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Rudiments of Music (4th Edition) 4th Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0131826557
ISBN-10: 0131826557
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

This comprehensive introduction features the basic aspects of music notation, the study of pitch and time, and the application of these to scales, key signatures, intervals, the keyboard, note values, meter, rhythm, and elementary harmony. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

RUDIMENTS OF MUSIC is intended for all beginners in music theory. It is written to be useful (1) for introductory instruction as early as the secondary school level, (2) for college-level nonmusic majors, (3) for music majors needing a comprehensive review, or (4) for individuals or groups desiring to gain music literacy and thereby enhancing their enjoyment of music.

The traditional elements of music are covered: notation, pitch, time and time signatures, the keyboard, scales and key signatures, closing with an elementary presentation of chords and their progressions.

The subject matter is presented in small increments, each followed immediately by an exercise. This textbook/workbook format allows for quick reference while the student completes the exercise, and, for many of the exercises, immediate feedback on completion by referring to the Answer section, found as Appendix E This procedure is effective when used either as a classroom activity or as an assignment to be used outside the classroom.

Other features of the book include (1) Appendices A-E with supplementary materials effective in correlation with the text, but not readily available elsewhere; (2) abundant illustrations, including many music excerpts by well-known composers; and (3) the inclusion with each volume of a cardboard keyboard that may be slipped behind an actual keyboard, or used atop a flat surface when an actual keyboard in not available. Its reverse side displays a Glossary of the basic subject matters presented in the text.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall; 4th edition (June 28, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0131826557
  • ISBN-13: 978-0131826557
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 0.9 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #33,314 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book will teach the practicing musician everything you they could possibly need to know about music theory and notation. As a beginner of music studies, I found it all a bit mind bending at first. My advice is to just hang in there and before you know it, the long words and scary looking notation sections will all make sense. I borrowed this book and am now trying to find a copy to purchase (that doesn't cost over $100 aus) as I know I shall be using it as a reference tool for many years to come. For the serious musician, it's a must have.
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Format: Paperback
I have used both this edition and the previous (3rd) teaching "the math of music" and compiling synthesizer theory for musicology test prep online classes at Preptorial dot org. Both editions, as new, fall into the "Let's rape students for $200 bucks (US)" category, and compared to their competition, are worth about $30.

I don't agree with reviews that say this book is worthless, it really is one of the better texts that try to integrate theory with actual structure, albeit mostly classical. Frankly, the previous edition is BETTER at teaching, because it used the now out of vogue "programmed learning" and along with nearly identical content, is much better recall organized due to the programmed format.

In fact, the publisher changed the name, which means you can't always find the last edition with its keywords, it is here: Programmed Rudiments of Music. I got it for a penny in virtually new condition. If you are "stuck" with the new edition, a lot of the questions (and some answers) are identical to the programmed version.

If you are self studying, there are much better texts out there for theory, including the previous edition, which is MUCH more suited to self study than this edition. In fact, I rated this 5 stars, because, if you do "draw" this edition as a must for a course, GET the previous edition for a penny anyway, as it acts as a "student manual" for this one, even though much of the content is identical, albeit not as well organized as the previous. If you get a theory for dummies book, and a couple "how music works" books, or even read a series of a dozen threads on theory on Wikipedia, the organization won't seem as disjointed. I'm creating an Amazon music list (even though the old listmania is out of vogue), with Amazon links, at Preptorial dot org and will post it in comments when it is live.
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Format: Paperback
After teaching a course at the community college level using this book (which I inherited, on short notice), I can honestly say that there must be better options for learning music fundamentals. I am examining other textbooks for next year, and can guarantee that Ottman's will NOT be among them.
Ottman seperates elements that would be best be consolidated (i.e. rhythmic elements). While he suggests an organizational scheme to reorder the book and keep elements together, the way the text is written would obliterate any benefit from doing so. Ottman's writing style is dry, and tends to be overloaded with advanced detail that is best left to a 1st-semester theory class. At times, Ottman can also come across as condescending towards the reader, which irritated my students (and this instructor) greatly.
Ottman also makes the mistake of assuming that everyone who is learning music fundamentals is familiar with, or interested in, classical music. The musical examples included in the book tend to be as dry as his writing style. Some folk songs are simply labeled with the country of origin; without the lyrics, they are just boring. Many other textbooks successfully integrate examples from popular music with the classical examples; this book would benefit from such an integration.
Not all is lost, as Ottman does a decent job with the Appendix, which looks towards serious study of music theory. He also does well with repetition within exercises. The book also includes a detachable keyboard card, which visually links each key with its representation on the grand staff. But generally, these features alone do not merit a recommendation.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I learned a few things from this book, but it lacks content. Really weird organization of chapters. The words sound robotic and not interesting. Better books out there for learning music.
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University of North Texas is a great school and this is an easy book to learn and begin with. Its pretty direct and has a decent amount of info to keep you busy for awhile
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Saved money and rented a book that I didn't need to keep forever or wouldn't get my money back from when sold back.

Rental went good. Thanks!
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By Krista Seibt on September 18, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This copy of the book is missing a lot of pages. Whole chapters, even. Definitely rent a different copy.
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