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W&L's Kolman Publishes Spanish Edition on How to Read, Write Music

Barry Kolman, professor of music at Washington and Lee University, has published a Spanish language version of his acclaimed book “The Language of Music Revealed” (Universal Publishers, 2012).

According to Kolman, “El Languaje de la Música, al Descubierto”(Editorial Seleer, Spain, 2013) is the first book published in Spanish on the fundamentals of how to read and write music.

Critics have praised “The Language of Music Revealed” for “moving musical theory and practical application into a new and engaging realm,” and hundreds of teachers have adopted the book as their standard student text.

“Unlike most music theory books, Kolman has worked hard to ensure that the book is fun, engaging and develops a deeper understanding and appreciation of the subject,” wrote one critic.

Kolman hopes the success of the English version will be repeated in the Hispanic community with the Spanish language edition.

“This was a labor love,” said Kolman. “I was appalled that there were no books written in Spanish on music fundamentals for the average person. Spanish universities told me that they translated whatever books they found into Spanish and also used a lot of British books. But there were no books written in Spanish.”

Like the English version, the book includes graphics, a cartoon character and jokes to guide the reader through music theory. “The jokes didn’t quite translate into Spanish,” said Kolman, “so the translator and I made up jokes that would work in Spanish.”

He credited Washington and Lee University for providing the funds to hire the translator, who needed to know about music since musical terms don’t translate verbatim.

Kolman introduced the book and played clarinet to a Hispanic audience at the Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce’s 10th Annual Hispanic Gala in October. He has also been invited to work with various schools in Chicago, Ill., talking about the book and giving mini lessons on how to read music.

Kolman conducts the University-Shenandoah Symphony Orchestra (USSO), along with teaching music fundamentals, introduction to music, applied clarinet, and conducting. He is a frequent guest conductor of orchestras around the world.

He received his B.Mus. in music education from the Crane School of Music, his M. Mus. in clarinet performance from Illinois State University and his Doctor of Arts degree in conducting from the University of Northern Colorado.

“El Languaje de la Música, al Descubierto” is available at bookstores and online.