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Book Shelf Reviews

Music While You Work

‘Music While You Work – An Era in Broadcasting’ by Brian Reynolds

The next book I would like to recommend is one that I found particularly interesting because it’s a book written about an era of work in the British Music Industry which I saw a little of in the earliest beginnings of my own career.

The book is called ‘Music While You Work – An Era in Broadcasting’ and is by Brian Reynolds. It documents the history of the long-running BBC radio programme ‘Music While You Work’.

Agogo Bells to Xylophone

“Agogo Bells to Xylophone” - Maggie Cotton’s classroom tuition book

Maggie Cotton’s book is a very welcome addition to the literature available for the classroom music teacher.

It is particularly good in that it is written from the standpoint of a professional percussionist, rather than that of somebody working in musical education.

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.

The Percussion Work Book

The Percussion Work Book by Maggie Cotton

Maggie Cotton’s work, The Percussion Work Book isn’t a prose work in the sense of it having a narrative.

It is a book which is a guide book available for players, orchestra managers, orchestral porters particularly, conductors and arrangers. In fact, anybody involved in the administrative side of working with percussion sections in orchestras.

The Logic of It All

‘The Logic of It All’ by Anthony J Sironi and Joe Sinai

This book is currently published by Music Publications, but it is worth mentioning that years ago it was published under Anthony Sironi’s own publishing company. It has been re-edited and re-issued and now distributed by Howell Leonard so it is readily available in the UK.

‘The Logic of It All’ is, I think, a book which every percussion player should have on their bookshelf. It is a breakdown of all of the different aspects of playing in symphony orchestras, working out the intentions of composers and what they want of percussion instruments which they score for in their works.

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