by Roy Bennet, 1984 Cambridge University Press, GCSE
Series: Cambridge Assignments in Music
Author: Roy Bennett
First published: 1984
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Level: GCSE/High school/Teen
- Basic materials of music (sound, pitch, rhythm, time signatures, scales, keys, intervals, terms, symbols, abbreviations, ornaments, melodic and rhythmic devices, chords, triads, phrases, cadences, modulation).
- The sounds of music (timbre, texture, contrast, voices, orchestra, bands, early instruments, organ, piano).
- All kinds of music (simple musical forms, large forms, opera, oratorio, music for voices, programme music).
- Timechart of composers and countries, ranges of instruments and voices.
A very well-written and accessible book, of usefulness to anyone wanting a broad overview of music theory, musical forms and instruments. It does not go into any great depth, but gives you just the right amount of information in order to start you off and pique your interest. There are a large number of musical examples given as printed bars, and many more suggestions of pieces to listen to, along with critical exercises, to enhance your knowledge. Although aimed at the secondary school student, this book would also be useful for anyone studying grade 6 music theory who needs guidance on the general knowledge section of the exam paper. I’d also recommend it to anyone who considers themselves a “beginner” in understanding the world of classical music.
Answer keys are not given, and although there is an accompanying cassette tape it is quite difficult to get hold of these days. No matter – all the compositions used in examples and exercises are well-known and easy to find on Youtube and IMSLP.org. What makes this book excellent is that it is written in a concise, to-the-point manner and contains lots of illustrations and musical examples.