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Von Cello Books, OUP Books, Other Books & Compositions, Corrections

Plant Shadows

VC Books

 

These books can be purchased under the Shop MENU, Minsky Music Books SUB MENU. Here they are in order of publication, first to most recent.

Pacific Northwest Suite:
These pieces were composed as I walked, climbed, and drove through the rugged mountains, virgin forests, misty lakes and rocky coast of the Pacific Northwest...The five part books can be used separately, in various mix-and-match combinations, or altogether, making a full string orchestra. Students are encouraged to use these pieces as a basis for improvisation.
Five books, intermediate level: Guitars, Violins, Violas, Cellos, Basses. You can hear an audio clip at the JW Pepper site linked in the Shop MENU, Minsky Music SUB MENU.

The Conqueror, concerto for cello and symphony orchestra:

A heroic concerto for cello and full symphony orchestra. It was composed during Hurricane Sandy, and loosely based on the life of Genghis Khan. A classic concerto in form, it employs the pentatonic scale, and an instrumental version of Mongolian throat singing. It also includes "celtar" and a rock inspired intensity.  (An arrangement for cello and piano also available.) "I pray this, my first concerto, will conquer all barriers to acceptance into our extraordinary cello repertoire. I put everything I had into it. The rest is up to you!" - Aaron Minsky. You can watch a performance with the composer and the Staten Island Philharmonic under the Videos MENU.

Legends of Cellandia, for cello orchestra: 

(For cello orchestra, 5-string electric bass and percussion), (commissioned by the London Cello Society) is a tone poem with a Brahmsian sonority utilizing conventions of progressive rock! There are six cello sections plus one "celtar" section (cellos played like guitars). Legends of Cellandia would be a perfect concert selection for any gathering of cellists from 7 to 100 (or more). A celebration of the great cellists of history, it creates a full, satisfying sound, tinged with wit and humor that is sure to delight audiences the world over. You can view a performance with 70 cellist conducted by the composer in Australia under the Videos MENU.

Ten Suite Variations (on the Bach Cello Suites):

A suite of variations based on the Bach Cello Suites combined with modern popular styles in a form that could only have been created by Aaron Minsky (Von Cello)! The pieces are of moderate difficulty (similar to the Bach) and will be enjoyable for students and professionals alike... and audiences of all types! This is the first direct publication of the music of Aaron Minsky published by Von Cello, Inc. It is available in print of for download. You can watch performances of the movements by the composer and others on YouTube.

Summer Haze, concerto for cello and string orchestra:

(Percussion optional). Based on songs composed in his youth, it has an energy that could only have come from those times. Yet themes are developed in the style of a classical concerto and add new ideas. Whereas most concertos are written to show off the technical abilities of the instrumentalist, this concerto was written for pure enjoyment. At all times it is a group effort and everyone should pull together to create balance and harmony. The piece is of moderate difficulty. It is written for cello and string orchestra (percussion and/or piano optional). An arrangement is also available for cello and piano (bass and/or percussion optional).

Easy But Fun (EBF) Orchestra Series:

A series of easy but interesting and fun orchestra pieces geared towards students in their first couple of years of playing. Though not difficult, they are still imbued with Minsky humor and charm. Descriptions and audio clips of each piece can be found at the JW Pepper site linked in the MENU. Liven up your school orchestra concerts!

Innovative Yet Simple (IYS) Orchestra Series:

A series of cutting edge orchestral pieces for advanced student orchestra. Though using modern classical concepts they are relatively short and simple in form and a lot of fun to play. A non-threatening introduction to modern classical concepts such as advanced rhythms, multiple meters, chromaticism, and picking. Professional orchestras may find this suite played in full, an enjoyable addition to a concert program. Descriptions and audio clips of each piece can be found at the JW Pepper site linked in the Shop MENU, Minsky Music SUB MENU.

Concerto for Orchestra Teacher and Orchestra, (violin):

There have been many violin concertos, and there have been many pieces for school orchestra, but there has never been a concerto for school orchestra featuring the orchestra teacher! However, the most important feature of this piece is the interplay between the teacher and students. The concerto provides a rare opportunity for an orchestra to interact with their teacher and for a teacher to model concerto playing in a manner that is creative and fun. It would also be a fun piece to program for a pops, community or symphonic concert. You can hear an audio clip at the JW Pepper site linked in the Shop MENU, Minsky Music SUB MENU.

