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The Mastery of Music


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About the Author

Barry Green served as principal bassist of the Cincinnati Symphony for twenty-eight years. Currently the principal bassist with the California Symphony and the Sun Valley Summer Symphony and active as a bass soloist and teacher, he teaches bass at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and for the young bassist program of the San Francisco Symphony Education Department.

Green has been performing for young audiences in schools in the Bay Area, as well as performing bass workshops and concerts on tour. He is also the author of The Inner Game of Music with W. Timothy Gallwey and has written seven Inner Game of Music workbooks for keyboard, voice, instruments, and ensembles. He conducts Inner Game seminars throughout the world. He lives with his wife in Oakland, California. For information on Green's personal appearances and publications, please contact his website at www.innergameofmusic.com and www.themasteryofmusic.com.


In his follow-up to The Inner Game of Music, which sought to teach musicians how to overcome mental barriers to inspired playing, bassist Green defines ten qualities that offer a "pathway to true artistry": communication, courage, discipline, fun, passion, tolerance, concentration, confidence, ego/humility and creativity. "When you develop these qualities to a high level," he says, "you have achieved mastery not only of your instrument and your concentration, but of who you are and how you present yourself to others." Each "path" receives its own chapter of inspirational anecdotes and advice, and each is exemplified by a certain instrument or type of musician. For example, French horn and percussion, instruments that "just get one chance" and have "nowhere to hide," illustrate the importance of courage; violas, who sit literally and musically between violins and cellos, represent tolerance; and duos, chamber groups and conductors symbolize the value of communication. Dozens of respected musicians, from Leonard Bernstein to members of the Harlem Boys Choir, share anecdotes about coping with stress, prioritizing, self-acceptance, preparation, concentration, focus and other life-skills. Along with general, inspirational advice for living and playing well, the book also makes valuable specific recommendations (e.g., the benefits of practicing slowly, establishing personal boundaries, visualization exercises, etc.). While the book's gimmick may seem overworked at first, the author is so knowledgeable and sincere that his volume should appeal to musicians and music lovers of all stripes. (May) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Green (coauthor with W. Timothy Gallwey, The Inner Game of Music) attempts to inspire musicians to achieve not just technical competence but true mastery in the broadest sense by pursuing ten attributes of character (e.g., courage, discipline, and tolerance) that he arrived at after many years of observing musicians at work. He then applies these attributes to different kinds of musicians (e.g., low bass instrumentalists have fun, singers' egos need to deal with humility), interweaving tips from interviews with musicians, New Age philosophy, and his own experience as a professional contrabass player into narratives of wisdom. Green is no gifted prose stylist, but his desire to help practicing musicians excel is sincere; people who gained from his earlier work and from books that he recommends-including those by Don Campbell (e.g., The Mozart Effect), W. Timothy Gallwey (The Inner Game of Tennis), and James Redfield's The Celestine Prophesy-will welcome this. Recommended to libraries where such books circulate well.-Bonnie Jo Dopp, Univ. of Maryland Libs. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

"In his newest book, Barry Green has provided the glorious counterpoint of musical discovery, mentorship, and visionary styles of learning from some of the greatest
performers of our time. The Mastery of Music fills us with inspiration, vision, and potential for better listening, enjoyment, and nourishment."
Don Campbell, musician and author of The Mozart Effect

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