Music

Before Mozart 249 x 300 MusicCline-Ransome, Lesa Before There Was Mozart: The Story of Joseph Boulogne, Chevalier de Saint-George
Gr. K–3   40 pp. Random/Schwartz & Wade 2011

Illustrated by James E. Ransome. Cline-Ransome gives a lively account of the great “mulatto” violinist. The text describes both what a man of his parentage could and couldn’t do in eighteenth-century France and also his accomplishments. Ransome’s lustrous mixed-media paintings illumine Boulogne’s tropical Guadeloupe birthplace and distinguished Parisian venues with equal panache; he gives his subject an appealing intensity and intelligence that ripen into quiet authority.
Subjects: Individual Biographies; Music—Classical music; Mixed-race people; Musicians; Composers; Blacks; Saint-Georges, Joseph Boulogne, Chevalier de; Musical instruments—Violin; France

Flute 234 x 300 MusicLandau, Elaine Is the Flute for You?
Gr. 4–6   40 pp. Lerner 2010
Landau, Elaine Is the Guitar for You?
Gr. 4–6   40 pp. Lerner 2010
Landau, Elaine Is the Trumpet for You?
Gr. 4–6   40 pp. Lerner 2010
Landau, Elaine Is the Violin for You?
Gr. 4–6   40 pp. Lerner 2010

Ready to Make Music series. Budding musicians contemplating lessons may find these thorough introductions useful in helping to choose which instrument to study. Topics include styles of music and famous virtuosos. In addition, diligent practice is encouraged and useful quizzes to determine if the instrument is “right for you” are appended. Many photos of smiling children and professional players are included. Reading list, websites. Bib., glos., ind.
Subjects: Music; Musical instruments—Violin; Musical instruments—Trumpet; Musical instruments—Guitar; Musical instruments—Flute

Bob Dylan 202 x 300 MusicManzella, Teresa Ryan How to Analyze the Music of Bob Dylan
High school   112 pp. ABDO 2011

Essential Critiques series. From a clear definition of critical theory and its purpose to practical applications, this title presents a well-written introduction to the analysis of music and lyrics. The biographical sketch, followed by a comprehensive comparison and analysis of Dylan’s protest and personal songs, provides a worthy model for thinking critically and developing and defending a thesis. A “You Critique It” assignment provides additional guidance. Reading list, timeline, websites. Bib., glos., ind.
Subjects: Music; Dylan, Bob; Music—Folk music; Musicians

Music Was IT 269 x 300 MusicRubin, Susan Goldman Music Was IT: Young Leonard Bernstein
Gr. 4–6   178 pp. Charlesbridge 2011

Leonard Bernstein, through a lot of perseverance and a little luck, made his conducting debut at Carnegie Hall with the New York Philharmonic at age twenty-five. Rubin’s biography, focusing on the youth and early adulthood of its subject, succeeds with her engaging style and infectious passion. Numerous black-and-white photographs appear throughout. Biographical sketches and a discography are appended. Timeline. Bib., ind.
Subjects: Individual Biographies; Music—Classical music; Bernstein, Leonard; Musicians; Conductors (Music); Composers; Jews

Latin Music 300 x 300 MusicDoeden, Matt American Latin Music: Rumba Sounds, Bossa Nova, and the Salsa Sound
Middle school, High school   64 pp. Twenty-First Century 2012
Farseth, Erik American Rock: Guitar Heroes, Punks, and Metalheads
Middle school, High school   64 pp. Twenty-First Century 2012
Kaplan, Arie American Pop: Hit Makers, Superstars, and Dance Revolutionaries
Middle school, High school   64 pp. Twenty-First Century 2012
Mendelson, Aaron American R&B: Gospel Grooves, Funky Drummers, and Soul Power
Middle school, High school   64 pp. Twenty-First Century 2012
Sachs, Lloyd American Country: Bluegrass, Honky-Tonk, and Crossover Sounds
Middle school, High school   64 pp. Twenty-First Century 2012
Sacks, Nathan American HipHop: Rappers, DJs, and Hard Beats
Middle school, High school   64 pp. Twenty-First Century 2012

American Music Milestones series. These well-researched, comprehensive chronologies of modern American musical genres are presented on jazzy magazine-style layouts with eye-catching vintage and contemporary photos. Descriptions of specific transformative moments and key musicians are smoothly worked into the engagingly written narratives. Sections highlighting periods and subgenres include “must download playlists”; longer lists of recommended albums and songs are appended. Reading list, timeline, websites. Bib., glos., ind.
Subjects: Music—Rap music; Music—Hip-hop; Music—Rhythm and blues; Music—Soul music; Music—Country music; Bands; Music—Dance music; Musicians; Singers; Music—Latin music; Music—Pop music; Music—Rock music; Music—Heavy metal

From the January 2013 issue of Nonfiction Notes from the Horn Book.

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