MUSIC IN THE WOOD by Cornelia Cornelissen


Age Range: 8 & up
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 A simple, unassuming glimpse of how a violin maker's talents shape chunks of wood into a musical instrument. It's easy to forget, while listening to music, where the instruments originate. Cornelissen's first book restores some of the wonder of that process by tracing the making of a cello, from its conception in rough wood to its final coat of varnish. In each step of the cello's creation readers learn just how the instrument's outcome is dependent on the honing, shaping, and joining skills of its maker (identified on the jacket as the author's husband). MacLachlan debuts with careful b&w photos that show the myriad steps that are part of such craftsmanship, as well as the hours of waiting between steps. He catches small details, including a shower of shavings that lands on the violin maker's spaniel, dozing beneath the workbench. The book ends when the cello is done; next comes a glossary, and then a closing photo of the instrument in the arms of its new owner, who performs on a compact disc accompanying the book. In the added dimension of being able to hear the instrument, the cello itself is the real starthe music borne from its wood and string seems all the more miraculous. Those who encounter the book without disc, however, will feel anything but slightedbookmaking, as in cello-making, has been given all due care. (Nonfiction. 8+)

Pub Date: June 1st, 1995
ISBN: 0-385-31167-2
Page count: 48pp
Publisher: Delacorte
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 1995