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This volume is especially welcome, since the subject has seldom been discussed so thoroughly from a purely practical point of view. Blades's obvious affection for the 'instruments of percussion' is endearing and his enthusiasm makes itself felt throughout. He begins with descriptions of each instrument, including hints on care and repair; he continues with the basic methods of attack (giving a generous selection of simple exercises), and concludes by illustrating technical difficulties with reference to specific works. Of especial value is the chapter in which he guides the aspiring timpanist through the intricacies of a specimen concert program. This is essential reading for every timpanist, percussionist, composer, and conductor. James Blades (1901-1999) fell in love with drumming while watching a Salvation Army bandsman beating a bass drum. When he was 14 he joined a circus, in which he played the cymbals and bass drum, accompanying a dancing elephant. Later Blades began performing in local bands and spent most of the '20s working at a movie theater, creating sound effects for silent movies -- gunshots, thunderstorms -- and playing in dance orchestras. Sought after by symphonies in the United States and Britain, Mr. Blades joined the London Symphony Orchestra in 1940 and moonlighted with other orchestras and ensembles. In 1954, he was appointed Professor of Percussion at the Royal Academy of Music. He also lectured, often working with physically and mentally handicapped children. He put his early training as an engineer to use making instruments, like a glockenspiel for quadriplegics to play using their mouths. He retired from public performance in 1971, except for the premiere of Britten's Death in Venice in 1973. He was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1972. Other books by Blades include Percussion Instruments and Their History (1970), the autobiographical Drum Roll (1977) and, with Jeremy Montagu, Early Percussion Instruments (1976).
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Book Description Oxford University Press, 1973. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0193188031