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on 25 January 2006
A highly accomplished musician, Mr Adey has produced an enormously helpful compendium for musicians of every level. Any serious student of music (especially budding conductors) will find this book a very informative resource. I fail to see how anyone could see otherwise. It might not make bed time reading, but as a reference I find it just as useful as Norman Del Mar's Anatomy of the Orchestra. It clearly states the knowledge that Adey has accumulated in his long career as a conductor and orchestral trainer and provides valuable advice and information for those trying to follow in his footsteps. The book certainly isn't boring!
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on 9 January 2007
There is a certain type of dim-wit who haunts amazon's review pages and posts absurd comments like the one above. Apparently unable to differentiate between practical experience, the record of that experience, and information which can be passed via a book, this person's theme is always this: a book is no substitute for the experience it describes. Doh! As if anyone of any intelligence believed such a silly idea. They then post this opinion with smug self-congratulation, denigrating an author's work, on the basis that you can't learn anything from a book. Now why didn't someone tell that to Mr Caxton when he invented the printing press - think of all the saved paper - and what about those generations of medical students who stupidly spent hours poring over Gray's Anatomy! [Irony alert] These people do this complete with ridiculous English mistakes such as 'fatal floor' (sic) - the word is 'flaw', actually. But then, clearly one can't learn spelling or vocabulary from a mere book ...

Christopher Adey's book is a mature, detailed and thoughtful discussion of orchestral music-making. I highly recommend it, not only to conductors and players but also composers who wish to write orchestral music. It is full of insights and I don't know of another volume like it.
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on 11 February 2010
I was recommended this book as being a comprehensive and practical guide for conductors, performers and composers. In the two or three weeks since I received it I have found that to be true. It's pretty straightforward to access what you want and the style of writing makes for easy comprehension. I can recommend this book in exactly the way it was recommended to me. And my copy, though already used, is in excellent condition.
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on 25 March 2002
This book is an excruciating read with Dickensian sentence structure and an overbearingly patronising manner. Its fatal floor is the "ex post facto rationalisation" of orchestral playing. If you think that reading a book about riding a bicycle will help you learn to ride though, this is the type of book for you.
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