Eine Kleine Fun Musik, (after Mozart), for string orchestra:

Based on the first movement of the beloved Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, it goes into far-flung territories that would probably have surprised and delighted Mozart. It would be a fun piece for a Pops, Orchestral or Chamber concert. It could also be performed by advanced high school or university orchestras. Discover new levels of joy in this surprisingly joyful arrangement of Mozart's masterpiece!

Kadosh, Kadosh, Kadosh (Holy, Holy, Holy) for cello and chorus:

In this inspired work for cello and chorus (sung in Hebrew) Minsky has included a prayer used in both the Jewish and Christian liturgies, and combined it with the traditional Jewish hymn "Ein Keloheinu". The cello interacts joyfully with the chorus - accompanying, "singing" and soloing. The work begins with a popular-oriented rhythmical sensibility sure to engage the audience, eventually leading them on a journey into the very essence of holiness! It has an inclusive spirituality and sonority that will appeal to people of all backgrounds. You can view an online performance with the composer and the St. John's Voices of Cambridge University under the Videos MENU.

Mr. ASBO, the anti-social swan (after Saint Saéns), for cello and piano:

As the locals tell it... one day the serenity of Cambridge's scenic River Cam was shattered by a most unruly swan. His terrorizing aerial assaults on boaters continued day after day prompting the nickname: Mr. ASBO! (ASBO stands for Anti-Social Behavior Ordinance and is used against British citizens who engage in menacing behaviors.) Saint-Saens composed an idealized vision known as, "The Swan". It is a lovely piece, but now that the roguish Mr. ASBO has demonstrated the darker side of "swandom", isn't it time to add another swan to the repertoire? And what an enjoyable encore this will be! You can find the premiere performance by a Russian concert duo on YouTube.

Allegretto, Moonlight Sonata, Piano and Orchestra, Beethoven (arr. Minsky):

The first movement of the Moonlight Sonata is one of Beethoven's most beloved pieces, however the second movement is a delightful gem that should be better known. Taken up a half step to the easier key of D, it can be played by student orchestras, with or without piano, giving students an early experience of Beethoven. You can hear an audio clip at the JW Pepper site linked in the Shop MENU, Minsky Music SUB MENU.

Bass In Your Face, for 6 basses (or sections):

Bass in Your Face! explores the unique sonorities of multiple basses and bombards the audience with massive sound waves, featuring the abilities of talented bassists. It can be performed by students and professionals alike, creating sounds that could only be produced by six bassists, and can be multiplied magnificently into a full bass orchestra! You can hear an audio clip at the JW Pepper site linked in the Shop MENU, Minsky Music SUB MENU.

Rhapsody, Op. 79 #1, Johannes Brahms (arr. Minsky):

This Brahms Rhapsody sounded to me like a lost cello sonata. In my arrangement I gave the cello melodies, harmonies and bass lines. The piano shares equally and also has moments to shine alone. What a wonderful addition to a concert this would be! No one has yet performed its World Premiere. Perhaps it could be you? You can hear an audio clip at the JW Pepper site linked in the Shop MENU, Minsky Music SUB MENU.

White Abstract

These books can be purchased under the Shop MENU, OUP Music Books SUB MENU. Here they are in order of publication, first to most recent.

Ten American Cello Etudes:
The history of music is full of composers who were able to bend music to reflect their time period and country. In this century, musicians in the jazz, pop, and contemporary fields have taken instruments such as the saxophone, the drums, the bass, and the guitar, and given them a new sound reflecting modern times. Yet, the cello, with its wide range, variety of colors, and wonderful capacity for counterpoint, remains an underestimated instrument, assigned a dignified yet restricted role in today's musical world. This book will inspire cellists to help our instrument assume a more central position in popular musical culture, thereby increasing public interest in its traditional repertory and, most important, insuring its continuation as a viable musical instrument which participates fully in changing musical currents. To buy a CD of this piece click here: http://www.voncello.com/store.html.


