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The Great Arthur Rubinstein Revisited

For decades people who were fortunate enough to see and hear esteemed pianist Artur Rubinstein (1887-1982) perform left concert halls spellbound. Biographer and music historian Sachs first heard Rubinstein play in 1959, but it was not until 1986 that he seriously considered writing a biography of Rubinstein. Read more >>

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Author Topic: Comprehensive book on notation, theory, etc. for amateurs?  (Read 1153 times)
tom_
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« on: November 18, 2014, 12:25:26 AM »

Hi everyone, I apologize in advance as this is usually the type of thing that is easy to find, but I haven't been able to, so maybe I'm just missing something.
I am looking for some sort of definitive book/textbook or series on music notation and theory suitable for a beginner, I would prefer something I can read through and reference rather than the more common workbook style.
Does anyone have some recommendations?
Thanks!!

More info:
I've studied piano for several years as a teenager and I'm getting back into it now (20). I never really practiced much and I also never did any theory (played scales, broken chords, etc. but no explanation behind them). I really feel lacking in this area, sometimes I even encounter things in music notation that I realize I don't know about. (ie. I'm pretty sure a trill is always supposed to be a semitone above the written note, but I have no clue what the formal definition is or what the different symbols mean. Is an arpeggiated chord (with the squiggly line) supposed to be held after it's played - or should the roll be stretched out to the appropriate time? etc.) Additionally I am interested in both mathematics and composition so I feel that some deeper music theory (chord progressions, explanation of key signatures, etc.) would be something I could really appreciate.

If there are any good books on basic piano technique, composition, etc. I would like to hear your recommendations as well!
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chopinlover01
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« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2014, 12:38:46 AM »

Music theory for Dummies. Great read, and very cheap. That book also has a references section in it where it gives you other books to read. I got mine around $10 USD new, and have never regretted it.
Also, Music Composition for dummies is worth at least a rent, if not a buy from your local bookstore.
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theholygideons
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« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2014, 02:33:28 AM »

Theory of harmony by Arnold schoenberg. Who cares about the squiggly stuff, you can figure that out from recordings.
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