Chamber Music Publications

The Art of Chamber Music by Keijo Aho

Keijo Aho: Kamarimusiikin Taito – ohjaajan opas, [The Art of Chamber Music – a Teacher’s Handbook]

This book provides practical advice and ideas for coaching chamber music. Less preoccupied with the philosophical and esthetical problems of coaching, the focus in this work is on how the musicians and their coach can learn to anticipate challenges and learn to work together, express their creativity and develop their musical thinking. If chamber music were an iceberg, where the visible part is the performance and the invisible part is all the processes before that, we could say that this book is concerned with the parts under water.

The goal is to suggest new ideas and ways of working and thinking in order to better understand the problems which musicians of different instruments and ensembles confront in chamber music studies. The book should help to provide the understanding and courage necessary for the coach to work as well with instruments and ensembles both inside and outside his specific field.

Special chapters are also devoted to analyzing the dynamics of ensemble rehearsing and organization, the question of human relations, learning patterns and strategies, personality differences, concert organizing, and performance anxiety. Numerous techniques for working through the recurrent challenges of ensemble playing and teaching are presented from a myriad of contrasting perspectives. Practical information necessary for understanding each instrument is given, so that a violin teacher, for example, can feel more comfortable coaching a wind ensemble.

Keijo Aho’s work includes an extensive catalogue of repertoire, with special consideration for both Finnish music and for unusual mixed ensembles which might have problems in finding interesting pieces, such as flute, violoncello and keyboard; clarinet, violoncello/viola/ violin; different ensembles with voice, double bass, harp, etc. Of course standard repertoire for basic ensembles of chamber music is also included, as well as many interesting pieces from 20th century for all kinds of ensembles. On the other hand, duos, baroque music, lied and music for younger children are not considered.

The book is published by Classicus (Finland), ISBN 978-952-5854-00-8

Update (Aug 8, 2013) : The translation of the re-written version is now ready (look at the contents). The publisher and schedule of publishing the translation are still open.

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