Hot Best Seller

Behind Bars: The Definitive Guide to Music Notation

Availability: Ready to download

Behind Bars is the indispensable reference book for composers, arrangers, teachers and students of composition, editors, and music processors. In the most thorough and painstakingly researched book to be published since the 1980s, specialist music editor Elaine Gould provides a comprehensive grounding in notational principles. Behind Bars covers everything from basic rules, Behind Bars is the indispensable reference book for composers, arrangers, teachers and students of composition, editors, and music processors. In the most thorough and painstakingly researched book to be published since the 1980s, specialist music editor Elaine Gould provides a comprehensive grounding in notational principles. Behind Bars covers everything from basic rules, conventions and themes to complex instrumental techniques, empowering the reader to prepare music with total clarity and precision. With the advent of computer technology, it has never been more important for musicians to have ready access to principles of best practice in this dynamic field, and this book will support the endeavors of software users and devotees of hand-copying alike. The author's understanding of, and passion for, her subject has resulted in a book that is not only practical but also compellingly readable. This seminal and all-encompassing guide encourages new standards of excellence and accuracy and, at a weighty 704 pages, it is supported by 1,500 music examples of published scores from Bach to Xenakis.


Compare

Behind Bars is the indispensable reference book for composers, arrangers, teachers and students of composition, editors, and music processors. In the most thorough and painstakingly researched book to be published since the 1980s, specialist music editor Elaine Gould provides a comprehensive grounding in notational principles. Behind Bars covers everything from basic rules, Behind Bars is the indispensable reference book for composers, arrangers, teachers and students of composition, editors, and music processors. In the most thorough and painstakingly researched book to be published since the 1980s, specialist music editor Elaine Gould provides a comprehensive grounding in notational principles. Behind Bars covers everything from basic rules, conventions and themes to complex instrumental techniques, empowering the reader to prepare music with total clarity and precision. With the advent of computer technology, it has never been more important for musicians to have ready access to principles of best practice in this dynamic field, and this book will support the endeavors of software users and devotees of hand-copying alike. The author's understanding of, and passion for, her subject has resulted in a book that is not only practical but also compellingly readable. This seminal and all-encompassing guide encourages new standards of excellence and accuracy and, at a weighty 704 pages, it is supported by 1,500 music examples of published scores from Bach to Xenakis.

30 review for Behind Bars: The Definitive Guide to Music Notation

  1. 4 out of 5

    Caitlin

    This book is absolutely superb. Anyone who works with creating music notation - be they composer or copyist - should have this book on their shelves, in my opinion, because it covers pretty much everything. I cannot recommend it highly enough. You can read the blog post I wrote about it here: http://caitlinrowley.com/journal/2011/03/07/awesomeness-behind-bars/ This book is absolutely superb. Anyone who works with creating music notation - be they composer or copyist - should have this book on their shelves, in my opinion, because it covers pretty much everything. I cannot recommend it highly enough. You can read the blog post I wrote about it here: http://caitlinrowley.com/journal/2011/03/07/awesomeness-behind-bars/

  2. 5 out of 5

    William Mego

    I'm not sure this is a book you "finish", but one you read over and over in bits and pieces. But what you want to know is why you'd ever want to pick it up, right? Let's be clear... You WILL want this book if you are: A Composer. A Copyist (if you don't know what this is, you aren't one). A Music Librarian (there are such things). Have any interest or cause in writing any music onto paper OR engraving software for any reason. You will NOT want this book if: You consider yourself a "hobbyist". You I'm not sure this is a book you "finish", but one you read over and over in bits and pieces. But what you want to know is why you'd ever want to pick it up, right? Let's be clear... You WILL want this book if you are: A Composer. A Copyist (if you don't know what this is, you aren't one). A Music Librarian (there are such things). Have any interest or cause in writing any music onto paper OR engraving software for any reason. You will NOT want this book if: You consider yourself a "hobbyist". You don't understand traditional western musical notation reasonably well (or are learning). You don't really see yourself writing down music, or if you do, are more about using sequencing software or non-western notations instead. Why all this? Because this book is the end all, be all, first stop and last resource for those who have the serious need for engraving rules and techniques. I'm a composer. This is like God coming back with an extra four thousand commandments with the apologetic handwritten note, "Sorry the last bunch didn't include all the ones to make your life way easier!"

