denotes books available in the NMND library.

Composition Texts

Alan Belkin. Musical Composition: Craft and Art.

Richard Bellis. The Emerging Film Composer.

Reginald Smith Brindle, Musical Composition

Vincent D’Indy. Course in Musical Composition, vol. 1.

Leon Dallin. Techniques of Twentieth Century Composition.

Johann Joseph Fux. The Study of Counterpoint/Gradus Ad Parnassum.

Paul Hindemith, Craft of Musical Composition, Books 1-3

Jonathan Middleton. Essentials for Composers–Creative Process by Design.

Vincent Persichetti. Twentieth Century Harmony.

Arnold Schoenberg. Fundamentals of Musical Composition.

Charles Wuorinen. Simple Composition.


Samuel Adler. The Study of Orchestration, 4th Ed. † (3rd Ed. †)

Alfred Blatter. Instrumentation and Orchestration.

Kent Kennan and Donald Grantham. The Technique of Orchestration.

Walter Piston. Orchestration.

Charles-Marie Widor. Manual of Practical Instrumentation.

Historical Orchestration Texts:

Hector Berlioz and Richard Strauss: Treatise on Instrumentation.

Adam Carse. The History of Orchestration. †x3

Adam Carse. Musical Wind Instruments.

Cecil Forsyth. Choral Orchestration.

Cecil Forsyth. Orchestration.

Nikolay Rimsy-Korsakov. Principles of Orchestration.

Curt Sachs. The History of Musical Instruments.

Instrument-specific Books


Robert Dick, The Other Flute.

Robert Dick, Tone Development through Extended Techniques.

Brandy Hudelson, The Art of Beatboxing.


Libby Van Cleve, Oboe Unbound.


Ronald L. Caravan, Preliminary Exercises & Etudes in Contemporary Techniques for Clarinet

Phillip Rehfeldt, New Directions for Clarinet.


Marcus Weiss, Techniques of Saxophone Playing.




Douglas Hill, Extended Techniques for the Horn. †


Thomas Stevens, Contemporary Trumpet Studies.








Samuel Z. Solomon, How to Write for Percussion: A Comprehensive Guide to Percussion Composition.







Musicianship and Entrepreneurship

Angela Myles Beeching. Beyond Talent

Gerald Klickstein. The Musician’s Way

David Baskerville and Tim Baskerville. Music Business Handbook and Career Guide 12th Edition. (11th Ed. †)

David Cutler. The Savvy Musician

Mark Rabideau, Creating the Revolutionary Artist.


Elaine Gould. Behind Bars: The Definitive Guide to Music Notation. London: Faber Music, 2011. †

Steven Powell. Music Engraving Today, 2nd Ed. New York: Brichtmark Music, 2007. †

Howard Risatti. New Music Vocabulary. [Out of print and difficult to find, it lists a number of ways to notate various extended techniques] †

G. Schirmer/AMP: Manual of Style [The style manual from Schirmer, available as print-on-demand] †

Composer Autobiographies/Memoirs

John Adams. Hallelujah Junction.

John Luther Adams. Silences so Deep

Philip Glass. Words Without Music

Alex Ross. The Rest is Noise. New York, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007 †

Electronic Music

Mark Ballora. Digital Audio and Acoustics for the Creative Arts.

Leigh Landy. Understanding the Art of Sound Organization.

Curtis Roads. Composing Electronic Music. A New Aesthetic.

Creativity (and other misc.)

Howard Gardner. Creating Minds. New York: Basic Books, 2011. †

Read Montague. Why Choose this Book† How we make decisions. New York: Dutton, 2006 †

Daniel Coyle. The Talent Code. New York: Bantam, 2009. †

Bruce Adolphe. Of Mozart, Parrots, and Cherry Blossoms in the Wind: A composer explores mysteries of the musical mind. New York: Limelight Editions, 1999. †

Stephen King. On Writing: A memoir of the craft. New York: Scribner, 2000. †

Eric Abrahamson and David H. Freedman. A Perfect Mess. New York: Back Bay Books, 2007. †

Scott Barry Kaufman and Carolyn Gregoire. Wired to Create: Unraveling the Mysteries of the Creative Mind. New York: TarcherPerigee, 2015. †

Paul Tough. How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character. Boston: Mariner Books, 2013. †

Robert Jourdain. Music, The Brain, and Ecstasy: How Music Captures our Imagination. New York: Harper Perennial, 2002. †

Anne Lamott. Bird By Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life. New York: Anchor Books, 1994. †

John McPhee. Draft No. 4: On the Writing Process. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2017. †

Angela Duckworth. Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance. New York: Scribner, 2016. †

Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander. The Art of Possibility. New York: Penguin, 2000. †

Twyla Tharp. The Creative Habit. New York, Simon & Schuster, 2003. †