In a nutshell. All of our topics in music have their own historical timeline, marking out their 'theory evolutions' through the last few millennia. How tuning up our pitches has evolved in precision. How instruments have blossomed to handle these pitches. And in our Americana studies here, the merging of the historical timelines of Amer Afro Euro Latin cultures, that begins our own art evolutions.

Biographies are oftentimes especially helpful in understanding these 'theory evolution timelines.' Often we get to go right back to the moments when the new 'magic' appears in the form of musical art. Often leaving theorists of the day scratching their heads with a ... 'what just happened' curiosity.

Most of what is new comes from somewhere, biographies can provide insight into the artistic way of living and thinking, and thus can provide support when we've 'creatives' struggle to balance our art with life's everyday needs and cares.

And always, you're own interests will spark pathways to explore. And while written paper books might be moving to digital, we'll always write, and many will always read. And learning and the record keeping preservation of knowledge and history through writing will forever endure in some form. It's just something we 'sentients' need to do for each new generation of artists.

The Harvard Brief Dictionary Of Music.

Appel, Willie and Ralph T. Daniel. New York: Pocket Books, a Simon and Schuster Division of Gulf and Western, 1960.

This is a cover picture of the same book I've owned for the better part of 40 years now. A simple paperback edition originally $3, its value incalculatable in my own collegiate and later homespun studies.

In today's e-academia there's a new version of this sort of collection we call 'wiki' for short. Find a copy, pony up the big loot, and a full spectrum of all musics opens for all those who will read. Google up its contents into wiki and kaboom goes the learning.

~ history and biographies ~

"Lincoln" by David Herbert Donald. As pure a home grown, self educated and humble American citizen as might be, Lincoln shows us that 'these books' need to be opened, studied and approached with an energized curiosity that brings forth a next idea, a something new to explore, then a next and forward on, and then eventually becoming an expert at what we love to do.

... and from the top of the text ...

Earth Medicine by Kenneth Meadows. Our own 'Amer" indigenous philosophies to guide our search for Muse.

1) Page 11, ... become ~ acquire.

Bird Lives by Ross Russell.

Chasing The Train by J.C. Thomas.

A History Of Western Music by Donald Jay Grout. This was my textbook for music history class in college.

"Einstein" by Walter Isaacson

The Color Purple by Alice Walker.

Last Train To Memphis by Peter Guralnick.

Skydog by Randy Poe.

Jazz Is by Nat Hentoff.

Early Jazz by Gunther Schuler.

Can't Be Satisfied by Muddy Waters. Biography of Muddy Waters. wiki ~ Muddy Waters

Love Is The Cure by Elton John.

A World Lit Only By Fire by William Manchester.

"And all of our instrument were acoustic ..."

From Dawn To Decadence by Jacques Barzun.

Train Whistle Guitar by Albert Murray.

The Joy Of Music by Leonard Bernstein.

After The Ball by Ian Whitcomb.

In Search Of The Blues by Marybeth Hamilton.

A History Of Western Music by Donald Jay Grout. This was my textbook for music history class in college.


Temperament, Music's Greatest Riddle by Stuart Isacoff. This book is a stgc'r if Ur a theorist and need the whole historical 'tuning of our pitches' story written in a 'who done it' style of mystery writing. Read to master the historical and mathematical understanding of today's modern equal temper tuning, and how its precision is physically tuned into a piano, and Ur good to go. Go where ? Well if ya got bit by the music bug by reading this book, maybe all the way to Ph.D -ville :)


tune a piano

wiki ~ Ph.D




Jazz Documentary Series, 10 episodes by Ken Burns. Burns, Ken. (Producer) (1990) Jazz [DVD], PBS Home Video, United States:

History Of Jazz Guitar. Audio tracks with booklet of text and pictures describing the 'progressions' of jazz guitar players and their music from early 1900's till the 1990's or so.

Stomping The Blues by Albert Murray.

Scar Tissue by Anthony Kiedis.

The Great Jazz Interviews by Downbeat.

The Music Lesson by Victor L. Wooten.

Beneath The Underdog by Charles Mingus.

Reading Jazz by Robert Gottlieb.

Jazz by Toni Morrison.

Lady Sings The Blues by Billie Holiday.

The Story Of Jazz by Marshall W. Stearns.



Three Wishes by Pannonica de Koenigswarter. This book is a collection of reminiscing from dozens and dozens of influential jazz artists of the 1940's and 1950's in and around NYC. Each artist was asked what they would want if they had 'three wishes' to be granted. All responses recorded in this one collection, it's great read especially if you love jazz art.

Even it's cover reveals a coolness, of the 'sheets of sound' era, as Coltrane' seems to be stunning 'Monk, who had pioneered these harmonic possibilities a dozen years earlier with guitarist Charlie Christian.


Django Reinhardt by Charles Delaunay.


An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Classical Music by Lionel Salter.

Impressionism in Music by Christopher Palmer.

How Equal Temper Ruined Harmony by Ross W. Duffin.


