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Those Amazing Musical Instruments!: Your Guide to the Orchestra Through Sounds and Stories (Naxos Books) Hardcover – September 1, 2007

4.9 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

From the cello to the clarinet to the tuba to the timpani, conductor Marin Alsop takes you on an exciting musical tour!
The great physicist Albert Einstein played and taught the violin.
Harp strings have different colors depending on their note.
The first flutes were made of bones!
A silver trumpet was found in Tutankhamnn's tomb in Egypt in 1922: it had been lying there undiscovered for 3,000 years.
The sound produced on the clarinet is actually affected by the shape and size of the player's mouth.
Did you know?
Every single bassoon is a bit different. If something goes wrong with a bassoon, a player can?t simply pick up another one and expect to sound the same.
Marin Alsop is your guide to Those Amazing Musical Instruments! She's a conductor who has led orchestras in Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Baltimore, Paris and Tokyo! Watch for Marin's tips and comments all through the book.
The CD-ROM lets you hear the sound of each instrument alone, or playing with an orchestra. More than 100 musical samples in all! Plus loads of bonus history and fun musical information

About the Author

Genevieve Helsby graduated from Durham University with an MA in music, was Literary Editor at Chandos Records, then served at Oxford University Press before becoming Editorial Manager with Naxos.

Marin Alsop guides readers through the instruments, offering helpful tips and commentary throughout the book. She is Music Director of the Baltimore Symphony and Gramophone magazine's 2003 Artist of the Year.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 4 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 870L (What's this?)
  • Series: Naxos Books
  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky; 1 Har/Cdr edition (September 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402208251
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402208256
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.7 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #96,949 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Karen W. Bouton on March 13, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book/CD is REALLY AMAZING! I couldn't believe the information in this book and the accuracy. I teach music in a public school and ordered this for a unit I will be teaching on the orchestra. The interactive CD-ROM can be used with a projector so the entire class can view it.

The book is set up in sections: Introduction/Orchestra/Seating/Sound Waves; Strings; Woodwinds; Brass; Percussion; Keyboards; Voice; Electronic Instruments; Conductor; and even a Dictionary! An overview is given for each of the sections and each instrument has sound files on the CD-ROM. The photographs of each instrument are colorful, with the parts labeled. The descriptions include famous people who learned to play that instrument, how it is played, different genres where it is used; ranges of the instrument and it's relationship to the range of the entire orchestra.

This book not only includes orchestral instruments, but some folk instruments such as guitar (acoustic and electric) and mandolin. The Woodwind section includes 5 of the recorders, great bass, bass, tenor, alto, soprano, and sopranino! Awe shucks, they left out the little garklien!

I let children check out materials from my room and I want more copies of this book for them and one for myself!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is absolutely fantastic. My 3 year old is getting interested in music and I came across this by chance. It has really clear explanations and pictures of all the instruments in the orchestra (and their obscure relatives you don't often see)and very clever and humorous narrative for when they get older. It also has a CD rom to demonstrate the instruments. I can't recommend this highly enough.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Most of us either fiddled or tootled as youngsters. Grammar school bands and orchestras sounded all the better for our efforts. Now, in this amazing book, author Genevieve Helsby explains how that happened (or was supposed to happen).

Under the direction of noted conductor Marin Alsop, musical instruments are described, their history explored, the complexity of their construction is illustrated and then the sounds are heard on the accompanying CD-ROM. They are heard alone, in groups, and finally in full orchestral glory. The book contains beautiful illustrations and captivating narrative and, together with the CD-ROM, makes a wonderful read aloud opportunity for youngsters of all ages. All the reader needs is a DVD player or laptop computer to present a wonderful program guaranteed to captivate the audience.

Each family of musical instruments--string, woodwind, brass, percussion, and keyboard--is explained through word, illustration, and sound. The reader and audience will learn what inspired the shape of stringed instruments or the construction of woodwind mouthpieces, and that the nose was once used to play the flute instead of the mouth. And who knew that paper bags, toy frogs, tin foil, metal trash cans, or trays of dishes have all been used in the percussion section? These are just some of the tidbits of information that add to the joy of reading this book, either to self or aloud.

Talented artists worked with the author to develop and design the book and the final product is a work of art. Don't miss this one.
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Format: Hardcover
I am a home schooling mother who needed a way to introduce the orchestra to my children without spending a fortune. This book gives great information about the instruments, as well as historical facts. The best part is being able to let my kids actually HEAR the instruments being played on the cd-rom (included). There are famous pieces of music featuring each instrument, as well as the ability to hear each one played alone. I highly recommend this book/cd-rom set.
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My 6 year old son has recently taken an interest in music and instrumets. This book was exactly what we wanted. It gave him a good look and lots of information on all kinds of instruments. The CD was great and showed what each instrument sounded like. He loves to just sit and look through the pages, it has also encouraged him to read. Now he wants to play a saxophone, then a violin.
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What a fun book!! I love reading it myself, not just to my 4 year old. He's been really into musical instruments, so this book helps him to learn about each one in a very simple way. The book is put together such way that you can either read just a short paragraph about each intstrument or keep on reading more in depth to an older child. I love the CD as well! It has great examples of how real instuments/orchestra sound. I was very surprised to hear the Ukrainian Nationaly Symphony on it (my uncle is the director)! Anyway, excellent book!
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This book gives a lot of simply stated but very interesting information about mucsical instruments including how they came about and what makes them work. It tells what pitch range they are in and how they are arranged in the orchestra. Musicians and composers are highlighted with the instruments as well. The CDrom gives visual and audio examples of the instruments. I bought it to enhance music classes in elementary school. all of the children love it. I enjoy exploring it myself! It's a great set for anyone to have!
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