American Neo-Noir

American Neo-Noir

The Movie Never Ends

 by Alain Silver and James Ursini


After scores of books and commentaries on film noir and its classic period, experts Alain Silver and James Ursini turn their full attention to neo-noir, the self-conscious, mannered, sometimes ersatz, and often surprising genre that sprang from the original movement.

American Neo-Noir: The Movie Never Ends (May 2015, Applause Books, $27.99) surveys the full breath of American neo-noir, its style and substance, its evolution over succeeding generations of filmmakers, from activist through postmodern to millennial and on, with extensive illustrations in black-and-white and full-color that capture the genre’s dramatic and visual essence.

To write a book about neo-noir, one must first define it, and Silver and Ursini do so this way:

For us, neo-noir is more genre than movement, a mimicking of the style and content of the classic period, the best early example of which is John Boorman’s 1967 Point Blank, an adaptation of The Hunter, part of a postwar, hard-boiled series of “Parker” novels about the criminal underworld by Donald Westlake writing as Richard Stark. Like its antecedent and from the first, neo-noir would also be tied closely to a literary movement, riffs on the work of Hammett, Chandler, and McCoy, starting with the gritty exploration of sociopathy by Jim Thompson, the smug mysogyny of Spillane’s Mike Hammer and then a next generation that included Westlake, Ross Macdonald, and Elmore Leonard.

With chapters such as “Victims of Circumstance – Love with an Improper Stranger,” “Gangsters, Pushers, Pimps, and Con Men,” and “Some Cops Still Bend the Rules,” and a filmography featuring more than 500 titles, American Neo-Noir: The Movie Never Ends is the most thorough examination yet of the movement from its creation to the present day.

8″ x 10″
336 pages
Applause Theatre & Cinema Books, an imprint of Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group


Alain Silver is the author of The Samurai Film and The Noir Style. With James Ursini, he co-edited Film Noir: The Encyclopedia and seven readers on film noir and the horror and gangster genres, all published by Limelight Editions, an imprint of Hal Leonard Corporation. His produced screenplays include the Showtime feature Time at the Top. He lives in Santa Monica, Calif.

James Ursini is co-author, with Alain Silver, of The Vampire Film, published by Limelight Editions, and Film Noir Graphics. His other books include Femme Fatale, Cinema of Obsession, and Directors on the Edge. Together, Silver and Ursini have contributed audio-video commentaries for more than two dozen noir DVD releases.

8 x 10 in. cutout print

Getting Started with Music Production

Getting Started with Music Production

How to record, edit, and mix music using a digital audio workstation

 by Robert Willey


Hal Leonard Books, the musician’s best source of books on the music business, audio technology, instrument history, and more, has published Getting Started with Music Production. Written by Dr. Robert Willey, recipient of the Excellence in Teaching Award 2013 from the UL Lafayette Foundation, this book will help readers quickly learn how to record and mix music with a digital audio workstation (DAW), understand basic audio principles, and will help more advanced practitioners hone their music production skills.

Getting Started with Music Production‘s logically structured, hands-on approach works well for self-guided learning and for activity-oriented courses. The illustrations and examples are built around Studio One from Presonus (most exercises can be done with the free version), but the fundamental concepts and techniques transfer seamlessly to any modern DAQ, such as Logic and Pro Tools.

As digital technology has fundamentally changed the way music is produced, Dr. Willey strives to teach musicians and budding audio engineers how to take full advantage of the new tools and unleash their creativity.

“The students have to know what’s behind it. How analog to digital conversion works, how computers represent sounds, and the principals of recording, where to pith the microphone, and things like that,” he says. “The more knowledgeable they are as students, and the broader they are as musicians, the more they’ll be able to adjust to the future changes in the industry.”

To help the reader apply what they learn, Dr. Willey includes a wealth of practice exercises; quiz questions, activities for all levels, and complete mix sessions. Audio and video examples further explain and expand on the concepts presented. All supporting media is provided online for easy access from a computer or mobile device.

Getting Started with Music Production is intended for college music majors, high school students, and independent learners. It is the perfect guide for those who produce music at home, and the ideal textbook for teachers. The first ten chapters can be used by schools on the quarter system, with an additional five chapters provided for those on the semester system.

“What Robert brings to the table is so unique: the ability to make the connection between all the different technologies and true musicianship,” says Gordon Brooks, Dean, College of Arts.

John Mlynczak, the Education Market Manager for PreSonus, talks to Dr. Robert Willey about the book at (podcast).

8.5″ x 11″
186 pages
Hal Leonard Books, an imprint of Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group


Robert Willey is a keyboard player, composer, and music technologist with a long background in higher education. After earning a PhD from the University of California, San Diego, he spent two years in Brazil as a Fulbright Scholar and visiting professor of computer music composition and performance, chamber music, improvisation, arranging, and distance education course design. He returned to the United States to teach popular music theory, computer literacy, and rock band at the State University of New York College at Oneonta; later, at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, he taught music theory, music technology, synthesis, recording, live sound, music appreciation, music industry, and jazz combo. He is presently the director of the Music Media Production and Industry program at Ball State University. His publications include Louisiana Creole Fiddle, Brazilian Piano, and the DVD From La La to Zydeco: Creole and Zydeco Music from Louisiana. He lives in Muncie, Indiana.


