Getting Music ‐ Essential Music Concepts And Language

About The Authors of Getting Music

★ What The Reviews Say ★

“Dennis Benjamin and Vincent Giannini have addressed one of the most neglected musical subjects in academia in America: Popular Music. Popular music has the largest listening audience and generates more revenue than all other musical art forms. This book is an excellent text for music classes at all levels. It is intelligently compiled for the serious musician and can be understood by an amateur. I highly recommend it for the classroom or your personal library.”

Fred Irby, III —  Professor, Department of Music Howard University, Washington, DC —  Director, Howard University Jazz Ensemble (HUJE) —  NAfME: The National Association for Music Education, 2009 Lowell Mason Fellow —  Principal Trumpet, Kennedy Center Musical Theater Orchestra

Dennis Wells Benjamin, author or Getting Music, playing guitar
Dennis Wells Benjamin.

Photo © 2009
Wingfield Photography.

Dennis Wells Benjamin – Professional Musician: Performer, Composer, Educator.

Dennis is a full-time professional musician. He is a performer, composer and music educator with more than 40 years experience. Dennis graduated summa cum laude (with highest honors) from Howard University’s music program and also studied guitar for three years at the Berklee College of Music.

Dennis has played in a number of bands in different musical styles, and currently performs with his band Edge Theory. He especially loves composing and performing jazz and contemporary solo guitar music. While studying at Howard, Dennis was awarded the honor of performing in the renowned Howard University Jazz Ensemble.

Dennis Wells Benjamin's albums
Some of Dennis Wells Benjamin's albums.

Photo © 2014 Vincent Giannini.

Dennis teaches adult and committed teenage students in private lessons, occasionally accepting students with no musical experience. As he teaches guitar, Dennis often discovers his student lacks essential music understanding. Over years, he developed conversational techniques for introducing and explaining music concepts, particularly how the ideas are meaningful in the student’s genre of interest. Dennis’s successful approach is reflected in Getting Music.

In addition to his life-long passion for understanding, performing and composing music, Dennis enjoys bicycling and helping his lovely wife Emily understand why his latest guitar acquisition is a critical addition to his impressive stable of instruments.


Vincent Giannini, author of Getting Music
Vincent Giannini.

Photo © 2014 Vincent Giannini.

Vincent Giannini – Writer; Amateur Musician and Composer.

Vince is a graduate of Cornell University. He has more than 30 years experience writing to make complicated topics easy to understand for non-experts, and describes much of his work as English-to-English translation.

Vince has a well-earned reputation for helping readers grasp the essential elements of complex subjects through easy-to-understand writing. His explanations inform communities typically involving hundreds to tens of thousands of readers. He authors articles, book-length references, web site content and other forms of presentations that combine textual and graphical information in a complementary way. Two examples among hundreds are a series of how-it-works papers explaining different aspects of fuel-ethanol production from grain field to gas tank for an audience with no industry background, and a book-length introduction and guide to Earth-sensing satellites.

120 tempo, accolade, G clef, F clef, 4/4 time signature

Vince has had a life-long interest in music, but did not start to formally study it until a few years before collaborating with Dennis on Getting Music. As a relative newcomer to performing and composing music, he relates to the challenges faced by aspiring musicians, particularly adults taking up music. Vince recognized that learning music was a lot harder than it had to be. No well-thought-out, well-illustrated book was available to help newcomers focus on what they need to know to perform popular music styles. Vince organized (and re-organized!) what he learned about music as he learned it so he could understand it better himself. When he experienced the value of Dennis Benjamin's approach to teaching music theory to adults, the idea for Getting Music was born.