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Book details
  • Genre:MUSIC
  • SubGenre:General
  • Language:English
  • Pages:42
  • Format:Paperback
  • eBook ISBN:9781098360047
  • Paperback ISBN:9781098360030

Expression: The Essence of Music

A Guide To Expressive Performance

by Robert C. Musser View author's profile page

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Musical expression can be learned! Expression: The Essence of Music is a guide to expressive performance intended for musicians, conductors, teachers, and students at any level. The author presents an approach to phrasing and performing and using musical nuances and conventions that can render any performance more musical and expressive. With clear explanations and musical examples, he shows how to incorporate these ideas and techniques into one's performance or teaching.
Can expressiveness in music be learned, or is it an innate gift, and you either have it or you don't? Musical expression can be learned! Expression: The Essence of Music is an insight into what distinguishes musical artistry above and beyond excellent craft. This is a guide to expressive performance intended for all musicians (vocal or instrumental), conductors, teachers, and students at any level that may benefit from suggestions as to how they, or their ensemble, or their students, can perform with more musicality and expressiveness. Robert Musser gives us a fresh look at how to break down expression into elements that can be explained and instructed, both on an individual and class level. The author presents an approach to phrasing and performing that, when learned and followed, will make any performance (solo or ensemble) more musical and expressive. He also looks at the artistic conventions and nuances (not tone quality and technique), which are essential to musical performance but often neglected or performed poorly. With clear explanations and ample musical examples, he shows how to incorporate these ideas and techniques into one's performance or teaching.
About the author
ROBERT MUSSER is Professor Emeritus at the University of Puget Sound, where he was Director of Bands, Professor of woodwinds, conducting, music education, and Chairman of Winds and Percussion. He retired as Distinguished Professor of Music. He is Maestro Emeritus of the Tacoma Concert Band that he founded in 1981. Through his artistic vision and leadership, the band has grown to enjoy a national and international reputation for excellence. Musser holds degrees in conducting, performance, and music education from Lebanon Valley College and the University of Michigan. He taught music at every level, from grade school to college. Many of his former students are now enjoying successful careers as educators, conductors, and performers. His high school band in California consistently received superior ratings. While at the University of Puget Sound, Musser developed the University Wind Ensemble into one of the finest in the Northwest. Under his direction, the UPS Wind Ensemble performed on the conference programs of the Washington and Northwest Music Educators Associations, the Northwest and Western Division of the College Band Directors National Association, and the Western International Band Clinic. During his career at Puget Sound, Musser was instrumental in helping to raise the standard of excellence of Northwest bands and orchestras by maintaining high performance standards in the clinics he presented and contests he adjudicated. He has presented clinics for the National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors, Northwest Music Educators Association, Washington Music Educators Association, College Band Directors National Association, Western International Band Clinic, and the American Band College. He conducted numerous regional and state festivals and honor bands and appeared as a guest conductor of both bands and orchestras throughout the United States, Canada, China, Russia, and Ukraine. Some of the prestigious ensembles he has conducted include: The U.S. Air Force Band, the U.S. Army Field Band, the Military Band of The People's Liberation Army of China, the New York Allstate Wind Ensemble, the Pearl River Orchestra of Guangzhou China, the Shanghai China Conservatory Orchestra and Band, and semi-professional bands in Russia and Ukraine. As an oboist, he played in professional orchestras in Harrisburg, Honolulu, Wichita, and Tacoma, and as a "free-lance" professional woodwind performer (playing oboe, English horn, flute, clarinet, and saxophone) in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Hawaii, California, Kansas and Washington. He performed as principal oboe with the Tacoma Symphony and as a woodwind specialist throughout the Puget Sound area for many years. He played with the Seattle Opera "tour orchestra" and the Fifth Avenue and Paramount Theaters orchestras. As a soloist, he performed with the Tacoma Symphony and numerous college, community, and high school orchestras and bands in Washington and Oregon. He studied with some of the most prominent performing artists and conductors in the world. The list includes John de Lancie and Marc Lifschey, oboists; Nelson Hauenstein and Paul Renzi, flutists; Daniel Bonade and William Stubbins, clarinetists; Larry Teal and Sigurd Rascher, saxophonists; Hugh Cooper, bassoonist; and Stanley Chapple and Frederick Fennell, conductors. Among Musser's honors are: election into the American Bandmasters Association (an honorary organization for distinguished band conductors); the prestigious Sudler Order of Merit of the John Philip Sousa Foundation, in recognition of many special contributions to bands and band music; and election into the inaugural class of the Washington Music Educators Association Hall of Fame. Professionally, Musser is active in presenting classes and clinics on expressive performance and as a guest conductor. Leisure time activities include traveling the world with his wife Nancy, playing golf, tennis and skiing, and spending time with family and friends.

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