The Mind's Ear: Exercises for Improving the Musical Imagination for Performers, Composers, and Listeners

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9780199937042: The Mind's Ear: Exercises for Improving the Musical Imagination for Performers, Composers, and Listeners

The Mind's Ear offers a unique approach to stimulating the musical imagination and inspiring creativity, as well as providing detailed exercises aimed at improving the ability to read and imagine music in silence, in the "mind's ear." Modeling his exercises on those used in theater games and acting classes, and drawing upon years of experience with improvisation and composition, Bruce Adolphe has written a compelling, valuable, and practical guide to musical creativity that can benefit music students at all levels and help music teachers be more effective and inspiring. The book also provides provocative ideas and useful tools for professional performers and composers, as well as offering games and exercises to serious listeners that can increase their musical understanding and level of engagement with music in a variety of ways.

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About the Author:

An internationally renowned composer whose works have been performed by the Washington National Opera, the Metropolitan Opera Guild, Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, and others, Bruce Adolphe is resident lecturer and director of family concerts for The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, creative director of The Learning Maestros, creator of "piano puzzlers" on public radio, and composer-in-residence at the Brain and Creativity Institute at USC.


I have known Bruce Adolphe since my student days at Juilliard Pre-College. His insight and remarkable capacity for bringing music to life have stayed with me over the years. Bruce's ability to make music and learning fresh and alive is unique. The first edition of this book was important to me when I first read it and the second edition is even more exciting and relevant. Alan Gilbert, Music Director, The New York Philharmonic Imagine how exciting it would be to hold in your hands a guide to a more joyfully free, creative engagement with music. Oh wait - you are! Of course the imagination can be toned and exercised, and Bruce Adolphe is a most enthusiastic and inspiring personal trainer. Mark Steinberg, violinist, Brentano String Quartet, Princeton University Long known as one of our most articulate and charismatic speakers on music, Bruce Adolphe here gives us one of the freshest books on the musical imagination ever written. A quick glance at the materials followed by a self-test will confirm that the mature performer and the university professor have as much to learn from this book as the beginner. The book is an absolute gem, one that I periodically find myself opening at random as a starting point for pricking the imagination. Try opening it yourself, and I predict that you will find it difficult to put down. Glenn Watkins, Earl V. Moore Professor Emeritus, University of Michigan, author of Soundings, Pyramids at the Louvre, Proof Through the Night: Music and the Great War, and The Gesualdo Hex. Bruce Adolphe's Senior Seminar at Juilliard's Pre-College was a horizon-expanding, mind-broadening experience. This book contains dozens of exercises like the ones we used in that class. I find them just as rewarding today as I did then. Orli Shaham, pianist This unique book of musical imagination exercises is thoroughly infused with Bruce Adolphe's engaging spirit and personality. Dozens of exercises inspire creativity and exploration while probing the depths of our inner ears and our intuition. I believe this is an invaluable resource for all musicians, pedagogues and listeners. Carol Leone, D.M.A., Chair of the Keyboard Department, Associate Professor of Piano, Meadows School of the Arts, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas

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