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The Elements of Music: Melody, Rhythm, and Harmony (Wooden Books) Hardcover – October 28, 2008
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As other reviewers having pointed out, I suspect that complete musical novices will have some problems with certain sections. These are places where the limited space simply doesn't permit the author to communicate certain assumptions, terminology and principles. But I can imagine this being a viable starting point in the hands of a musically knowledgeable guide.
The illustrations, while tiny, are wonderfully conceived and executed in a style consistent with the old-world artistry set forth in the cover.
I had two big takeaways: One was a deeper understanding of harmonic theory, and secondly, a greater appreciation of how all the elements work together to weave a fabric that mirrors the movement of our own lives through time. I think of it as a universal theory of music. Cool.
I highly recommend this tiny little treasure for any musician looking to reach a broader grasp of the melodic, rhythmic and harmonic workings for the mystery we call music.
Be sure to listen to some of the author's work on his web site.
My only complaint is that the reproduction of some content suffers due to the small format these books come in. In order to fit some visuals onto a page the text can get rather small, which is really bad when an unfamiliar script font is used in conjunction. You need to use a magnifying glass to read it.