  3. 5 out of 5

    Lynn

    Ms Gould's lengthy reference has rightly become the bible of music notation, the standard that most people in the industry (music engravers, publishers, and composers) regard as most comprehensive and most authentic. Like any style guide, it is not officially sanctioned to the point that it is beyond question, but, as with language style guides, it is taken seriously because the author has both personal experience dealing with the issues (widely regarded for her own work as an engraver) and beca Ms Gould's lengthy reference has rightly become the bible of music notation, the standard that most people in the industry (music engravers, publishers, and composers) regard as most comprehensive and most authentic. Like any style guide, it is not officially sanctioned to the point that it is beyond question, but, as with language style guides, it is taken seriously because the author has both personal experience dealing with the issues (widely regarded for her own work as an engraver) and because recommendations (not rules) are so well thought out and clearly argued with strong reasoning points. Any notator of music who knows better on any given issue is, of course, free to do what he or she pleases. By way of background: I have been close to classical music my entire life, was at one time a composer of complex music, and I spent twenty years of my working career doing mostly music engraving for a living. (The term "engraving" is a misnomer, as it's been a very long time since anyone has etched metal plates to set music, but the term has stuck in the industry even up to today, where almost all printed music is set electronically.) As a result, I considered myself somewhat of an "expert" on the subject of music notation when I first opened the cover of Ms. Gould's book. But I'd failed to recall that the problems of music engravers extend way beyond the principles of how to read music that everyone's old lady piano teacher taught him in early grade school years. Engravers must also deal with problems of layout (for page turns and other concerns), part extraction, cueing, coordination, and today an enormous array of special techniques that have arisen in the written music of composers during the last fifty years or so. Music notation is an art form, very much intrinsic to music composition, but also a discipline worthy of the highest respect on its own. It has been my experience that Behind Bars, even as a fairly new publication, has earned itself a place at the top of publications that are dedicated to explaining the art's current practice. The book is as close to complete as one could imagine and extremely well written and edited (in British English style -- I'll admit that I still have not been able to adjust to the use of stave rather than staff for a single instance of the horizontal lines that music is written on). Of supreme importance, the graphical presentation is superb, with examples immediately following (or sometimes preceding) examples, or in some cases well cross-referenced. There is, of course, an extensive index, a feature that is indispensable in a reference work of this type and magnitude. It took me a long time to get through this book, reading just a few pages at a time, but I did read every page. I'm sure not everything stuck in my brain, but at least now I know where to look for advice if and when I have questions about problems in music notation.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Acer Pseudoplantatus

    The subtitle "the definitive guide to music notation" is definitely earned. Except for ethnic/folk instruments and electric guitars, pretty much every instrument is covered. And not just that, everything covered is covered well; conventions are not only shown but explained, alternatives are often given, as well as advice on when to best use them. The print and paper-qualities are perfect, the notational style as well. The structure is logical and navigating the book is as convenient as can be. M The subtitle "the definitive guide to music notation" is definitely earned. Except for ethnic/folk instruments and electric guitars, pretty much every instrument is covered. And not just that, everything covered is covered well; conventions are not only shown but explained, alternatives are often given, as well as advice on when to best use them. The print and paper-qualities are perfect, the notational style as well. The structure is logical and navigating the book is as convenient as can be. More than worth every cent.

