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ARRANGING MUSIC FOR THE REAL WORLD
by Vince Corozine
Published by Mel Bay Publications, Inc.
Informative and Useful
Vince Corozine's new "Arranging Music for the Real World" is the answer to a budding arranger's and composer's prayer for a book that is readily understandable, informative and useful. Other adjectives might be: logical, well-paced and interesting. While the principle emphasis is on so-called "commercial music" (not used in the pejorative sense in this instance!) There is very valuable material here. There is also much to be learned from the section on basic composition. This is not presented in a dry textbook manner, but as the living "flesh and blood" of real music, and it is rich with excellent examples, written out in clearly readable notation, and it can be heard on the excellent CD that accompanies the book. It begins with basics but leads the student logically into materials of considerable sophistication. The distribution between material on "pop" styles and "classical" styles is well-balanced and equally insightful. Especially helpful are perceptive comments relating to musical aesthetics. Vince's thoroughness in practical instruction does not deprive encouragement of the student's realizing the importance of subtle and meaningful expression which music must have to communicate effectively. Bravo!
A Must for the Arranger's Library
Where was this masterful book "Arranging Music for the Real World" when I needed it? As a young "road" musician, early in the stages of arranging, I used to ask reputable arrangers how they had become so knowledgeable and learned to write so well. Unequivocally they all gave the same answer, "I studied the analyzed scores of the "Masters." The author of this excellent book, Vince Corozine, uses this unique concept (the basic principles of arranging and orchestration), as the basis of his book, showing how composers of the past used them and how they effectively may be used today to achieve a fresh contemporary sound. Mr. Corozine has fulfilled his goal admirably, with the inclusion of music of all genres: jazz, symphonic, pop, choral, Broadway, film, and television scores. Not only does he display samples of his own compositions and the "Masters," he demonstrates his works beautifully on a CD that comes with the book. If you feel your arrangements and compositions lack the excitement, tonal color and sophistication that you so desire, then this book is your answer. As a professional musician and music educator, I highly recommend "Arranging Music for the Real World."
A Wealth of Information
I have to admit to some personal bias in positing this review. A few years ago, I commuted from my home in Hampton, Virginia, down to North Carolina to take some composition lessons with Vince Corozine. Vince showed me some preliminary chapters of a book he was working on and asked me to read and make some comments on what he had done. His goal was to discuss contemporary arranging techniques and compare those techniques with the compositional style of the great composers of the western European tradition. I have just finished reading the completed book for the first time and I think that Vince fulfilled his goal admirably. In addition to being a master composer/arranger and an inspiring teacher, Vince is also a warm and generous person. These traits are in full bloom in this book. As well as providing a wealth of information about arranging and composition, the tone of the book reflects Vince's joy of music making and his willingness to share his encyclopedic knowledge of the subject. I especially liked Chapter 6, A Brief Historical Survey of Orchestration, where Vince compares orchestration styles from the Baroque to the Impressionistic periods. Vince has included numerous examples from his own arrangements and original compositions, which reinforces the fact that this is no mere academic exercise. There are abundant musical examples in the text and accompanying CD, which includes selections, most or all, arranged or composed by Vince. This book is sure to be a welcome addition to the literature, as both a manual of instruction and as a reference work in itself-a great contribution from one of America's outstanding composer/arrangers.
Thorough/Easy to Understand
I only recently discovered your book, Arranging Music for the Real World. As a young college student, I often found the subjects of orchestration and arranging a bit intimidating. Most of what I learned was through painful trial and error. Now, I find that most of the quesions that I had back then are answered in your book. I have a few books on the subject and I must say that it is not often that one find a text that is both thorough and easy to understand. I only wish that I had found it sooner.
Bridges the Gap!
In writing "Arranging Music for the Real World," Mr. Corozine succeeded in bridging the gap between the classical and the contemporary styles. Through examples, he shows how the techniques used by the great composers can be applied successfully in modern writing. This is a "one stop" manual that should be an essential tool in the library of every arranger and serious music student, as well as every serious performer. The performer always needs to understand the composition that he/she is performing. Through the analysis of different styles and the many examples contained in this book, one has a clear understanding of the musical line, which will invariably improve the performance. The fact that many examples can be heard instantly on the accompanying CD, adds another dimension, thereby increasing one's sense of reality. All of the tracks on the CD are expertly and beautifully played by the best of professional musicians.
Corozine's text has been sorely needed by studying arrangers for quite some time; classical focused books have addressed instrument ranges and effects applicable to those specific instruments through orchestral literature, and commercial ones give little information on practical uses of specific techniques. Corozine's text not only covers these two areas, but also is careful to contrast different treatments of arranging the same music. the accompanying compact disc is very helpful in illustrating Corozine's points. In all, a book I wish I has while studying for my own master's degree in arranging in the mid 1990's. Well done!