Whole Notes: A Piano Masterclass

by Armen Donelian (Advance Music, 2011)

Written in a conversational tone, Whole Notes: A Piano Masterclass is both a piano method book per se and, more importantly, a guidebook to accompany the reader’s personal journey into music. Posture, practicing, mental and physical health, using weight and force, economy of movement, and expression are some of the topics addressed.

Topics are amply explored through detailed piano arrangements of Armen Donelian’s compositions, and they are clearly connected to principles of music theory, rhythm, analysis, and composition as well as physics, anatomy, and holistic development.

These themes and principles are of universal interest to all musicians. As a practical inquiry, Whole Notes offers many options for creatively applying and integrating them for individual use. For this reason, the needs of non-pianists are also discussed.

Concerned with how as well as what to play, Whole Notes incorporates Armen Donelian's personal experience in the worlds of both composed and improvised music. They are treated not as two separate areas, but as multi-faceted expressions of universal musical sound phenomena that transcend categories because, as he says, "That is how I experience them.”

The 212-page book contains 73 photographs, numerous original compositions, musical examples, and technical exercises.

Training the Ear Volume 1 

by Armen Donelian (Advance Music, 1992; Japanese edition by ATN, Inc., 2001)

A basic jazz ear training instructional book with 2 CDs of recorded musical examples found in the book.

Covers intervals, triads, seventh chords, inversions, dominant cadences, blues progressions, tritone substitution, major scales in 12 keys. Exercises for singing, tapping, transcribing, sight-reading, composing and dictation.

"The most clearly organized and comprehensive package of its type." - Lewis Porter, Rutgers Annual Review of Jazz Studies 7, Scarecrow Press, 1994-5