On this page I plan to make a reading list that includes books published by the various makers in this wiki as well as books about those makers and the instruments they build. This page will also include a section on books that demonstrate instrument building theory and methods that are relevant to making musical instruments.

A complete list of my musical instrument books can be found Here


Theory Books

Technical Books on Building Musical Instruments

The Amateur Wind Instrument Maker

By Trevor Robinson, ISBN 978-0870233128

This book has diagrams for the following instruments

Fife in the key of Bb.
Copy of a single key baroque flute in three parks (in D, in baroque pitch and modern pitch)
A walking stick flute in three parts.
A renaissance style alto recorder in F, in one part
Baroque style alto and soprano recorders in F and C, each in 3 parts
A 2 key clarinet in C, in two parts plus mouthpiece (more like a chalumeau especially in length as it is much shorter than a clarinet)
A musette in (C?) in two parts
A soprano Shawm in one part plus reedcap.
A baroque oboe with 3 keys, in three parts in C (in both baroque and modern pitch)
Tenor alto and soprano crumhorns, all in one part plus windcaps.
Cant and tenor racketts, both with straight bocals
A baroque rackett with bell and curved conical bocal.
Curved and mute cornettos in A along with mouthpieces
Natural trumpet in the key of D along with mouthpiece (all made of brass)
Details on how to make gouges, reamers, and augers
Details on how to make the featured instruments reeds

This is the most easily available and comprehensive book on making early wind instruments. The information it details on how to make home made tools and how to bore out instruments using a lathe is indispensable for wind instrument makers. Though all of the projects in the book are straightforward historic versions of wind instruments the information on how they are made is very useful, and sets up a good foundation to understand how these instruments are made and the reasons for the techniques. This information can actively be applied for any number of experimental wind instruments.

Woodwinds for Schools

By Peter Tomlin, ISBN 978-0852190890

This book features designs for the following woodwinds

A four segment, conical bore, single key flute in the key of D.
A three segment, 8 keyed clarinet in the key of C.
Optionally the clarinet can be built as a 2-3 keyed chalumeau.
A three segment, 2 keyed oboe in C.
A two keyed bassoon made from 1 cut block of wood, with bocal, that goes to low C.
A simple renaissance style recorder in C (Diagram only).

To build these instruments a good amount of woodworking experience is expected, diagrams are technical, and the language describing the process on how to build them is short. All the instruments except the bassoon require the use of a lathe. Hand made jigs are required, as well as some gouges to hollow out the wood. I would only recommend getting this book if you already have a copy of The Amateur Wind Instrument Maker (ISBN 0-87023-312-2) as that book is far more detailed on how to build simple woodwinds and much of the information and techniques detailed in it are useful for tackling these projects. This book is valuable because it details a clarinet in C and a simple bassoon in such a style that do not have diagrams elsewhere.

Books on Various Instrument Builders

From Mud to Music

From Mud to music is about musical instrument makers who work with ceramics as their primary medium.
There are 3 main sections-
The first section is a set of essays about ceramic musical instruments of all kinds (plus an essay introduction by Bart Hopkin)
The second section is a set of biographies and profiles on various living ceramic sound artists.
The third section is a set of demos on how to make clay instruments, the demos are simplistic and easy to make for people new to ceramics.

Instrument making demos written by Barry Hall

Side-Hole Pot Drum (a simple Udu drum)
An Ocarina (4 and 6 hole pendant ocarinas)
A Goblet Drum
A Side Blown Flute (6 hole transverse flute)
Whistle Flute (a clay tin whistle with 4 holes)

books.txt ยท Last modified: 2022/12/03 13:18 by mete
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