April 14, 2010
One of the things I have always liked about being in the information technology field is the seemingly endless supply of books and manuals about tools and technologies. I have approximately 80 books on my shelf at work and at least that many more at home.
Martial arts was also good in there-is-plenty-to-read sense. Although I don't have as many martial arts related volumes in my library I still managed to collect 40 or so titles while I was active in karate-do.
I am discovering that music in general, and cello in particular, opens up a whole new world of potential books to add to my collection.
One that I recently added, and am very pleased with, is A Modern Cellist's Manual: technique, approach, and musings for every student, by Emily Wright. It's a self-published book available through lulu.com.
While I have only had my copy for a couple of days now I am already gaining understanding and improving my technique. As a technologist, i.e., someone who worries about minutiae and exacting detail, and as a martial artist who was trained to understand kinetics and body mechanics, I am keenly interested in establishing solid, pain free, and natural technique as I learn to play the cello.
Ms. Wright's manual is filled with exercises and self-checks to help one develop a natural and pain free approach to playing. The book is beautifully illustrated, with pictures, and numerous musical excerpts. I especially like her humorous writing style. Most of all I like that she starts the book by saying that she was a lousy student who ignored her teachers notes and instructions and only through painful experience circled back around to addressing her technique.
For me, A Modern Cellist's Manual is an excellent addition to my small but growing violoncello library.