PO Box 190, Hillsdale, NY 12529
9781576471371, $42.00, www.pendragonpress.com, 1-518-325-6100
Brass musical instruments are a fundamental aspect of both classical and popular music traditions. With the introduction of metal valves, the capabilities of brass instruments advanced western music even further. The seventh volume in Pendragon's acclaimed 'Bucina, the Historic Brass Society Series', and ably translated from German into English by Steven Plank, "Valved Brass: The History Of An Vention" by Christian Ahrens is an informed and informative descriptive history beginning with the earliest recorded use of valved brass instruments in popular, classical, and military music. Emphasizing social and aesthetic issues in addition to the mechanical aspects of valved brass evolution, Ahrens draws upon an impressive array of historical sources that reflect the highest standards of academic research and reference materials. Of special note are the chapters devoted to 'Valved Instruments in Art Music' (which include the horn, the trumpet, and the bass instruments), 'Economic Aspects of the use of Valved Instruments', and Improvements to Other Instruments and their Evaluation'. Concluding with a concise Summery, "Valved Brass" is enhanced with the inclusion of an extensive bibliography and a comprehensive index. A deftly written, superbly organized, seminal work of impeccable research, "Valved Brass" is especially recommended for academic library Music History reference collections and supplemental reading lists.