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Wrong Sex, Wrong Instrument

“Wrong Sex, Wrong Instrument” - Maggie Cotton’s autobiographical work

Maggie Cotton’s autobiography is a very interesting addition to a number of autobiographies of percussion players that have been published over the last few years. The late James Blades wrote two autobiographies and, of course, Evelyn Glennie wrote one fairly early in her career, so Maggie’s is probably the latest in that tradition. It’s a very good read and her ability to provide an interesting, stimulating narrative throughout is one that I greatly admire.

Her story, in some respects, is exceptional and in others, reflects very much the normal state of play for a person growing up within the music industry at the time when she was doing that (dates?). It’s a fantastic book because, over the years, she has met many of the great characters whose names have become synonymous with British music making. She talks about Sir Adrian Bolt and other conductors of that generation and many of the composers whose works were played by the CBSO (City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra) during her tenure.

I found this a very enjoyable read and would heartily recommend it, particularly to anyone with an interest in the history of the English music business but, more particularly, to percussion players because, although Maggie wasn’t the first female player to have a successful career in the British music scene, I certainly think she is the first one to have written about it and written about it in a very enjoyable and stimulating way, so I can’t help but recommend this book to anybody with a strong interest in music.

I must say I would give it five stars out of five as a really first rate read.

Publisher: Apex Publishing Ltd, Essex (October 2007)
ISBN NO: 10-1904444717/13-978-190444718
Star Rating: *****


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