Textbook Advise Needed

Marius

Active Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2007
Location
Tampa, FL
Greetings,
In February I'll be teaching a college Lighting and Sound Design course. This will be my first time teaching this class, and I am at something of a loss on choosing a text. I'd hate to make the kids by the Gillette design and production book for just two chapters. Can anyone recommend a single text that covers the basics of sound and lights? Or barring that, a good sound design text?

Many thanks,
Rick T.
St. Petersburg, FL
 

Grog12

CBMod
CB Mods
Premium Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2006
Location
Denver, CO
Honestly I'd go with the Parker Wolf or the Gillette book. Its a good thing to have in the library no matter what proffesion you're following in theatre.

To my knowledge you're not going to find a book that covers just sound and lights. But come down to Orlando this weekend to LDI and I'm sure you'll find something there.
 

Drmafreek

Active Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2004
Location
New Wilmington, PA
Before I give examples, how advanced is this course? Is it a beginning, majors only, or a gen ed course? That is generally how I figure out what book I use. For lighting, Gillette is good, but so is Pilbrow. Finding a text that covers both lighting and sound equally may be a bit of a challenge. Also, I know it says design, but will you be covering anything technical?
 

Grog12

CBMod
CB Mods
Premium Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2006
Location
Denver, CO
Pilbrow is out of print.

It being a ligthing and sound course it sounds more like an intro course...granted I'm just assuming here...
 

Drmafreek

Active Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2004
Location
New Wilmington, PA
Grog:

Hmmm, thanks for the note on out of print. Guess I should have checked that first. :)
 

Grog12

CBMod
CB Mods
Premium Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2006
Location
Denver, CO
I can't tell you how sad I am to see it being out of print....I'm trying to get my greasey little hands on a hardcopy since mine is all dog eared
 

gafftaper

Senior Team
Senior Team
Fight Leukemia
Joined
Jan 2, 2006
Location
Seattle, WA
I used "Technical Theater for non-technical people" as the text for my class Introduction to Technical Theater. It gives you one chapter on everything and costs less than $20. However it sounds like your class is just lights and sound and you'll want something more detailed and focused. Unfortunately, I don't know that there is a reasonably priced book that covers both those topics.

Try the www.plsnbookshelf.com and www.musicbooksplus.com

As was said, if you are already in Florida, go to LDI this weekend, besides being a heck of a lot of fun, both of those companies I'm sure will be there selling books so you should be able to get a first hand look at many of them.
 

Marius

Active Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2007
Location
Tampa, FL
Pilbrow is out of print.
It being a ligthing and sound course it sounds more like an intro course...granted I'm just assuming here...
Thanks for all of your answers. Yes, it's an intro course, and not necessarily for majors. I'm really not sure if there is such a book, but maybe something that might have a bit more than a passing mention of the subjects. I'm trying to avoid making them buy two books since most of them will just sell it later anyway.
 

icewolf08

CBMod
CB Mods
Joined
Jan 11, 2007
Location
Lititz, PA
Since it is a design course, it might be harder to find a single book that covers both lighting and sound design. Books like "Scene Design and Stage Lighting" (Parker/Wolf/Block) is a good intro book, but the last edition I saw (which isn't the newest) only had one chapter on sound, and opened by saying the sound was an electromagnetic wave.... Didn't inspire confidence there, but the newer edition may be better.

Two books might be the way to go, and in that case, just find less expensive books. They don't have to be $90 textbooks. Something like "book, along with "[URL='http://www.amazon.com/dp/087830116X/?tag=controlbooth-20" target="_blank" class="link link--external link-http" rel="noopener">Theatre Sound" (Leonard) or "Sound and Music for the Theatre: The Art and Technique of Design" (Kaye). Either sound book and the lighting book would total under $70, so cheaper than major text books.

Now, I am sure everyone has books they like, but if you are teaching an intro course that includes non majors, simple is good. You probably don't need Doc. Bracewell's "Sound Design For Theatre" as it would go over everyone's heads (and it is out of print). There are lots of good entry [autolink]level[/autolink] books out there.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Grog12

CBMod
CB Mods
Premium Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2006
Location
Denver, CO

Marius

Active Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2007
Location
Tampa, FL
Thanks for all the input. Y'all are giving me some great ideas. :)
 

DaveySimps

CBMod
CB Mods
Premium Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2007
Location
Macomb, MI
I used "SOUND AND MUSIC FOR THE THEATRE" by Deena Kaye and James LeBrecht for a Sound Design undergrad course I taught a few years back. I thought it worked well, and the students seemed to get quite a bit from it. I did feel it lacked a little in the gear / technical aspect of things, but I had no problem supplementing with equipment we had in stock. Plus it gave them a little hands on eqpirence which is important.

~Dave
 

propmonkey

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2004
Location
Milwaukee, WI
go old school...

"A Method of Stage Lighting" by Stanley McCandless

i have the 1964 version which i still need to read.

and for sound ive heard the yamaha sound reinforcement one is pretty good.

just google and look at what some other college lighting and sound courses have listed for required texts and references.
 

Drmafreek

Active Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2004
Location
New Wilmington, PA
go old school...
"A Method of Stage Lighting" by Stanley McCandless
i have the 1964 version which i still need to read.
and for sound ive heard the yamaha sound reinforcement one is pretty good.
just google and look at what some other college lighting and sound courses have listed for required texts and references.
Ahhhh, McCandless, you can't go wrong in beginning lighting there. On a side note, I attended my first show in a theatre that was designed with the help of McCandless himself. Perfect for his system, per the TD there, not so perfect for much else.
 

Mirrai

Member
Joined
May 26, 2007
Being a theatre student taking classes in lighting and sound design I would say that the Parker/Wolf/Block book is the best choice. At my school we use it for 3 classes our Stagecraft class, our basic Stage Lighting class, and Sound design. I have found the book to be very helpful when used as an additive to class, seeing as most of my classes is hand on work where the professer is usually teaching more from experince then from a book.
 

icewolf08

CBMod
CB Mods
Joined
Jan 11, 2007
Location
Lititz, PA
Being a theatre student taking classes in lighting and sound design I would say that the Parker/Wolf/Block book is the best choice. At my school we use it for 3 classes our Stagecraft class, our basic Stage Lighting class, and Sound design. I have found the book to be very helpful when used as an additive to class, seeing as most of my classes is hand on work where the professer is usually teaching more from experince then from a book.
But does that book still say that sound is an electromagnetic wave? That used to be in the very first paragraph of the chapter on sound. I know a lot of people who have used that text for scenic and lighting, but not for sound.
 

Marius

Active Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2007
Location
Tampa, FL
But does that book still say that sound is an electromagnetic wave? That used to be in the very first paragraph of the chapter on sound. I know a lot of people who have used that text for scenic and lighting, but not for sound.
Well, I suppose if it was talking about the sound before it gets out of the wire and into the speakers, then it's sort of an EM wave. ;)

And again, thank you all for your very helpful input.:grin:
 

Grog12

CBMod
CB Mods
Premium Member
Joined
Nov 2, 2006
Location
Denver, CO
go old school...
"A Method of Stage Lighting" by Stanley McCandless
i have the 1964 version which i still need to read.
and for sound ive heard the yamaha sound reinforcement one is pretty good.
just google and look at what some other college lighting and sound courses have listed for required texts and references.
Yamaha is good...but its not a beginers book..not in the slightest.