Seinfeld FAQ

Seinfeld FAQ

Everything Left to Know About the Show About Nothing

 by Nicholas Nigro


Is it a show about nothing or one of the greatest TV series of all time? It’s both, of course!

Seinfeld‘s impact on popular culture was so profound that it continues to this day—years after it left prime time—thanks to its inimitable characters (Newman! Bubble Boy!), its wacky, memorable plots (who can forget “The Contest” or “The Puffy Shirt”?), and the many catchphrases we use regularly (not that there’s anything wrong with that).

Seinfeld FAQ: Everything Left to Know About the Show About Nothing (July 2015, Applause Books, $24.99) is the first-ever comprehensive guide to the sitcom, tracing its path from modest beginnings to water-cooler-show status and to its infamous, love-it-or-hate-it finale. This humor-filled reference tells us all about Jerry, Elaine, George, and Kramer, as well as the Constanzas, Morty, and Helen Seinfeld, J. Peterman, and the other unforgettable characters in their world.

Seinfeld FAQ features season-by-season episode reviews and a wealth of fun facts about everything from the characters’ inevitably doomed relationships to their food obsessions and fashion sense (or lack thereof) as well as profiles of actors and other notables. Nigro also looks at the actors’ lives and careers after Seinfeld, and assesses the sitcom landscape in the post-Seinfeld world.

Broad in scope and yet obsessed with detail (like the show itself), this FAQ is essential reading for anyone who wants to be master of the Seinfeld domain.

July 14, 2015

6″ x 9″
400 pages
Applause Theatre & Cinema Books, an imprint of Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group


Nicholas Nigro is a freelance writer and the author of books on a variety of subjects, from spirituality to science and medicine, and from popular culture to pets and animals. Some of his works include The Everything Coaching and Mentoring Book101 Best Businesses for Pet LoversThe Everything Success Book, and three books in the Backbeat Books Spirituality Series on Bono, Carlos Santana, and Richard Gere. He lives in New York.




Letters to His Family and Friends

 by Tatiana Rimsky-Korsakov

 edited by Malcolm J. Crocker and Margarita Maksotskaya

An important, rare biography of the highly influential Russian composer—rich with

correspondence and other material available in English for the first time.


Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov is one of Russia’s great musical figures. Although largely self-taught, he became a professor at the Saint Petersburg Conservatory and one of the famed “Mighty Handful” of Russian nationalist composers. Works with Scheherazade and Capriccio Espagnol remain popular, as does his textbook on orchestration. His influence extended from students like Stravinsky and Prokoflev to non-Russian composers such as Debussy, Dukas, and Ravel, yet relatively little written about him is available outside Russia.

Rimsky-Korsakov: Letters to His Family and Friends (July 2015, Amadeus Press, $34.99) is a rare, revealing look at the composer, written by his granddaughter Tatiana. Featuring a wealth of correspondence and photographs from his family’s archives, this book provides new, fascinating details about the composer’s life, work, and relations with close friends and colleagues, including Borodin, Mussorgsky, and Tchaikovsky. It also sheds new light on his wife, Nadezhda Purgold, an accomplished composer and pianist who helped her husband with his own compositions. Many letters involve Rimsky-Korsakov’s other family members and important figures in art, history, literature, and music of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Filled with material presented in English for the first time, Rimsky-Korsakov: Letters to His Family and Friends is an essential resource on Rimsky-Korsakov, late romantic and early modern music, and culture in Russia as it approached the end of an era.

July 28, 2015

6″ x 9″
400 pages
Amadeus Press, an imprint of Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group


Tatiana Rimsky-Korsakov (1915-2006) granddaughter of the composer, wrote two books in Russian about him—one about his childhood and youth, and one about his later life—on which this book is based.


Malcolm J. Crocker is Distinguished University Professor Emeritus at Auburn University. A widely honored expert in acoustics, his many publications include the four-volume Encyclopedia of Acoustics. He lives in Auburn, Ala.

Margarita Maksotskaya has degrees in music and linguistics from Saint Petersburg State University in Russia. She is currently a visiting research scholar at Auburn University. She lives in Auburn, Ala.


Hal Leonard and METAlliance® Form Partnership to Publish Online Educational Courses

Legendary Audio Engineers and Producers

Develop Online Courses to Share Their

Expertise with the Music World

Hal Leonard and METAlliance® Form Partnership

to Publish Online Educational Courses

Hal Leonard Books, the leading publisher of books and digital content on the music business, audio technology, and related content, and the renowned METAlliance® group, an important alliance between six of the most iconic and prolific engineer/producers in the music business today, have partnered to develop a series of educational tools for a wide range of sound engineers and music producers—from the professional to the hobbyist.

