• Home
  • Behind Bars: The Definitive Guide To Music Notation (Theory)

Behind Bars: The Definitive Guide To Music Notation (Theory)

Elaine Gould

Thumbnail 240

Behind Bars is the indispensable reference book for composers, arrangers, teachers and students of composition, editors, and music processors. In the most thorough and painstakingly researched book to be published since the 1980s, specialist music editor Elaine Gould provides a comprehensive grounding in notational principles.

Behind Bars covers everything from basic rules, conventions and themes to complex instrumental techniques, empowering the reader to prepare music with total clarity and precision. With the advent of computer technology, it has never been more important for musicians to have ready access to principles of best practice in this dynamic field, and this book will support the endeavours of software users and devotees of hand-copying alike. The author's understanding of, and passion for, her subject has resulted in a book that is not only practical but also compellingly readable.

This seminal and all-encompassing guide encourages new standards of excellence and accuracy and, at a weighty 704 pages, it is supported by 1,500 music examples of published scores from Bach to Xenakis. This is a hardback book, with dust jacket.

Publisher: Faber Music

ISBN: 0571514561

Item Code: 0571514561

Price: £75.00
Availability:In stock Territory restrictions apply, see Add. Info

Genre(s): Educational

Language: English

Territories: Item available Worldwide

  1. Section I - General Conventions: Ground Rules
  2. Chords – Dotted notes – Ties
  3. Accidentals and Key Signatures
  4. Dynamics and Articulation
  5. Grace Notes, Arpeggiated Chords, Trills, Glissandos and Vibrato
  6. Metre
  7. Tuplets
  8. Repeat Signs
  9. Section II - Idiomatic Notation: Woodwind and Brass
  10. Percussion
  11. Keyboard
  12. Harp
  13. Classical Guitar
  14. Strings
  15. Vocal Music
  16. Section III - Layout and Presentation: Preparing Materials
  17. Score Layout
  18. Part Preparation
  19. Electroacoustic Music
  20. Freedom and Choice

If books, like hotels, had a star-rating system then this book would be off the top of the scale! Among the technical reference books it’s colossus. It’s a book for composers, arrangers, copyists, typesetters, and anyone who interacts in any way with music notation. If you want to know how to write it clearly and unambiguously, this book will tell you.

With this book by your side any chance of inaccurate, lazy or impractical notation becomes quite impossible. But it’s not only a useful book, it’s also a fascinating one, and it’s going to become my bedside reading for many months to come.

I couldn’t begin to list the areas that it covers: there are far too many of them. As a clarinettist I headed straight for the woodwind techniques section and learned lots on multiphonics, harmonics and how to note unusual modern performance practice ideas. Each area is accompanied by appropriate and generous musical examples from the widest of repertoires – there are evidently over 1,500 examples.

Simon Rattle, in his munificient introduction, rightly calls this a reference for musicians for decades to come. He also describes the book as part of the living texture of music itself rather than a book of dry rules. He’s right.

Music Teacher Magazine, April 2011