Charles Valentin Alkan

His Life and His Music

Charles Valentin Alkan

A 'conservative radical' is William Alexander Eddie's description of the French virtuoso composer-pianist Charles Valentin Alkan (1813-1888). Judaic culture, the French baroque and German classicism were the main influences on Alkan's musical style, with more radical musical tendencies found in many of the Esquisses op 63. This comprehensive survey takes as its focus a stylistic analysis of Alkan's compositions from the apprentice works to the later 'massed style' etudes; the latter are of considerable length and pianistic difficulty. There is also consideration of Alkan's achievements as pianist and teacher, and the sections on performance practice in Alkan will be of interest to pianists today. A full investigation of Alkan's reception history is also included and useful appendices provide a guide to further archival research. A list of works and basic discography complete this new study of an important French composer.

Modal Etudes

(TAB Free Edition)

Modal Etudes

(Note this has standard notation only. There is a version with standard notation and TAB available, also)From the Foreword: Guitarists around the world are faced with a common set of obstacles when learning their instrument. When distilled, the essence of these obstacles becomes knowledge of technique vs musical knowledge. While both are important, the balance of the two disciplines is the key to being able to freely express one's musical ideas and operate at their creative peak. Whether composing or improvising, it is necessary to cultivate a broad musical vocabulary with depth and variety. In theory, once accomplished, one can use their technical ability to decorate the spaces in time with all of the colors of their musical knowledge.Noel Johnston, a brilliant guitarist in his own right and the author of this book you are now reading, was clever enough to identify and organize some of the most useful strategies for learning the "colors" of the modes. He has pulled back the curtain on the often confusing topic of modes by systematically exposing their personalities with fresh sounding etude exercises and a game of rolling the "modal dice." He devised a sportive way to explore their sounds during practice while intuitively ingraining them into your playing and writing. When you roll the modal dice you enter a world not dissimilar to muscle confusion in physical training. To make gains in physical exercise one must vary their training methods in a way that promotes new experience for each muscle group. By rolling the modal dice you also train yourself to adapt to a new creative environment which leads to being better prepared in any improvisational situation. The combined elements of this modal practice approach also improves one's ear training and pitch recognition.Noel Johnston's modal dice method reveals all guitarists' strengths and weaknesses while simultaneously providing fun ways to improve their overall musicality. This is by no means an insipid "Life Hack" guitar book nor is it a judgmental "Theory Wizard" treatise. This is a comprehensive way to enhance your understanding and appreciation of the modes and what they offer you as a guitarist/musician. If you have ever found yourself saying, "I wish there was a way that I could identify and understand why I like the sounds I hear in music" then this book is for you. Use it to your advantage and make the best music you can make. Thank Noel when you see him!(Dweezil Zappa - 2019

The Orchestral Mallet Player

Techniques and Etudes for Developing the Art of Keyboard Percussion

The Orchestral Mallet Player

Techniques and 46 original etudes for developing the art of keyboard percussion. A companion book to The Orchestral Snare Drummer and The Orchestral Timpanist.