Pagliaro, The Brass Instrument Owner’s Handbook

Michael J. Pagliaro, The Brass Instrument Owner’s Handbook (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2016). ISBN 9781442274013. 213 pages.

Michael Pagliaro has presented a handbook of 11 chapters that contains a wide range of information on brass instruments, selection, ownership, rentals, care, pedagogy, fingering charts, acoustics, manufacture and assorted details including information on mutes, music stands, lyres, mouthpieces, mouthpiece pullers, cases, tuners, and other minutia.

As with all too many current music references, there is scant information about brass history and scholarship. There is but one brief chapter on brass instrument history. It contains only the most general historical information. Pagliaro has missed a fine opportunity to more adequately inform his readership of important concepts about brass music history, performance practice, recent scholarship and playing early brass instruments. While this book will likely be a valuable resource for modern brass players, it is lamentable that those same readers will not be exposed to a richer view of the history of these instruments.

-- Jeffrey Nussbaum