Title: The Story of the Incredible Orchestra
Author: Bruce Koscielniak
Reading Level: Child – Young Adult
Audience: Music Students, Families
I have been looking for a good children’s resource about the orchestra, but after hunting around for a couple of years, the stuff I was coming up with just was’t that impressive. Shallow. Goofy. Boring.
Then a friend recommended this title, and well… search over.
The content of The Incrdible Story of the Orchestra focuses in two main topics:
- The origin of the modern orchestra and its development.
- The history of each instrument in the modern orchestra.
At the beginning of the book, the author takes us all the way back to the Middle Ages – an era before the symphony existed – to teach us about the medieval instruments and ensembles that set the stage for the symphony as we know it today.
After that, the author traces the histories of the main instrument families and gives a layman’s explanation of how each instrument works… along with lots of illustrations!
All of this is sprinkled throughout a pleasant overview of the four prominent musical periods that have developed since the orchestra’s birth. He even takes the last few pages to introduce jazz and the modern use of synthetics… all in good taste.
But the content isn’t just great… it’s appealing. And that is key. The material is well-organized and interesting, and every page has colorful illustrations.
Stylistically, the artwork is unique. It looks like an unlikely combination of hand sketches and watercolor paintings. It is a tad busy, but the colors are soft, which keeps it from being overwhelming. (FYI: The colors in these pictures came out a bit brighter than the colors in the book.)
I didn’t have any concerns with this book – the information was accurate, and there was no inappropriate content.
Studio library, family library, personal library, music classroom… Go ahead and get it! It’s great for every occasion.
You can get your copy on amazon HERE.
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