___________________________________ With Contemporary Piano: A Performer and Composer’s Guide to Techniques and Resources, Alan Shockley provides a comprehensive resource for composers writing music that uses extended techniques for the piano, and for pianists interested in playing repertoire that makes use of techniques and/or implements unfamiliar to them. Shockley explains dozens of ways to prepare a piano without damaging the instrument, how to notate every standard technique and many, many obscure ones, and the specific geographies of every common concert hall piano. This will be the standard reference for pianists touring and playing inside-the-piano repertoire, and for composers at all levels of familiarity with the piano hoping to understand the mechanical miracle that is the modern piano.
Shockley, a respected composer and teacher, has written an excellent one-stop shop for all matters dealing with nontraditional uses of the piano. This is a modern-day performance practice manual similar to those written by composers dealing with performance practices of earlier eras. The author gives detailed instructions for composers—and, more important, players—of this music, which was created mostly during the 20th century and employs the piano in unusual ways. Following brief but useful introductory chapters about the construction and history of the piano, Shockley meticulously guides the reader through each topic—pedals, clusters, preparations, bowing, the piano as a percussion instrument, harmonics, muting, and even the toy piano. Highly recommended. (CHOICE)
This book is a welcome comprehensive guide to nontraditional techniques for the piano, and for pianists who are interested in playing repertoire which requires techniques and/or implements unfamiliar to both the instrument and to the performer. . . This book is a must-have resource for any performance pianist or orchestra playing contemporary music for the piano. (American Reference Books Annual)
Not since Richard Bunger’s seminal book on prepared piano in 1973 has anyone dared tackle the ever burgeoning topic of extended piano techniques. Alan Schockley’s new book is extensive, well researched and utterly necessary for any pianist preparing to explore the repertoire of our time. (Vicki Ray, chair of Keyboard Studies, California Institute of the Arts)
Alan Shockley’s new book will be indispensable to pianists who perform modern and contemporary music. We have long needed a guide this thorough, well-organized, and detailed, with plentiful examples from new and historical repertoire. (Sarah Cahill, pianist, radio host, and faculty, San Francisco Conservatory of Music)
About the Author
Alan Shockley is the director of composition and theory and an associate professor in the Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at California State University, Long Beach. As a composer, he has held residencies at the MacDowell Colony, the Atlantic Center, the Virginia Center for the Arts, Italy’s Centro Studi Ligure, and France’s Centre d’Art Marnay Art Centre (CAMAC), among others, and he has received grants from the American Music Center, Pittsburgh ProArts, the Mellon, and the Heinz Foundations. A dedicated scholar and educator, Shockley has taught at Princeton University, the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and the University of Pittsburgh. Shockley’s essays on and reviews of contemporary music and on intersections between music and modernist fiction can be found in journals and collections published by many major presses, and his book, Music in the Words: Musical Form and Counterpoint in the Twentieth-Century Novel was released in 2009.