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How Ravel Orchestrated: Mother Goose Suite [Paperback]

Peter Lawrence Alexander
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: 24.72 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

1 Oct 2008
Alexander Publishing's How Ravel Orchestrated: Mother Goose Suite is a breakthrough in orchestration instruction with its newly engraved score with piano part at page bottom, the original short stories that Ravel based the work on, and a complete analysis of each movement, combined together, showing how Ravel orchestrated. For fast referencing, each bar is numbered at the bottom of the page (original rehearsal markings are also included). By including the piano part at page bottom, students of counterpoint will see specific devices that Ravel used, where, and how he orchestrated them. Jazz musicians and composers will also see how Ravel composed and orchestrated using altered Dominant 7th chords, mixolydian chord scales, and triads with the added 9th. Preceding each movement is the complete short story that movement was based on, which helps teach dramatic composition and scoring techniques. By comparing back to Ravel's score, a better understanding of Ravel's approach is gained. Following each movement is a brief orchestration analysis based on The Eight Keys of Professional Orchestration as taught in Alexander Publishing's Professional Orchestration Series. How Ravel Orchestrated: Mother Goose Suite is further supported by an optional CD or legal downloadable MP3 performance of Mother Goose Suite, color coded scores showing how the piano part went to score, and a video performance of the entire work as found on YouTube.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Alexander University, Inc. (1 Oct 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0939067129
  • ISBN-13: 978-0939067121
  • Product Dimensions: 30 x 21 x 1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,105,712 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ravels secrets unravelled 21 Dec 2010
By bryla
Format:Paperback
In short 'How Ravel Orchestrated' is my best buy in books regarding orchestration.

I bought this as my first book on orchestration because as a music student I always heard that Ravel was the master of orchestration. At first I didn't get what Mr. Alexander was talking about. It really is a book you need to have some knowledge on orchestration before reading. After reading his 'Professional Orchestration Vol. 1' and Samuel Adler's 'Study of Orchestration' and generally reading more scores I dug into it again. Now I learn something every time I open the book.

Mr. Alexander goes through Ravel's suite very thoroughly also by including the stories Ravel wrote to. He covers possibly every aspect of the music and goes in to great detail of how Ravel handled the dynamic orchestration and his interpretation of the stories in his orchestration and compositional process.

The book is brilliantly laid out and in a good score format, which probably corresponds to legal size. Good quality paper and binding and the recording that comes with it is also of great quality to hear the notes you see.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful, informative 15 Feb 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a fantastic study of orchestration. I have used the techniques of analysis not just for myself, but also with my students. Peter's approach to analysis is straightforward, thorough, and enlightening.
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Amazon.com: 3.3 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars disappointing 11 Sep 2012
By Greg Michaels - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
"Ma Mere l'Oye" is a beautiful piece of music, so I was excited that someone had written a book exclusively devoted to digging into this piece. Though I also write classical music, I'm a jazz composer at heart who's always looking to delve a little deeper into the field of classical orchestration.

After going through the book, I was very disappointed with it. At least 50% of this book is a presentation of the original fairy tales before each score. Another 25% or so of the book are essays by Edgar Allan Poe. While enjoyed reading the tales and the essays, I didn't expected 75% of the book to be this! After a lot of introductory material, that leaves less than 25% for the scores and the analysis. This is extremely deceiving, and I'm sure all of this filler drives the book up to an undeserved price.

As you can imagine, the scores take up many pages, so the amount of analysis in this book is extremely slim. This is very disappointing, considering it was the whole reason I purchased the book. On top of all this, the limited analysis itself is uninspired, unscholarly, and rushed. The "keys" system is a waste of time, and musical jargon is mostly forgone to pander to a non-academic crowd. If you are studying Ravel, it's assumed you have most likely studied Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, and Brahms at the very least. I was looking for something that delved into the compositional process and his unique orchestrational decisions, not something that tells me a flute is playing in bars 3-5, which I can see from the free public domain score available from IMSLP.

On the upside, it's not super dry and boring like most people would consider classical orchestration texts to be, but I would rather have an informational book be informative than fun. If you're not a composer, brand-new to orchestration, and don't want to deal with the normal pre-requisite score study, then maybe this book will be fine for you. For everyone else, just get the free score, do it yourself, and save the money.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ravels secrets unraveled 21 Dec 2010
By bryla - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
In short 'How Ravel Orchestrated' is my best buy in books regarding orchestration.

I bought this as my first book on orchestration because as a music student I always heard that Ravel was the master of orchestration. At first I didn't get what Mr. Alexander was talking about. It really is a book you need to have some knowledge on orchestration before reading. After reading his 'Professional Orchestration Vol. 1' and Samuel Adler's 'Study of Orchestration' and generally reading more scores I dug into it again. Now I learn something every time I open the book.

Mr. Alexander goes through Ravel's suite very thoroughly also by including the stories Ravel wrote to. He covers possibly every aspect of the music and goes in to great detail of how Ravel handled the dynamic orchestration and his interpretation of the stories in his orchestration and compositional process.

The book is brilliantly laid out and in a good score format, which probably corresponds to legal size. Good quality paper and binding and the recording that comes with it is also of great quality to hear the notes you see.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-have for the student and professional alike... 24 Nov 2010
By M. Patti - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
As music students, we all had to study music theory and orchestration. The textbooks we had were dry, boring... and often irrelevant to the working musician. If you're a professional composer and orchestrator, you need the best tools, techniques and tricks that make you better, and faster at your job.

In his book, Peter Alexander makes studying Ravel relevant and interesting. He takes the reader into the genius of Ravel, unwrapping the tools, techniques and tricks that Ravel intuitively understood and applied to all his music, not just the Mother Goose Suite.

Mr. Alexander expertly analyses every aspect of Ravel's process, and makes it accessible to us mere mortals, so that we can then apply it to our own music.

If you want to be a great composer... don't just study Williams and Goldsmith... study the music that influenced THEM.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Guide to Understanding a Great Work 16 May 2014
By J. Swearingen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I found this book very helpful in understanding the Mother Goose Suite. There is a lot of analysis and thinking that is required of the reader, and perhaps this was why some people didn't rate it highly. Understanding the form structure and instrument combinations allowed me to apply some of these principles to my own compositions. I'd love to see this author deconstruct some popular film music in a similar manner.
1.0 out of 5 stars I have to agree 18 Dec 2013
By Dovith - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This Book it is not useful at all and what seems to be the only useful thing, is not included and you have to pay extra for a PDF version of the score. Greed Greed Geed. don't waste your money. By the way some of the Books the sell can be found at a cheaper much cheaper price on their original versions.
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