Based on tested methods used by the author during many years of teaching, "Music First!" takes a step-by-step approach to the fundamentals of music theory and basic composition, engaging students through a combination of explanation and interaction. Students learn cumulatively as they progress through the book. This popular 'learn-by-doing' approach reinforces theoretical principles through practice and enlivens any Fundamentals course.
Gary White holds a Ph.D. in Music Composition from Michigan State University. At his retirement in 1994 he was Distinguished Professor of Music at Iowa State University, where he developed and administered the music theory curriculum and established the electronic and computer music studio. For a number of years he was also in charge of music listening courses for the general student at Iowa State. Dr. White is the composer of over fifty published musical compositions and the author of Music First! (a music fundamentals textbook) and Instrumental Arranging (a textbook for orchestration and arranging), both published by McGraw-Hill. He has been awarded the U.C. Berkeley Medal by the University of California at Berkeley, was named a National Arts Associate by Sigma Alpha Iota, and has held a MacDowell Colony Fellowship. His compositions have won many prizes and awards, including the Toon van Balkom Prize and the Shenandoah/Percussion Plus Prize.