to Brass Playing was written by Edward Gibney !
Hickman revealed the following (on Trumpet Herald, Fri
Jul 23, 2004):
didn't actually write it!!
out that Mendez signed a contract with Carl Fischer to publish
many of his solos with piano reductions. The contract also included him
recording Arban's single tongue exercises and to write a technique
textbook. After years of never being able to find the time to write the
book, he was being somewhat pestered by CF.
was performing a concert or two in Canada and met a man who was
a local trumpet teacher. This fellow (I think I should keep his name
anonymous) went to his concerts and asked Mendez if he could take him
to lunch and then give him a ride to the airport. Mendez agreed.
man presented Mendez with a copy of a book he had written (same
title, too!) and hoped that he would someday read it. Evidently, the
man had tried to get it published but no publishers were interested
because the man was totally unknown outside of his area.
read it on the plane and felt that it was very good and
quite similar to his own ideas about playing. Mendez called him and
said "You have written my book!" Mendez asked permission to publish it
and told the man that both of their names would appear on the cover.
(Mendez DID edit the book a little.) He agreed to give the man half of
the royalties from sales. The guy agreed and was very flattered. No
contract between the man and Mendez was ever signed.
Fischer published it only with Mendez' name. All Rafael could
do was apoligize to the man. Mendez did pay the man some royalties,
about five years ago this man sent a very long letter to me
(it must have been 6 pages) explaining all of this and he included a
few brief notes from Mendez that came with royalty checks. I am
convinced his story is true.
don't let this influence your feelings about the book. It is
still a fine text for beginners and I am glad that it will be available
Then he followed
up with this info (Sun
Jul 25, 2004 ):
Well, I have made
some progress on the PRELUDE TO BRASS PLAYING book.
I dug out the
correspondence from 1996 with a man named Edward Gibney (Vancouver, BC),
read all of it again, and gave him a call. He is alive and doing well.
He remembered our letters.
He claims that the
reason the book went out of print is because he and
Mendez were very disappointed in the sales back in the 1960s and '70s.
No promotion. Plain cover. No illustrations. Etc. After sales dropped
significantly by the late '70s, Gibney wanted to buy the
rights to the book back from Carl Fischer. They said, "Fine, but only
if Mendez agrees."
Mendez signed an
agreement in 1979 approving of the deal. CF finally signed a transfer
contract with Gibney in 1981. (This is
all according to Gibney, mind you.)
purchased the remaining inventory of books....about 200.....which he
quickly sold to libraries in Canada. His plan was to publish the book
himself (he had started a small music publishing company called Gibney
Music Publications, Inc.) and include numerous photos of Mendez, a list
of his recordings, illustrations, etc. However, he ran out of money.
When my wife wrote
the biography on Mendez (published by Summit Records), Gibney
purchased a copy and then contacted me about reissuing his Prelude
book. Summit (I was president) declined because we then felt that CF
might had diluted the market potential.
I don't know what
more any of us can do right now. I do not know if Mr. Gibney actually has full
ownership of the book or not. They will have to sort that out. I know
that Gibney will speak to CF
about acknowledgement of his part in the writing of the book.
Then finally an
update (on Mon
Aug 02, 2004):
TO BRASS PLAYING........latest update.
I received an email today from Ed Gibney. He was very happy that
Carl Fischer is wanting to work out a licensing deal with him. It's all
Bill Bridges sent
this post to TPIN (7/29/2004):
long-time Mendez fan myself, I recently had the good fortune to locate
a copy of PRELUDE TO BRASS PLAYING in a used book store, but have not
commented on it in this forum.
It is an old library
book, from the Coquitlam Public Library in
Coquitlam, British Columbia, and has a dust jacket in excellent
The dust jacket cover
PRELUDE TO BRASS
By Rafael Mendez in
collaboration with Edward Gibney
The inside of the
dust jacket reads:
"PRELUDE TO BRASS
PLAYING is the result of the authors' wide
experience in the field. The book provides a solid foundation for such
facets of musicianship as breathing, embouchure, reading, and many
others. The tendency of too many beginners to rush into playing of
'tunes' often results in bad habits which not only interfere with
progress, but are difficult to unlearn. Here is the safe, sure road to
playing a brass instrument.
While a must for
both extremes of the musical ladder -- the
outright beginner and the experienced teacher -- it is also an
invaluable reference for the brass player at any level.
As all rights to
this publication have been assigned to Gibney Music Publications,
Inc., it is timely to recognize Edward Gibney's contribution to
this text and his lengthy association with Rafael Mendez."
The back inside cover
of the dust jacket reads:
"RAFAEL MENDEZ is
generally considered to be the greatest trumpet
virtuoso of this era. His fabulous career started when -- hardly more
than a toddler -- he played for Pancho Villa. Since then he has been
acclaimed here and abroad and has become famous in all musical media.
is acknowledged as a distinguished brass educator, clinician, and coach
by his many students and colleagues. His teaching expertise and writing
style qualifies (sic) him to this unique team to co-author PRELUDE TO
The authors have
drawn not only on their own extensive knowledge
of teaching ideas and methods of approach, but also upon a long and
stimulating exchange of ideas with their many colleagues.
students have benefited from the teaching skills of
these two brass experts; many more will profit from PRELUDE TO BRASS
So, this seems to
certainly reinforce David Hickman's information.
I'm sure we can all
sympathize with Mr. Gibney's
situation of doing literally all the work on the book and receiving no
public credit ... although he was, at least, compensated with
royalties. It's good to see him finally receive the recognition he is
Thanks to David
Hickman and Bill Bridges for allowing me to use this information!