  5. 5 out of 5

    mirabilos

    🇩🇪 Absolute Pflichtlektüre für den Notensatz 🇬🇧 The must-have for musical engraving Das Buch kannte ich schon, jetzt kann ich es endlich auch, auf Papier, mein Eigen nennen. Es ist ein Standardwerk im Notensatz (Notenstechen, auch digital), das viel erklärt, mit vielen Details (leider nicht immer allen obskuren Details, oder nicht immer direkt an der Stelle, wo man die Information vermutet). I already knew this book, now I can call a copy of it, on paper, my own. It’s a standard textbook for musica 🇩🇪 Absolute Pflichtlektüre für den Notensatz 🇬🇧 The must-have for musical engraving Das Buch kannte ich schon, jetzt kann ich es endlich auch, auf Papier, mein Eigen nennen. Es ist ein Standardwerk im Notensatz (Notenstechen, auch digital), das viel erklärt, mit vielen Details (leider nicht immer allen obskuren Details, oder nicht immer direkt an der Stelle, wo man die Information vermutet). I already knew this book, now I can call a copy of it, on paper, my own. It’s a standard textbook for musical notation (musical engraving, including digital) which explains a lot in much detail. Sadly, not always with answers to obscure corner cases, or not always in the place you’d expect it. When can you call this a finished read? I’ve been using it as reference, not reading from beginning to end. Should I ever do that, I guess I’ll update the “Date finished”… for now, I’ve “read” it, as in, read a sufficient amount, both to help me and out of general curiosity. There’s very few details in which I do not agree with Gould’s advice. But then, Im free to call that my personal “house style”, and I’ve not acted outright against her advice, just priorising alternative/old/permittable/deprecated ways over recommended/modern ways, yet. Elaine Gould held the keynote in a conference on musical engraving I was lucky to attend just before Corona got wild in Europe. It was amazing to witness, and she very clearly knows what she’s doing. A take-away from that keynote is: do complain to publishers about bad engraving!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Joseph

    The person who recommended this book to me said that it is currently the mandatory style manual for anyone interested in music printing. I might add that it is pretty darn good reading for composers, music calligraphers, and anyone else wishing to be clear about the way they write music and make a good impression by it. To my grateful surprise, it is relatively recent (2011), so it should be up to date and remain so for some time. An additional benefit is the considerable attention Gould devotes The person who recommended this book to me said that it is currently the mandatory style manual for anyone interested in music printing. I might add that it is pretty darn good reading for composers, music calligraphers, and anyone else wishing to be clear about the way they write music and make a good impression by it. To my grateful surprise, it is relatively recent (2011), so it should be up to date and remain so for some time. An additional benefit is the considerable attention Gould devotes to notational styles for contemporary music, including aleatory music, electronic music, and so on. That being said, “Behind Bars” is painstaking reading, and I found myself repeating individual sentences over and over so as to internalize why what they said differed from what came before. And yet, I’ve already used the book as a reference tool at least a couple of times in my own composing and music copying. On those occasions, I had to notice that Gould’s precision and ability to pinpoint details on a case-by-case basis was most helpful. “Behind Bars,” then, is probably the sort of book that should be on every serious musician’s reference shelf, and likely also the type that one develops a personal fascination with and reads for amusement, in the same way that the Harvard Dictionary of Music once was.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Marcus Anderson

    Google has never let me down so often and with such regularity as when it comes to answering any queries on music notation. However this book has had something to say to every question I've ever thrown at it. It becomes my saviour that one time every year I'm in way over my head needing to notate a composition for orchestra. It is also fantastically indexed, almost always sending me straight to where I need to be. Google has never let me down so often and with such regularity as when it comes to answering any queries on music notation. However this book has had something to say to every question I've ever thrown at it. It becomes my saviour that one time every year I'm in way over my head needing to notate a composition for orchestra. It is also fantastically indexed, almost always sending me straight to where I need to be.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Noah

    A perfect Christmas present! (Thank you, Yaya!) This book has everything you need to know about music notation, music engraving, and idiomatic writing for instruments. I stayed up all night Christmas Day, reading it and liberally flagging pages with sticky notes. It has sent me down a rabbit hole, exploring extended techniques - like multiphonics on the clarinet! Questions like, “How do I notate that?” have been swirling in my head. This is an incredible resource!

