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Alfred Publishing Essential Dictionary of Music

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The Essential Dictionary of Music by Lindsey C. Harnsberger is an useful, pocket-sized music handbook for students and professionals. The table of contents shows the 336 page book divided into the following sections: Abbreviations, Pronunciations, Definitions, Composers, Theory and Instruments & Vocal Ranges.

From abandono to Zwischenspiel, the large alphabetized Definitions portion of the book comprises 144 pages. In addition to a strict definition and the source language of the word, each listing includes the foreign language-corrected phonetic pronunciation.

The Composers section lists all important composers with each composer's listing including; Birthdate, Death date (if deceased); Historical Period i.e. "Romantic","Modern" "Baroque" etc.; Compositional Media which is to say in what context(s) their music was written for, performed by and enjoyed by, i.e. orchestra, chamber music, opera etc.; and finally the category Important Items outlines the composers most important contribution to music history and evolution. e.g. under J.S. Bach this reads: "One of the most important and influential composers in the history of music who mastered the composition of contrapuntal music".

The next section is called Theory and provides a compendium of musical theory information such as notes and note relationships, scales, Circle of Fifths, key signatures, chords, dynamic marks, ornaments, notations, music symbols, etc. The final section is Instrument & Vocal Ranges that includes all the instruments of the orchestra as well as all the different male and female voices with their perspective useful playing and singing ranges notated.

The Essential Dictionary of Music is available from Alfred Publishing for $5.95 retail. For more information you can contact Alfred Publishing at P.O. Box 10003 on 16380 Roscoe Blvd., Van Nuys, CA 91410.

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