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The Complete Arranger Paperback – February 5, 2015
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If you're a beginner arranger you won't get your arranging tools from this one. It's good to have it for later though.
Containing 71 music examples EACH one of them is exceptionally good music. The genres they reflect is everything from big band to neo-classical to film scoring to marches to electronic 80's music. Everyone of them is a joy to listen to and a gold mine to study. He provides good examples of solo instruments in use and various voicing and orchestrational techniques. Many of which shows us were people like John Williams come from musically.
At first I got a little annoyed with his not so perfect notation as several accidentals are missing, but after a while I stopped caring about it and started to focus on learning instead.
He starts with plain technicalities before moving on to instrumentation. The chapter on Saxophones alone are a studies worth in arranging for big band since all of his examples are for band.
His information about instrumentatio is probably not the most detailed and especially not for the more exotic instruments, but the scores and music examples make up for it. His examples for strings and woodwinds are by far the most exciting I have encountered outside of the classical/symphonic idiom.
Another annoyance is that on a stave for 4 trumpets for example the voice shifts from 4 notes to 2 to 3 and back to 4 or something like that, and he doesn't indicate how he orchestrates the shifts. This is a real let down to the otherwise great book as this happens a lot. Still it's not enough to not give it a 5 star review!
After all the notes on instrumentation (roughly half the book) he proceeds to pour out experience on how HE writes arrangements, shows us his progress. Talks about his concern on intros/endings aso also providing a fresh tale of ensemble counterpoint. Before continuing with technology he has a short chapter on orchestrational colors, which I guess was a chapter for him to show of exciting timbres/combinations he himself finds exciting - and they sure are! Technology has two guest composers writing examples and it takes you back to the 80'es! Some extremely cool and others bordering cheesy. But the cool ones really also are worth studying.
The last chapter of examples tackles the symphonic band that is inherent in American music. I've never seen a book on arranging that shows this and again, wonderful music and scores.
His reflections at the end shows you how he is a normal man writing music. Very down to earth and great anecdotes to teach aspiring musicians some lessons before they happen.
This book is for everyone studying arrangement, instrumentation, orchestration, composition in whatever field or genre!
Think of arranging and orchestrating as a process tool like you writing a book or telling a story. Think of what idea you bringing to the table and what can people want to hear. There's no question that there's no wrong doing or bad remark behind this book written by Sammy Nestico.
Sammy Nestico to me is an arranger's arranger. His style, technique and influence are all his own same as Mancini, John Williams, Nelson Riddle, Patrick Williams, Quincy Jones, Ray Conniff, Glenn Miller, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Don Sebesky, etc.
Also checkout Don Sebesky's The Contemporary Arranger: Definitive Edition, John Cavacas'The Art of Writing Music: A Practical Book for Composers and Arrangers of Instrumental, Choral, and Electronic Music As Applied to Publication, Earle Hagen's books on Film Scoring, Mancini's Sounds and Scores, Walter Piston's Orchestration plus Counterpoint and Harmony, Rimski Korsakov's book Principles of Orchestration (Dover Books on Music), Sam Adler's Study of Orchestration, Clinton Roemer's book on the Art of Music Copying, among any book having to deal with music orchestration, harmony, counterpoint, composition and copying for starters.
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I just started with the book but I can tell from the first examples and...Read more