Brief Book Review: Themes and Variations: Music and Imagination

Themes and Variations: Music and Imagination
By Don Saliers

Who should read this?  Anyone who loves music, and has experienced or is open to its transformative power.

Why should you read this?  Because Don Saliers has a lifetime of experience as a musician, preacher, teacher, husband, father, and improviser to share with you in short, simple, powerful easily-digestible essays.

What intrigued me the most?  It has been said that music speaks a language only the heart knows.  Sailers is fluent in that language, and shares with the reader in these deeply personal texts what his heart has learned.  Many times I found myself “Googling” unfamiliar music to understand better the connections he was making.  Like poetry, one could read these essays again and again and find more insights.

Kudos for an amazing index that lists composers, compositions, liturgical seasons, composers, psalms, and themes that aids the reader in finding essays quickly and seeing how the texts are woven together.  The essays have a wonderful conversational tone to them which is engaging and uplifting.

Don Saliers, Themes and Variations: Music and Imagination, GIA Publications, Inc., 2020, 282 pages.

REVIEWER: Julia Upton

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