Children's Lit Book Reviews

Sunday, April 4, 2010


By: Neil Ardley
Publisher: DK Children
Copyright: 2000
Pages: 73
Reading Level: 9-12
Genre: Non Fiction

Summary: This book contains a great overview of the history behind instruments, how they are made and the scientific principles of sound production. Music is made with many different types of sounds mainly comprised of differently built instruments. Some are made to be blown through while others are played with bows and, either way, sounds are produced with small waves traveling through the air and eventually reaching our ears. Ardley uses amazing, attention grabbing, real-life photographs of instruments, ranging from flutes and panpipes to electric guitars and synthesizers, to offer a unique "eyewitness" view of ancient and contemporary music. He also talks about the music of the future which are machines used to make sounds such as those mentioned above. Synthesizers are a great example. Ardley also teaches how strings vibrate to make a note sound, how an invisible "column" of air creates sounds within a pipe, which instrument resembles a peacock, and how sousaphone players wear their instruments. He also explains who invented an important new key system, how to master the bagpipes, why pipe organs have "ears" and "mouths," and why French horns are "doubled up."
Who would benefit from reading this book? I think that all children and even adults would benefit from reading this great book. Readers with a musical background might even take a more special liking to this book as it might fulfill their desire to learn more about music from the beginning until today, as we know it.
What problems/concerns could this book potentially cause? I don't think that this book will cause any problems. It is a great non fiction book and should be shared with all.
My reaction: I play a musical instrument. I loved this book because, in my family, we have developed a great love for the musical arts. I think that the way Ardley used the illustrations, especially when talking about musical waves, brings his writings alive. I recommend this book to all readers and encourage teachers and parents to share this with their children.
posted by Jon Dale at 10:16 AM


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