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Tipbooks: A Review
Dean Olah


Tipbook Covers Pinksterboer, Hugo. Tipbook, Music on Paper and Trumpet & Trombone. The TipBook Company, www.tipbook.com. Distributed by Hal Leonard Corporation. Softcover, 132 pp each, $9.95.

The Tipbook Company was formed by journalist, writer, and musician Hugo Pinksterboer and illustrator, designer, and musician Gijs Bierenbroodspot. All books were written in collaboration with and proofread by musicians, teachers, technicians, and other experts, for beginners, students, and advanced players. Hugo Pinksterboer has published hundreds of interviews, articles and instrument, video, CD and book reviews for Dutch and international music magazines. He is the author of the reference work for cymbals (The Cymbal Book, Hal Leonard) and he has written and developed a wide variety of manuals and courses, both for musicians and for non-musicians. Gijs Bierenbroodspot has worked as an art director for a wide variety of magazines and he has developed numerous ad campaigns. While searching in vain for information about saxophone mouthpieces, he got the idea for this series of books on music and musical instruments. He is responsible for the layout and the illustrations for all of the books.

The intended audience for the Tipbook Trumpet & Trombone is students, their parents and amateur musicians. However, there is such vast information and details covered in this slim 132 page book that trombone or trumpet players of any level would enjoy reading it. The Tipbook is not a method book but rather an overall informational collection of practical, down to earth advice on the trombone and trumpet. Topics covered in this book included brass terms, purchasing an instrument, practical ranges, embouchure, slide positions and fingerings, mutes, private lessons, mouthpieces, maintenance, history, brands and manufacturing. Think of this book as an extensive internet search about the trombone and trumpet condensed into one well organized, accessible package.

Tipbook Music on Paper is a basic music theory package which covers everything from pitch, staffs, clefs, time signatures, accidentals, dynamics, and tempo to scales, form, transposition, solfege, chords and musical notation history. Like the Trumpet & Trombone book this publication is designed for the music student and is very well organized and easy to read. Music on Paper is a perfect supplement and quick reference guide to any high school music program or basic college music theory course.

There are two features that set the Tipbook publications apart from other informational collections. First are the excellent illustrations which accompany each topic and clearly define the subject. Second is the online “Tipcode” which allows the reader to access additional multimedia information online. At the suggested retail cost of $9.95, Tipbooks Trumpet & Trombone and Music on Paper are affordable, handy, accessible, thorough and convenient guides. These books are perfect for music educators and college music majors as well as brass players who want to get the most out of their instrument and music students who want a solid and clear theory foundation.


Dean Olah studied trombone and music education under scholarship at the University of Toledo where he completed his BA and course work for a master's degree. A former public school band director, Dean performs with the North Carolina Brass, the Raleigh Jazz Orchestra, the Raleigh Symphony, is employed by BluePhoenix Solutions as a Software Systems Analyst and maintains an extensive low brass teaching studio.

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