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Photo © 2013 Dennis Wells Benjamin.
FAQs about the book’s content.
FAQ about the printed book.
How much knowledge of music do I already need for Getting Music to be useful to me?
None. Getting Music explains music concepts and language from scratch.
Because Getting Music is both easy to understand and comprehensive, it’s useful to people with different levels of musical experience from complete beginners to advanced amateurs and semi-pro musicians who haven’t completed studying music formally.
Getting Music is very readable and easy to follow without being a musician at all. So, it’s also the perfect book for explaining in an uncomplicated way how this stuff called music works to people who just want to get music without performing music.
Photo © 2012 Vincent Giannini.
I am interested in playing a popular style that is not called out in the title Getting Music: The Basics For Rock, Jazz, R&B, Hip Hop & Country. Is this the right book for me?
Yes. Getting Music covers music concepts and language used by musicians who perform any of the many forms of "popular" music. It is not limited to rock, jazz, rhythm & blues, hip hop and country.
We wanted to give a concise, meaningful title to the book. So, we summarized the gigantic category of popular music by calling out a few main groups. There are many other styles in popular music, though one way of looking at it is to lump them into the main groups we chose. That’s not precise, but we did it for simplicity. We are not trying to exclude other styles such as bluegrass, blues, pop, folk...Name your favorite popular style. Our goal was not to create and organize a list of all forms of popular music. The goal is to help aspiring musicians understand the basics for the many styles of music that lots and lots of people around the world want to perform and listen to.
What do you mean when you say Getting Music covers the essentials for popular music? Are those different than for classical music?
Getting Music focuses on the concepts and language used in performing modern music styles. Plenty of other books are out there if you want to be a classical musician. But Getting Music is unique since it purposefully does not cover the aspects of music theory specific to classical, orchestral and other types of music (such as ceremonial music) that are very rarely, if ever, used in contemporary music styles. For instance, classical music uses lots of terms from the Italian language for tempo and for softness/loudness that just aren’t used in popular music forms. People learning music want to play music as soon as they can, and most people are interested in playing popular styles. For people who want to start their musical experience by focusing on popular music, there's little value in spending time learning terms they won't need. So, Getting Music does not go into them. Getting Music does not interrupt the reader with information that is not relevant to performing what people commonly refer to as "popular music" styles.
Plus, Getting Music explains a wide range of music concepts and performance phrases that come from the rock, jazz and other popular music cultures and that are not found at all in classical music contexts—examples are riff, hook and tag. It describes music terms in the words used by musicians who perform modern music forms. Often, the words are very different from how ideas are expressed in classical music settings. For example, a particular type of chord is called a ‘min7(♭5)’ [pronounced ‘minor seven flat five’] in popular music, but the same chord is described as a ‘half-diminished seventh’ in classical music.
On the other hand, the fundamental music theory covered in Getting Music is exactly the same for classical, orchestral and other kinds of music. We haven’t watered down the information in Getting Music; we’ve focused it. It's easy to find books to round out your knowledge of classical music theory if you later want to take your music in that direction. Up to now, the hard thing has been finding a book focused on popular music. Getting Music is that book!
Is Getting Music available as a printed book or an electronic book?
Getting Music is an 8-½ x 11 inch (216 x 279mm) paperback volume of 152 pages (ISBN 978-0-9913353-0-5). The book is offset printed in color on heavyweight paper with a coated cover for durability.
Getting Music presents an extensive set of large, informative color illustrations. Current widely used e-book standards do not support these sorts of graphics well, and typical e-book reading devices can not display the graphics adequately. The .pdf format is a potential electronic-book solution under consideration. Use the ‘Contact Us About Getting Music’ page to let us know if you are interested in seeing the book in electronic form.