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The Cambridge Companion to the Orchestra by Colin Lawson

The Cambridge Companion to the Orchestra

Part of the Cambridge Companions to Music Series


The Cambridge Companion to the Orchestra by Colin Lawson

This guide to the orchestra and orchestral life is unique in the breadth of its coverage. It combines orchestral history and orchestral repertory with a practical bias offering critical thought about the past, present and future of the orchestra as a sociological and as an artistic phenomenon. This approach reflects many of the current global discussions about the orchestra's continued role in a changing society. Other topics discussed include the art of orchestration, scorereading, conductors and conducting, international orchestras, recording, as well as consideration of what it means to be an orchestral musician, an educator, or an informed listener. Written by experts in the field, the book will be of academic and practical interest to a wide-ranging readership of music historians and professional or amateur musicians as well as an invaluable resource for all those contemplating a career in the performing arts.


'... interesting, thought provoking contributions ... The book is a genuine testament to the immense variety of skills, knowledge and understanding that go into creating and maintaining an orchestra. I would hope that people other than those already involved in this musical vocation would pick it up - certainly it gives a wonderful impression of the world of orchestral music.'
Classical Music

'Colin Lawson's book provides both a fascinating introduction to orchestra's many facets and a stimulating set of diverse essays ... this book is a stimulating resource, and will provide an excellent addition to any bookshelf ... I should be surprised if even those who live and breathe orchestras do not find thought-provoking material here, as well as anecdotes to delight in.'
British Journal of Music Education

About the Author

Colin Lawson is Pro Vice-Chancellor of Thames Valley University, having previously been Professor of Music at Goldsmiths' College, University of London. He has an international profile as a solo clarinettist and plays with the Hanover Band, the English Consort and the King's Consort. His publications for Cambridge University Press include The Cambridge Companion to the Clarinet (1995), Mozart: Clarinet Concerto (1996), Brahms: Clarinet Quintet (1998), The Historical Performance of Music (with Robin Stowell) (1999), The Early Clarinet (2000).

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Book Info

Publication date

24th April 2003


Colin Lawson

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Cambridge University Press


312 pages


Techniques of music / music tutorials
Theory of music & musicology



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