1491 by Charles C. Mann. This book is about the North and South American continents before the year 1491. The chronological year we associate with the 'discoveries of the Americas.' wiki ~ 1491

~ music theory books ~

Forward Motion by Hal Garper.


Jazz Theory by Andrew Jaffe.

Piano Servicing, Tuning And Rebuilding by Arthur Reblitz.

A System Of Tonal Convergence for Improvisors, Composers and Arranger by Ted Dunbars.

The theory of a dozen ways to get to 'C' major.


Counterpoint by Kent Wheeler Kennan.

Counterpoint Workbook by Kent Wheeler Kennan.

The Professional Arranger Composer

by Russell Garcia.

Practical Theory by Sandy Feldstein.

Science And Music by Sir James Jeans.

The Forestry Handbook by Reginald D. Forbes.

Harmony by Walter Piston.

Form In Tonal Music by Douglass M. Green.


Form In Music by Wallace Berry.

Elementary Harmony by Robert W. Ottman.Elemantary Harmony Workbook by Robert W. Ottman.

Advanced Harmony by Robert W. Ottman.

The Lydian Chromatic Concept of Tonal Organization for Improvisation by George Russell.

The idea that Coltrane musically traveled in a rocketship between tonal destinations is Russell's idea. He used it to compare the various styles of improvising Americana jazz artists with how they might navigate a trip down the Mississippi River. Paddlewheeler, boat, speed boat, rocket ship, you get the idea. And how mode of transportation encouraged artistry in stopping at various ports along the way, which become key centers in songs.

John Coltrane

Techniques In Fourths by Ramon Ricker.

Pentatonic Scales For Jazz Improvisation

by Ramon Ricker.

Jazz Improvisation and Pentatonic by Adelhard Roidinger.

Theory of Harmony by Arnold Schoenberg.

Teaching Music in Today's Secondary Schools

by Charles R. Hoffer

Eighteenth Century Counterpoint And Tonal Structure by Richard S. Parks.

The Technique Of Orchestration by Kent Wheeler Kennan.

Theory and History by Dr. Robert Hanek.

Cover picture not yet available.

~ Bach and Coltrane ~

Bach and Coltrane. These two artists form the AmerAfroLatinEuro historical and theoretical bookends for this e-book.

The Jazz Style Of John Coltrane by David N. Baker.

wiki ~ David N. Baker

The John Coltrane Omnibook Hal Leonard Co.

Well Tempered Clavier vol. 1 and 2 by Carl Czerny.

wiki ~ Carl Czerny

The 371 Chorales of Johann Sebastion Bach

by Frank D. Mainous and Robert W. Ottman.

~ music literature / song books ~

The literature. The 'literature' is an umbrella term in the academia world that describes the whole catalogue of songs. "From the literature, we behold the magics of ..."

Folk Song U.S.A. by John A. and Alan Lomax.

The Blues published by Hal Leonard.

Charlie Parker Omnibook

by Jamie Aebersold and Ken Sloane.

Aebersold, Jamey and Slone, Ken. The Charlie Parker Omnibook. New York: Atlantic Music Corp., 1978.

Beatles Complete published by Hal Leonard.

The Best Chord Changes for the Most Requested Standards by Frank Mantooth and David N. Baker.

The Christmas Guitar Big Book by Warner Bros. Pub.

World's Greatest Songs by Easy Play Speed Read.

The Penguin Book Of English Madrigals by Denis Stevens.

The Pius X Hymnal published by Manhattenville College.

The lute.

Jumbo Songbook published by Hal Leonard.

Real Little Classical Fakebook pub. by Hal Leonard.

The Real Book vol. I, II and III.

The Real Vocal Book.

Folk Songs Sing Along by Amsco Music Pub. Co.

Blues by Jerry Silverman.

Anthology of American Folk Music by Oak Publications.

Muddy Waters, Music For Groups published by ARC Music Co.

Pat Metheny Trio Live pub. by Hal Leonard.

Stephen Foster Songbook by Dover Publications.

Song Fest edited by Dick and Beth Best, Crown Pub.

Let Music Ring pub. by C.C. Birchard and Co.

Bob Dylan Songbook pub. by M.Witmark & Sons.

Best of Folk Music book II, pub. by Lewis Music Pub.

Piano Primer pub. by Belwin Mills.

Wagner "Tristan And Isolde" pub. by Eulenburg.

"Songs Of The Sixties" published by Hal Leonard.

~ guitar books ~

Chord Chemistry by Ted Greene.

wiki ~ Ted Greene

Blues by Jerry Silverman.

Jazz Guitar Chord Bible by Warren Nunes, vol. I and II.

Intervallic lines by Steve Erquiaga.

Exploring Jazz Guitar by Jim Hall.

A Modern Method For Guitar, vol. I and II by William G. Leavitt. This was the book for learning the basics to read music notation.

The Joe Pass Guitar Method by Joe Pass.

Joe Pass Guitar Style pub. by Mel Bay.

Improvising Jazz Bass by Richard Laird.


Diatonic Major and Minor Scales by Andres Segovia. Follows the core five key center / scale patterns with 'legit' position shifting through the registers.


