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The premise of this book is that, like spoken language, music should be experienced as sound before it is learned in its symbolic form, and that when presented this way, a learner is better prepared to navigate the tangles and perplexities of music notation. Drawing on his extensive background as performer, teacher, composer and lecturer, the author cuts through the traditional, sometimes irrational, language of music teaching and reduces terminology to simple and basic ideas. He begins with a discussion of sound itself, and from there proceeds to demonstrate how we hear and organize the specific perceptual structures we call music. Discussions of perception and conception are not clinical in content or style; they are simply based on common experiences and logical conclusions. Plentiful aural and graphic illustrations are provided, enabling the reader to actually hear and see how combinations of pitches and rhythms become meaningful musical expressions. The focus then turns to music notation, showing how music can be captured on paper and later re-created in performance.