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* A Practical Guide to Solo Piano Music.

* A Practical Guide to Solo Piano Music, by Trevor Barnard and Elizabeth Gutierrez with foreword by Bruce Berr. Meredith Music Publications/G. W. Music, Inc. (4899 Lerch Creek Ct., Galesville, MD 20765), 2006. 157 pp. $19.95.

A Practical Guide to Solo Piano Music by Trevor Barnard and Elizabeth Gutierrez is the first in a series of piano reference books published by Meredith Music. This handy guide makes an excellent choice as a quick reference tool for the independent teacher and would also be ideal for the college teacher or performance major. This concise book is clearly laid out and is arranged alphabetically with an overview of the composer's output and the added bonus of publisher references and contact. Each piece of repertoire is assigned a level, starting with intermediate works (level 1), lower and upper level repertoire for college music majors (levels 2 and 3) and virtuosic works such as Islamey (levd 4). The supplemental index of composers listed chronologically and according to country of origin is an especially attractive feature.

A Practical Guide to Solo Piano Music is clearly the type of book teachers, students and performers would want to have at their finger tips when choosing new repertoire of even writing program notes (checking dates, spellings and so forth). While one could argue with a few of the difficulty levels assigned to pieces--Ravel's Sonatine and Copland's Passacaglia immediately come to mind--the sheer number of composers included, particularly contemporary composers from Australia, Canada and South America, make this an indispensable addition to the pianist's bookshelf. While the modern era is covered thoroughly, more consistency of baroque music would be appreciated, such as Handel, Scarlatti and Soler. The music of J. S. Bach is covered thoroughly; other composers have selected works listed, while some, Couperin and Rameau to name a few, are omitted entirely.

As a teacher and performer, I still find myself referring to Friskin and Freundlich's Music far the Piano, for it's brief, but insightful comments on many pieces, something that is missing from Barnard's new text. A Practical Guide to Solo Piano Music will surely become essential for teachers and students looking to branch out from traditional piano repertoire. This is an outstanding first book in this new series of reference guides. Robert Scott Beard, NCTM, Shepherdstown, West Virginia.
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Author:Beard, Robert Scott
Publication:American Music Teacher
Article Type:Book review
Date:Aug 1, 2006
Words:383
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