on 2 September 2015
This book is concise, simply written and informative, and gives inherently practical advice. Having studied music at a conservatory, and having had many occasions to search through the library there for books on various topics, I have discovered fairly few which are actually *good*. This one is one of the good ones.
As an aside for anybody who is looking for more books: The books by Schônberg are very good. (Even if you are one of those people who does not like his music) And for music history, start with 'Music in the western world: a history in documents' by Richard Taruskin and also try get hold of some of the actual sources which he quotes from. As a general rule, the ones that quote or are written by famous composers and performers are the best since they actually know what they were talking about! In my view, many of the other books on music are written by people who more or less failed at the practical or artistic sides, and contain very little practical advice or comments of any artistic merit. They tend to be overly-convoluted and some are very long-winded and boring.
Getting back to this little book by Reginald Smith Brindle, it's concise and well structured enough to be used as a reference book, and he makes everything sound straightforward and easy. He doesn't exhaust each facet of composition that he covers but instead tells you just the right bits of information - plenty enough to get you started and to inspire you to try it out for yourself. I especially liked the chapter on free atonality. This is a subject which very few books on composition cover because of course it has no rules. This book will get you thinking in the right way to give it a go...
I only wish that he was still alive to write an updated edition of the book which covers some of the newer techniques!