Below are links to products that A Good Reed Review recommends (or finds interesting or useful) in music, theatre, or writing pursuits.
- Music Theory for Dummies, by Michael Pilhofer, MM, and Holly Day. Like most of the “Dummies” series, this isn’t a book to teach experts. It is a handy reference though, and it can provide the uninitiated with a broad base on which to build an appreciation for, and an understanding of, music theory in all its glory.
- Piano for Dummies, by Hal Leonard Corp and Adam Perlmutter. This is the 3rd edition to the book started by Blake Neely, and it provides a very useful introduction to those looking to start playing the piano. Seasoned musicians will be able to skip the fundamentals of reading music provided in the first sections of this book, but it will still provide some useful piano fundamentals from which all players could benefit. For anybody wanting to learn to play music on any instrument (including voice), the piano should really be the place to start.
- What to Listen for in Music, by Aaron Copland. This book is an easy and fascinating read written by one of the great American composers. We all appreciate music in some fashion innately, whether one is a musician or not, but this book makes the reader more aware of some of the subtleties to make that appreciation grow.
- Reeds – As a pit reed player, you can’t have too many reeds. Ande prefers the Vandoren family of reeds (particularly V12 reeds for clarinet and Java for saxophone). Those, and many others, are available at Woodwind & Brasswind.
- Music Stands – an essential item for all musicians:
- Show References: For A Good Reed Review readers who want to delve into the background of the shows referenced on this site, this is a good place to start. This page contains links to many of the show scripts (or books that inspired them), cast recordings, and vocal scores that A Good Reed Review uses to research shows in preparing for reviews or promotions.
- Musical Comedy in America: From The Black Crook to South Pacific, From The King & I to Sweeney Todd, by Cecil A. Smith and Glenn Litton. This book provides an interesting look at the evolution of musical theater as it evolved as a new art from in America covering the time from 1864 into the 1970s.
- Finishing the Hat: Collected Lyrics (1954-1981) with Attendant Comments, Principles, Heresies, Grudges, Whines and Anecdotes, by Stephen Sondheim. In this book, Stephen Sondheim covers his early years. He shares both his triumphs and his tragedies, in a very compelling running commentary. In addition to the final lyrics, he includes the evolution of some as he perfected the story within.
- Look, I Made a Hat: Collected Lyrics (1981-2011) with Attendant Comments, Amplifications, Dogmas, Harangues, Digressions, Anecdotes and Miscellany, by Stephen Sondheim. This book picks up where Finishing the Hat left off continuing his commentary in his inimitable style.
- On Writing Well, 30th Anniversary Edition: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction, by William Zinsser. Zinsser’s book is often the first writing reference college students use, and for good reason. This is a must-have reference for any nonfiction writer.
- Self-Editing for Fiction Writers, Second Edition: How to Edit Yourself Into Print, by Renni Browne and Dave King. Editing is often the single biggest hurdle most writers face. While it’s certainly optimal to have an experienced editor review one’s work prior to publication, it’s not always possible. In defense, a writer has to develop skills to be able to self-edit when necessary. This book provides some nice insights that are of use to all writers in general, but they will resonate with fiction writers in particular.