Sound in Motion

Sound in Motion

A Performer's Guide to Greater Musical Expression
David McGill
Distribution: World
Publication date: 2/24/2009
Format: paper 392 pages, 17 b&w illus., 446 music exx.
6.125 x 9.25
ISBN: 978-0-253-21926-8
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David McGill has assembled an exhaustive study that uses the musical concepts of the legendary Marcel Tabuteau as a starting point from which to develop musical thought. McGill methodically explains the frequently misunderstood "Tabuteau number system" and its relationship to note grouping-the lifeblood of music. The controversial issue of baroque performance practice is also addressed. Instrumentalists and vocalists alike will find that many of the ideas presented in this book will help develop their musicianship as well as their understanding of what makes a performance "musical."

Author Bio

Grammy winning bassoonist, David McGill, has served as principal bassoon of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra since 1997. He has also served as principal of the Cleveland Orchestra, the Toronto Symphony, and the Tulsa Philharmonic. A graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia (1985), he has taught at DePaul and Roosevelt Universities in Chicago, Indiana University, the Cleveland Institute of Music, and the University of Toronto. He has given master classes in Finland, Hungary, and across the United States and Canada.


". . . offers a clean, modern take on Tabuteau's legacy, strong advice for aspiring wind players, and a range of observations that should inspire or provoke any serious musician. . . . Recommended." —Choice

"The book takes a modern look at Marcel Tabuteau's classic method." —Los Angeles Times

"What is phrasing? What is line? What is music? Logically and with acute attention to detail, Sound in Motion takes the reader on a philosophical journey rooted in the teachings of Marcel Tabuteau, John deLancie, John Minsker, and Sol Schoenbach, the timeless performances of Maria Callas, deLancie, and others, as well as McGill's own career as an orchestral bassoonist." —The Double Reed

"A most important, all encompassing book about music, its nature and its significance, not only for the professional musician, but for all those who see in it an expression of human creation. [McGill] deals with the different expressive means of sound, of styles and, perhaps most important of all for the practicing musician: the connection between attitude and aptitude. He understands perfectly that music is, after all, not a profession, but rather a way of life. . . . A rare book full of knowledge and insight." —Daniel Barenboim, world-renowned pianist and conductor

"In this thoughtful and imaginative study, David McGill codifies an important oral and aural tradition in musical performance and pedagogy in which he has been an active participant. Growing from the legacy of Marcel Tabuteau, this tradition continued through the work of McGill's own teachers, John de Lancie and Sol Schoenbach. McGill's book will not only be welcomed by performers, but also by musicologists interested in the history of performance practice and music theorists interested in the relationship of analysis and performance." —Kevin Korsyn, University of Michigan

"Well-written and opinionated treatise on almost every aspect of the art of musicianship, taking as its basis the methods of Tabuteau, but moving well beyond into discussions of auditioning, intonation, and an extended section on the Baroque performance movement." —, September 11, 2008

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Table of Contents

Part 1. A Style Is Born
Part 2. What Is Music?
Part 3. Note Grouping
Sound Writing (?)
What Is Note Grouping?
Basic Grouping
Harmonic Grouping
Rhythmic Grouping
Motivic Grouping
Range and Scaling
The Tabuteau Number System
Why Does Grouping Sound Natural?
Part 4. The Larger Picture
Sound Connection
Type and Function
Skeletal Structure
What Is Phrasing?
What Is Line?
The Four Elements of Music
Part 5. Wind Techniques
The Long Tone
The Singing Interval
The Fingers
Using the Wind
Part 6. Controversy
Was There a Baroque Style of Playing?
Music Speaks
Portato: Herald of a New Romanticism
"Technique" vs. "Musicality"
Part 7. The Profession
Orchestral Protocol
Part 8. The Search
Appendix 1. Recommended Recordings
Appendix 2. Further Study
Appendix 3. To Clip or Not to Clip
About the Author
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