Hear what customers & colleagues have said about Frank Epstein's book Cymbalisms.
"Congratulations on putting together so thorough and informative a volume. I'm certain it will be valuable resource as so few percussionists have the opportunity of either the personal experience in this repertoire or personal contact and guidance from a musician who has such a vast knowledge of all of these parts and has been so thoughtful in solving the many problems inherent in performing it. The recorded examples are really an asset!"
Gregg Zuber Metropolitan Orchestra
"Cymbalisms" is not just a new cymbal treatise -- its format should set the standard for all future orchestral percussion manuals. You've started a new age. I can't wait to begin practicing all the slicing, frizzing, flapping, etc... Can't believe how much information you've packed in there. I remember you spoke about writing it when you were in Milan so it's nice to see the finished product. Congratulations and thank you - for the book and for all the new ideas.
Mike Quinn percussionist and instructor in Italy and Europe
"Your book arrived. Thank You! It is a really great book, with all the information that exists in it! Wow, you have done a great job! Monday I will start using it straight away! Thanks for sending it to me, and sharing all that wisdom... I will promote students and libraries to buy it. See you soon I hope, all the best"
Peter Prommel, percussionist and instructor in the Netherlands and Germany
"Your book is also helpful to composers, scoring for symphonic (and even chamber) works including cymbals. I am currently working on a commission from the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse Symphony Orchestra, and am keeping many of the techniques I learned from you book in mind as I orchestrate the parts. Thanks again."
Dr. Dan Maske, Music Department Cardinal Stritch University
"Many, many thanks for the copy of your new book. I've read through it & it's just a blast. Your passion, thoughtfulness & dedicated artistry are a real inspiration. The insights that you share will be of great value not just to fellow percussionists, but to composers, arrangers & conductors as well."
Tom Myron, Composer
"This is, of all the several thousand books I have read in my life, one of the most amazing — amazing since it explores only a very tiny corner of the vast field of music: the art of playing the cymbals in an orchestra. Frank Epstein, for forty years a member of the percussion section of the Boston Symphony, has covered his subject matter from every possible angle: verbal/instructive (lucid, clear advice, garnished with over one hundred musical/notational examples); visual (one hundred sixty photographs showing exactly the many different positions of the cymbals and the player's hands); aural (two enclosed CDs), sonically illustrating the fine art of cymbal playing through recordings by the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Mr. Epstein. The author not only leads the reader through the cymbal's role in the standard repertory, from Beethoven and Rossini through Ravel and Debussy to Stravinksy and Varèse, but he has also ingeniously re-imagined and raised the art of cymbal playing to new expressive heights by inventing twenty two — count 'em — different specialized ways of handling those golden brass plates. He has given these newly developed techniques colorful, witty names, such as: Hiss, Kiss, Swish, Frizzle, Grizz, Slit, Scissor, Spin, Multi-Flap and many more. In short, Frank Epstein has produced an invaluable primer on cymbal playing, which offers truly everything one might ever want to know about playing that shiny, shimmering instrument we see in the back of the orchestra and — more important— what every percussionist would need to know. Although Mr. Epstein accomplishes all this in a mere 104 pages, it is a truly monumental achievement."
Gunther Schuller: composer, conductor and educator
"Wow, what an absolutely fantastic resource and superbly well done. Of course Cymbalisms just arrived so I haven't had a chance to truly dig in and learn and grow from detailed study yet, but I sincerely do look forward to doing so and sharing it will all of my students (encouraging them to purchase a copy as well for their own resource libraries). As you know, you've got such a wonderfully imaginative sense of humor, Frank, those 22 Cymbalisms are just amazing - I can just hear many of them in my "minds ear" just by the onomatopoetic meaning. Of course Zischend, but the grizzle, grizz, whizz, prezz, flaps, scissor, scuffle, spin – those are just amazingly fun and so right on and imaginative. I'm just thrilled and eager to share this right away with our gang at Michigan. No doubt these expressions will soon creep into the cymbalists verbiage just like ratimaque, flam, drag and paradiddle rudiments have done for the snare drummer. I'm thrilled to receive this most kind gift with your note and "John Hancock" on it as well - I will truly cherish this gift and can't wait to put on the CDs and listen to the compilation of your cymbal artistry. WHAT A PROJECT! BRAVO many times over!!!!!!!"
