humorous illustrations such as a drawing of the ideal Baroque instrumentalist needing 2 right hands, 3 left hands, and 3 eyes which really had my 3rd grade kids in giggles after hearing the intricacies of "Spring" by Vivaldi. There are also entertaining illustrations showing how an instrument produces its sound and they are mixed with photographs of the instrument itself. I highly recommend this book for music teachers to use as a reference and for parents who have children interested in learning an instrument.
Also, the text does not cover the essentials of each instrument. It puts them in categories (brass, percussion, etc.) but does not identify what these families mean, what they have in common or what makes each instrument distinct within their category. It includes silly things about composers, like what they looked like (Debussy had horns...who knew? and who cares?) and very little of substance.
The only alternative I can think to recommend is Benjamin Britten's Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra, a piece of music that separates the instruments and families so kids can hear what they sound like in isolation before being expected to pick the sound out of the texture.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I gave it to the son of my friend's daughter who is a professional bassoonists. Loves it.Published 1 month ago by Dr. Cheryl Sanfacon
My kids love this book. We homeschool and I have been using this as part of our music curriculum this year. The book is very nicely laid out.. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Mandy F.
This book/CD combination was a gift to my granddaughter. She is exploring different musical instruments so this book is perfect.Published 3 months ago by M. A. Keevenprenger
Fun book that gives you a one page factoid about an artist along with a CD of a small piece of one of their compositions. Read morePublished 3 months ago by TXMOMOF2