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Have you ever seen an orchestra perform and wondered about all those different instruments? In this fact-filled, entertaining picture book, Bruce Koscielniak gives us a lively look at the history of the orchestra and the instruments in it. From the tooter, strings, and beaters” of the 1600s to the keyboard synthesizers of today, this playful exploration follows the development and trends of musical instruments over the last four hundred years. A perfect and joyous celebration for anyone who loves music.
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Bruce Koscielniak is the author and illustrator of several books for children; he is also a musician who has played the violin and jazz guitar for many years. He lives in the Berkshires region of Massachusetts.From Publishers Weekly:
HInformed and lively, Koscielniak's (Hear, Hear, Mr. Shakespeare) fact-filled excursion through music history is just the ticket for budding musicians and music-lovers at large. Deceptively breezy prose and pictures trace the various eras in the development of the modern orchestra, starting with the instrumental groups at the dawn of the 17th century ("Tooters, Strings, and Beaters") and continuing on up to the present day, with a look at synthesizers and computer sound modules. At the same time, Koscielniak explains the evolution of musical styles (Baroque, Romantic, Classical, etc.). He also clues in readers as to how various instruments have changed over the centuries, examining such intriguing instruments as the sackbut (early trombone) and shawm (a forerunner of the oboe), as well as more familiar ones ("Kettledrums: Putting the Bomp Bomp Bah Bomp in the Orchestra"). Such important historical figures as Bach, Haydn, Duke Ellington and violin craftsman Antonio Stradivari are also introduced. Koscielniak expertly integrates text and art to convey all this information; the pages are busy but not cluttered, piquing interest with carefully selected detail. Close-up sketches show, for instance, a bassoon's double reed or how a piston valve works on a brass instrument. Watercolor wash in muted earth-toned shades bolsters the assured ink drawings, which seem both precise and spontaneous. Endpapers display a rogue's gallery of instruments, grouped by type and period. Ages 4-8. (Apr.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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