Three Concert Etudes:
These Three Concert Etudes extend and amplify the techniques and styles introduced in Ten American Cello Etudes, and represent an aspect of contemporary music often neglected in the concert hall.

Three American Cello Duets:
The Three American Cello Duets are rooted in the tradition of cello duets written by performing cellists: Dotzauer, Romberg, Lee, Klengel, and Popper come to mind. Though I have based them on classical technique and on that tradition, these duets view the cello as a popular instrument.


Three American Pieces for unaccompanied viola:
When my Ten American Cello Etudes were published many violists told me of their interest in the pieces and David Dalton agreed to make the transcriptions. As a result, perhaps violists will also be encouraged to improvise, play chords and syncopation, and participate in popular musical forms through the reinforcement and expansion of traditional techniques which I have tried to incorporate in there studies.


Young American Ensembles:
These two-part ensemble pieces were written for...beginning string students, and have been enjoyably tested in class and in performance with the young players. The aim is to provide ensemble experience, with all its fun and teamwork, at a very early stage in the study of violin, viola, cello, bass and guitar. The books can be used separately or together, making a grand string orchestra.
Three books: Violins & Guitars, Violas, Cellos & Basses.


Pacific Northwest Suite:
These pieces were composed as I walked, climbed, and drove through the rugged mountains, virgin forests, misty lakes and rocky coast of the Pacific Northwest...The five part books can be used separately, in various mix-and-match combinations, or altogether, making a full string orchestra. Students are encouraged to use these pieces as a basis for improvisation.
Five books, intermediate level: Guitars, Violins, Violas, Cellos, Basses (This set is no longer available through Oxford but will be re-released in a different form in the future.)


Judaic Concert Suite:
The Judaic Concert Suite combines two elements from the traditional cello repertoire. One element harks back to Ernest Bloch, well known for his short works for cello and piano based on Jewish themes. This suite, however, is for solo cello, and with its robust sound and use of counterpoint of chords, it is also in the tradition of the Bach Cello Suites. What is new is the use of modern melodies and rhythms and the way the three movements form a unified whole, musically and spiritually.

Ten International Cello Encores:
On the 20th Anniversary of Ten American Cello Etudes, Minsky has brought together a set of ten cello pieces based on musical styles from around the world, such as Mexico, Ireland, Asia, Israel, Africa, Caribbean, and America. Ten International Cello Encores is perfect for students and recitalists who are looking for fresh, new music for solo cello. "While listening to this suite one cannot help but be impressed by the wonderful musical harmony that exists on our planet. It is with the hope that we may soon create an equally wonderful social harmony that I offer these Ten International Cello Encores to the world." - Aaron Minsky. To buy a CD of this piece click here: http://www.voncello.com/store.html.


Ten American Violin Etudes:
This is an exceptional collection of ten original études by Aaron Minsky. First published to international acclaim as Ten American Cello Etudes, these captivating pieces are now available to violinists in this adaptation by editors Daryl Silberman and Danny Seidenberg. For intermediate to advanced players. Each of these études is a miniature evocation of an American place and mood, written to help violinists learn in contemporary styles of jazz, blues, folk, and more. Technique certainly won't be dull with these lively pieces, which are also admirably suited for recitals and encores.


Ten International Violin Encores:
These compelling pieces are now available to violinists in this adaptation. Suitable for intermediate to advanced players, these vibrant and dynamic pieces are perfectly suited to concert performance as encores, small sets, or as a suite, and will be welcomed by all students and recitalists looking for fresh, new music for solo violin. Encores inspired by destinations around the world, including Africa, Asia, Mexico, and more. A variety of contemporary styles, including jazz, heavy metal, and Latin. Technical challenges such as guitar-style strumming, left-hand pizzicato, ricochet bowing, and percussive effects. Useful fingering and bowing suggestions.

Pop Goes The Cello:
This fun and innovative collection introduces cellists to a range of pop and rock styles. Building on the trail-blazing approach to cello playing that he developed in Ten American Cello Etudes and Ten International Cello Encores, Aaron Minsky presents the intermediate student with attractive new pieces that explore a number of technical and musical challenges. Imaginative and entertaining pieces. A variety of contemporary styles, including pop, rock, Latin, and country. Technical challenges such as double stops, syncopated rhythms, harmonics, thumb position, and percussive effects. Useful fingering and bowing suggestions.