  9. 4 out of 5

    C

    It's a reference book, so not sure if you can really finish. Excellent resource. Written concisely and easy to understand. While notating things like electronic music and extended techniques for flute or strings are included, it's as if jazz doesn't exist in this music universe. The word "jazz" doesn't have a single entry in the index. It's a reference book, so not sure if you can really finish. Excellent resource. Written concisely and easy to understand. While notating things like electronic music and extended techniques for flute or strings are included, it's as if jazz doesn't exist in this music universe. The word "jazz" doesn't have a single entry in the index.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    It doesn't have everything I need in it, but it's indispensable nonetheless. It doesn't have everything I need in it, but it's indispensable nonetheless.

  11. 4 out of 5

    E.J.

    A reference book every serious composer should own. There are a few things this book doesn't cover, but there's nothing comparable out there that's as thorough. A reference book every serious composer should own. There are a few things this book doesn't cover, but there's nothing comparable out there that's as thorough.

  12. 5 out of 5

    John Elliott

    THE music manuscriping reference work.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Gijs van der Heijden

    This is my bible.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Thomas Bryla

    Behind Bars is the indispensable reference book for composers, arrangers, teachers and students of composition, editors, and music processors. In the most thorough and painstakingly researched book to be published since the 1980s, specialist music editor Elaine Gould provides a comprehensive grounding in notational principles. Behind Bars covers everything from basic rules, conventions and themes to complex instrumental techniques, empowering the reader to prepare music with total clarity and pr Behind Bars is the indispensable reference book for composers, arrangers, teachers and students of composition, editors, and music processors. In the most thorough and painstakingly researched book to be published since the 1980s, specialist music editor Elaine Gould provides a comprehensive grounding in notational principles. Behind Bars covers everything from basic rules, conventions and themes to complex instrumental techniques, empowering the reader to prepare music with total clarity and precision. With the advent of computer technology, it has never been more important for musicians to have ready access to principles of best practice in this dynamic field, and this book will support the endeavours of software users and devotees of hand-copying alike. The author's understanding of, and passion for, her subject has resulted in a book that is not only practical but also compellingly readable. This seminal and all-encompassing guide encourages new standards of excellence and accuracy and, at a weighty 704 pages, it is supported by 1,500 music examples of published scores from Bach to Xenakis. This is a hardback book, with dust jacket. Contents: Section I - General Conventions: Ground Rules; Chords Dotted notes Ties; Accidentals and Key Signatures; Dynamics and Articulation; Grace Notes, Arpeggiated Chords, Trills, Glissandos and Vibrato; Metre; Tuplets; Repeat Signs; Section II - Idiomatic Notation: Woodwind and Brass; Percussion; Keyboard; Harp; Classical Guitar; Strings; Vocal Music; Section III - Layout and Presentation: Preparing Materials; Score Layout; Part Preparation; Electroacoustic Music; Freedom and Choice.

  15. 5 out of 5

    David

    My go-to book for all notation questions. The Strunk and White of music engraving.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Chelsea Loew

  17. 5 out of 5

    Harkins Loh

  18. 4 out of 5

    Chris

  19. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

  20. 5 out of 5

    Bob Hayden-Gilbert

  21. 4 out of 5

    Dan

  22. 4 out of 5

    David Ross

  23. 4 out of 5

    Tanner Pfeiffer

  24. 4 out of 5

    Cameron

  25. 4 out of 5

    Logan Cain

  26. 5 out of 5

    Aldrin Jason

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jason Call

  28. 5 out of 5

    Dusty

  29. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn

  30. 4 out of 5

    Dave Roche

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...