'101' Montunos by Rebecca Mauleon-Santana. 101 four bar phrases of the indigenous Latin spices and essential motor rhythms. An amazing work ! :)

The Brazilian Guitar Book by Nelson Faria.

Single String Studies For Guitar by Sal Salvador. The basics of the five shapes and basic interval permutations.

Johnny Smith Guitar, vol. I and II, pub. by Mel Bay. Smith brings us the scale / arpeggio / chord evolutions of all of the essential musical colors.

Single Note Soloing, vol. I and II by Ted Greene. A study in understanding to create parent scales for chord from which we create our melodic ideas.

Modern Chord Progressions by Ted Greene. Need a way to jazz up your existing chord changes?

~ spiritual books ~

Earth Medicine by Kenneth Meadows. Our own 'Amer" indigenous philosophies to guide our search from Muse.

1) Page 11, ... become ~ acquire.

The Urantia Book.

"I don't know anything about music.

In my line of work you don't have to."

wiki ~ Elvis Presley

Find a mentor / academia Alaska. Always good to have a mentor when learning about things new to us. And with music and its magics, nice to have a friend or two ask questions and collaborate with. Seek and ye shall find. Local high schools, librarys, friends and family, musicians in your home town ... just ask around, someone will know someone who knows about music and can help you with your studies in the musical arts.

? ? ? ? ?

"These books, and your capacity to understand them, are just the same in all places. Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed, is more important than any other one thing."

wiki ~ Abraham Lincoln

References academia Alaska. And when you need university level answers to your questions and musings, and especially if you are considering a career in music and looking to continue your formal studies, begin to e-reach out to the Alaska University Music Campus communities and begin a dialogue with some of Alaska's own and finest resident maestros !

'energize your own learning in life through education, exploration and discovery ...'

comments or questions ...?

~ ~

Aebersold, James and Slone, Ken. Charlie Parker Omnibook. New York : Atlantic Music Corp., 1978.

Appel, Willie and Ralph T. Daniel. The Harvard Brief Dictionary Of Music. New York: Pocket Books, a Simon and Schuster Division of Gulf and Western, 1960.

Baker, David N. The Jazz style of John Coltrane. Miami, Forida: Belwin, Inc., 1980.

Berry, Wallace. Form in Music. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1966

Dunbar, Ted. A System of Tonal Convergence for Improvisors, Composers and Arrangers. East Brunswick, New Jersey: Ted Dunbar, 1975.

Garcia, Russell. The Professional Arranger - Composer, Book One. Hollywood, California: Criterion Music Corporation, 19...?

Green, Douglass. Form in Tonal Music. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston Inc., 1965.

Greene, Ted. Chord Chemistry. Melville, New York: Dale Zdenek Publishing, Division of Belwin Mills Publishing Inc., 1977.

Greene, Ted. Jazz Guitar, Single Note Soloing, Volume One and Two. Melville, New York: Dale Zdenek Publishing, Division of Belwin Mills Publishing Inc., 1981.

Greene, Ted. Modern Chord Progressions Volume One and Two. Miami, Florida: Belwin Mills Publishing Inc., 1983.

Hanek, Dr. Robert. Untitled Music Theory Treatise. Fairbanks, Alaska: self publish 1984.

Hearle, Dan. The Jazz Language. U.S.A.: Warner Brothers Inc., 1980.

Jaffe, Andrew. Jazz Theory. Dubuque, Iowa: Wm. C. Brown Company, 1983.

Jeans, Sir James. Science and Music. New York: Dover Publications Inc., 1968

Kennon, Kent, Wheeler. Counterpoint. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall Inc., 1959.

Kennon, Kent. The Technique of Orchestration, Second Edition. New Jersey: Prentice-hall, 1970.

Ottman, Robert. Elementary Harmony, Second Edition. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1970.

Ottman, Robert W. Advanced Harmony. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1969.

Piston, Walter. Harmony Third edition. New York: W.W. Norton and Company, 1969.

Random House, The. The American College Dictionary. Random House, New York. 1955.

Reblitz, Arthur A. Piano Servicing, Tuning and Rebuilding. Vestal Press, Maryand. 1993.

Russell, George. The Lydian Chromatic Concept of Tonal Organization. New York: Concept Publishing, 1959.

Schoenberg, Arnold. Theory of Harmony, translation based on third edition, 1922. Berkely and Los Angeles, California: University of Calfornia Press, 1978

The Real Book Volumes One, Two and Three.

Music history books.

Barzun, Jacques. From Dawn To Decadence, p. 639. HarperCollins Publishers Inc. New York 2000.

Burns, Ken and Ward, Geoffrey C. History of Jazz. New York: Random House, 2000.

Grout, Donald Jay. A History of Western Music, p. 10. W.W.Norton and Company Inc. New York, 1960.

Isacoff, Stuart. "Temperament ... The idea that solved music's greatest riddle." U.S.A. Alfred A. Knopf, New York. 2001.

Schuller, Gunther. Early Jazz. New York: Oxford Press, 1968.

"I don't know anything about music. In my line of work ... you don't have to." Elvis Presley