 

Other Books & Compositions

This book can be purchased under the Shop MENU, Minsky Music Books SUB MENU.

Dead Cello (Published by Latham Music):

I would like to thank Alan Trist, president of Ice Nine (the Grateful Dead's publishing arm) for his undying support for Dead Cello. Said Mr. Trist, " It does not surprise me that there is such interest in Dead Cello, or in classical iterations of Grateful Dead music generally. It's a natural, because the Dead themselves approached their music orchestrally and tonally. There is more to come in this field, and you have paved the way." Dead Cello features four of the Grateful Dead's signature songs. The Other One was a vehicle for driving improvisations. Dark Star was a launch pad for space jams. Stella Blue is essentially a love song to a guitar. Truckin', a song about life on the road, became the virtual theme song of the band - a band that at one time was the top touring act in America. You can purchase a CD of this piece played by Von Cello under the Shop MENU.

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Other Compositions

1. Theater Composition: "9/10" - A full fledged "Broadway" show. Music, lyrics and book by Aaron Minsky.
2. A dozen shows for the TRY Theatre Company, some of which have made national tours.
3. Film Composition: Dream City (produced by Steven Seigal) winner of the Silver Award for Experimental Film and Video, winner of the Jury Award in the New York Exposition of Short Film and Video.
4. Video Composition: So, You're Having A Baby (produced by the TRY Theatre Company) winner of two Nova Awards.
5. Popular Song Contests: Two Certificates of Merit in the Billboard Song Contest.
6. Hundreds of Popular Songs: Over a dozen volumes of songs are copyrighted.

CORRECTIONS

As careful as I have been to write down my music accurately, there are some mistakes in my published music from Oxford University Press. Here follows a list of pieces which contain mistakes and their corrections (as well as some updates):Ten American Cello Etudes -A) Sailing Down the River: p.11, line 5, meas. 4 - option: replace the eigth rest with another eigth note (f & d)B) The Flag Waver: p. 13, line 7, meas. 1, beat 2 - the Bb should be an AbC) An American in France: p. 14, line 6, meas. 5 - the G should be a G#Three American Cello Duets -Way Out West: p. 10, line 2, meas. 2, and line 3, meas. 1 & 3 - the Bb's should be B naturalsp. 11, line 1, meas. 4, part II - the tenor clef D should be a CThree Concert Etudes -A) Etude #1, original title: The Burning HeartB) Etude #2, original title: Sinai SunsetC) Etude #3, original title: Mulattap. 9, line 3, meas. 3 - I invented the bow harmonic and the sign for it (which looks like a bow with the harmonic sign, the circle, over it)Three American Pieces -The Flag Waver: p. 7, line 7, meas. 1, last beat - the A# grace note should be A naturalYoung American Ensembles -A) Violins and Guitars -1. Lazy Day Skip: p. 1, meas. 1 & 9 - first note, down bow, meas. 6 & 14 - two up bows on first two notes (f's)2. Foundation Rock: p.2, meas. 1 - start down bow, p. 3, meas. 19 - start down bow, p. 3, meas. 32, top line - rhythm should be quarter note, eigth note, quarter note, eigth note3. Rock Line: p. 11, meas. 1,5,9,13 - start down bow, meas. 4,8,12,16 - lift bow after last note4. Chugging Along: asterik should read - optional bowing (delete: "bowing for staccato or bouncing bow)B) Violas -1. same corrections as Violins and GuitarsC) Cellos and Basses -1. same corrections as Violins and Guitars, plus the following:2. Lazy Day Skip: p.1, meas. 1, part 2, notes 3 & 4, cellos play top, basses play bottom, meas. 3, part 2, notes 1 & 2, cellos play top, basses play bottom (that way the cello plays all open strings and the bass plays all open strings except for the note C)Pacific Northwest Suite -Guitars I and II -The Fiddlers: p. 3, last meas. top line, delete the low GJudaic Concert Suite -Entrance of the Bride and Groom: p. 4, meas. 125 - the four quarter notes should be four half notes (with tremelo as indicated)

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