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Alfred's Music Tech Series: Composing Music With Notation, Book 1; Sequencing and Music Production, Book 1.

* Alfred's Music Tech Series: Composing Music With Notation, Book 1; Sequencing and Music Production, Book 1, by Stefani Langol, Floyd Richmond, Tom Rudolph and Lee Whitmore. Alfred Publishing, (; (800) 292-6122), 2007. 76pp. and 56pp. respectively. $16.95 each.


I have used music software for many years. Therefore, I was pleased to review two of a series of workbooks for music students and teachers that delve into the areas of music notation and music production.

Both workbook series include separate teacher's editions, and each student version comes with CD with activities compatible with popular software (music notation: Finale, Sibelius and Smart Music and music production: Apple's Logic Express and Cakewalk's SONAR). The workbooks are not usabie without these programs, and teachers must be knowledgeable of the programs and the specific versions available to them, due to frequent changes that are made in the software.

Composing Music with Notation, Book 1, is an excellent teaching tool for the classroom (both preparatory grades 4-12 and collegiate-level elementary and secondary methods courses). However, it probably is not as useful in the private, one-on-one setting (as suggested by the authors). I say this because many teachers instruct directly from the software and tailor instruction to the individual student's needs.

The approach of the workbook is thorough and straight-forward, taking students step-by-step through the process of using notation software. Activities open in either Finale or Sibelius, and demonstration versions of both programs, if you do not own them, are available from websites noted in the workbook. In addition, a MIDI format is available to open in other notation programs. The Unit Extensions and Supplemental Activities add depth to the material. The Appendix presents information to students who may enter a music technology course without music knowledge or experience.

I have not been a user of music production software, but I found the second workbook, Sequencing and Music Production, Book 1, to be equally thorough and straight-forward. It is an excellent text/workbook for the music technology class, the private teacher and for the studio musician interested in learning music production techniques. The activities work in the same way as the previous workbook. However, only full versions of music production software were referenced with screenshots.

I was so impressed with this workbook series that it has piqued my interest in purchasing software and beginning my personal study in music production. I will be sure to purchase the teacher's edition as well as the student workbook to assist me in my learning venture. Reviewed by Regina Carnazzo, Omaha, Nebraska

* The items marked with this symbol can be ordered via the MTNA website through our affiliation with Go to and choose Member Services from the Membership option in the main menu bar for more information.

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Author:Carnazzo, Regina
Publication:American Music Teacher
Article Type:Book review
Date:Jun 1, 2008
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