Mike Udow University of Michigan
"Without question this is the finest and most practical book on the art of playing cymbals that has ever been published. I showed it to my section and it remains on stage for over a week while we all study every page. Though you mentioned the time spent getting "everyone's permission" it looks like years of work on your part. How fitting that at this stage of your career you make this information available to percussionists for generations to come. Wow and more wow."
Paul Berns, Indianapolis Symphony
"First of all, let me thank you for the copy of your new book. I truly appreciate the inscription in the front. It means a lot coming from the guy who literally wrote the book on cymbal playing. (in all ways) The book is great. You have a lot of different excerpts and I particularly like the descriptive names you give to the different sounds. I hope that it is a success in the market place. And after playing next to Frank for 37 years, you would think I could have said, He's a great player, just buy the book! But its quite different now that I'm retired. I am sitting in the audience and saying, there really is a reason why he sounds so good. All of those sounds and nuances, that I was so used to, were well thought out, and make a big difference in how he shapes the music we hear. From Mahler to Debussy, he makes you pause to consider his approach and his approach is great! Study this book and you will be ahead of the game."
Tom Gauger, former member Boston Symphony Orchestra
"Let me thank you for the dedication, I was very touched. I started reading slowly from the beginning. There is nothing even close to it in the percussion literature. Very classy, great pictures, well explained details and most important the musical reasons for everything. Even after so many years playing in an orchestra I never realized what Cymbalisms was. This book will be the classic in the percussion literature, CONGRATULATIONS. Ton ami Louis ...(thanks again...)"
Louis Charbonneau former timpanist Montreal Symphony
"I just finished reading your new book, and also listening to many of the excerpts. Terrific concept and execution - both the book and the playing. I think it's one of the best percussion books I've seen in years. Even though it's concerned with cymbals, it's really about sound and expression. So few methods encourage experimentation, exploration and listening, and this completely supports that in a very positive way. The fact that it comes from an authority like you makes it all the more persuasive. I know how much thought, time and work go into creating something like this. Thanks and congratulations."
"ow! I said to myself this morning when I opened my mail... What did I do to deserve this? It arrived -- seemingly out of nowhere: "Cymbalisms." And it has all the appearances of being your magnum opus -- what a handsome, beautifully engraved volume you produced. No doubt, it will debut as "No. 1" on the PAS "best seller" list. Congratulations! You should be VERY proud of your achievement. (Can't wait to get into it and share it with my SSO colleagues.)"
Ernest Muzquiz, Syracuse Symphony
"Thank you so much for the copy of "Cymbalisms", an instant classic! Your caring, intelligence, and imagination are an inspiration. I have been reading through the book and listening to the CD's over the last couple of weeks and have thoroughly enjoyed it. Congratulations on this wonderful achievement."
Tony Orlando, Philadelphia Orchestra
"This has to be the most comprehensive, well-documented instruction manual on cymbal playing published to date. The time, effort and research in compiling the information in this text reflects the author's many years in the Boston Symphony. Epstein has furnished valuable notes, taken from his experiences of playing under many of the world's noted conductors. Where many excerpt books provide written examples, this text provides actual recordings from performances and rehearsals. There are examples of the same excerpt employing different approaches to meet the tastes of different conductors. The text is divided into six chapters that cover cymbal selection, playing positions, types of strokes and special effects. Each area provides excellent descriptions of the types of techniques and attacks needed in cymbal performance, and includes over 100 musical examples or excerpts that apply to the techniques covered. The book also discusses the mental preparation needed for successful performance. The text comes with two CD's that can be used for study and practice. This is one of the best investments one could make in preparing for auditions or performances."