The Music Engineering and Technology Alliance (METAlliance®) was founded by globally-recognized, award-winning audio engineers and producers Chuck Ainlay, Ed Cherney, Frank Filipetti, George Massenburg, Elliot Scheiner, Al Schmitt, and the late Phil Ramone. The remaining six original members continue to be active in their pursuit of excellence. In addition to actively creating great new music, this group of sonic and technical innovators has been deeply involved in establishing foundational music recording techniques and technical standards. METAlliance® is a collaborative mission, established to provide education and inspiration to music creators while promoting excellence in engineering/production and highlighting the importance of high-quality, high-resolution audio.

Next month, Hal Leonard will begin publishing the knowledge amassed by these A-list producers and engineers in on-line A/V courses as well as traditional print pro audio products. The online courses will be branded under METAlliance® Academy and available at Books and other digital versions of the product will be released in fourth quarter 2015.

“We are proud to be working with this elite group of audio professionals,” said

John Cerullo, Group Publisher, Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group.

“With the METAlliance® Academy product line, we are making a very personal,

almost one-on-one, immersive experience available to every aspiring and

working music engineer and producer out there.”

“It’s been our mission to insure the art and craft of recording music is respected

and carried on to the next generations of music lovers and professionals,” adds

Jim Pace, METAlliance® Managing Member. “In an era where convenience has

sometimes overwhelmed quality, we feel that music—the invaluable art form that

it is—deserves the very best. That’s what people will experience in the

METAlliance® Academy series.

The collective knowledge of our members is unparalleled, with multitudes of

Grammy Awards and other industry recognition. After decades of engineering

countless recordings including some of the most seminal and inspiring in history,

we’re excited to work with Hal Leonard to provide these courses to aspiring and

actual producers and engineers all over the world. It’s all about the music.”

The first six releases cover drum recording concepts and techniques, and each is hosted by one of the six METAlliance® members. Presented in a casual style that feels like the student is getting a guided tour through the way that each engineer records drums, this is a life-changing series of techniques almost certain to raise the standard of modern drum recordings.

The important drum recording videos will be quickly followed up by more amazing titles on subjects including Recording Acoustic Guitar, Recording Electric Guitar, Recording Piano, Recording Vocals, Working with Artists, Mixing in the Box, and The State of the Recording Industry.

For more information about Hal Leonard, please visit – Hal Leonard Books, An Imprint of Hal Leonard

For more information about METAlliance®, please visit

Create Music with Notion

Create Music with Notion

Notation Software for the Busy Musician

 by George J. Hess

The best ways to use the amazing program Notion, whether working on a Mac, PC, or iPad


Notion is a unique program that combines notation, sequencing, and live performance into one easy-to-use package. This book shows all types of users – amateurs, teachers, and professionals – how to best use the program and how it fits their creative needs for efficient and effective music production and performance at any level. Learn the fundamentals of Notion’s interface, develop an intelligent and well-thought-out workflow, and discover how to integrate your desktop computer and iPad so that your productivity can continue whether you’re at your desk, in the studio, or on the road.

Create Music with Notion includes practical projects and supporting session files for all experience levels, along with focused video tutorials that demonstrate many of the creative techniques presented in the text, while revealing how to get the most out of the included sessions.

Noted music technology professor George J. Hess has been extremely close to the PreSonus development team as they have elevated this valuable application to an entirely new level. The insights he brings are invaluable, offering an incredible all-access pass to music notation for the busy and creative musician.

8.5″ x 11″
170 pages
Hal Leonard Books, an imprint of Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group


George J. Hess is an educator, performer, composer, and author. An award-winning teacher, he has taught music technology for over 25 years as a professor and clinician throughout the world and written articles for leading journals and magazines. He has performed with Jim Nabors, the Osmonds, Ryo Kawasaki, and Myron Floren, and his compositions and arrangements have been performed by many school ensembles. Hess is currently on the faculty of the Young Siew Toh Conservatory in Singapore.


Best Monologues from the Best American Short Plays: Volume Three

Best Monologues from the Best American Short Plays:

Volume Three

edited by William W. Demastes

Best Monologues from the Best American Short Plays, Volume Three (May 2015, Applause Books, $19.99) features a diverse selection drawn from the outstanding works from many of today’s best American playwrights.

Contrary to the old saw, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me,” words can break spirits, destroy confidence. They can also build hope and incite great acts of heroism. Playwrights know this, and so do theater audiences. Otherwise, why go? Words matter and carry clout every bit as dangerous as a hammer or crowbar. This, too, playwrights know.

The monologues in this volume are full of such blows, striking at our imaginations and our memories, generating responses such as joyful laughter or chilling surprise. Others squeeze us into worlds we’ve never experienced, or perhaps experienced at the furthest edges of memory and recollection. Still others may help us alter the way we see certain things, people, or beliefs.

Best Monologues from the Best American Short Plays, Volume Three is a collection drawn from the popular Best American Short Plays series, an archive of works from many of the best playwrights active today. Long or short, serious or not, excerpts or entireties, this collection abounds in speech acts that may trigger physical reactions and almost certainly will transform an attitude or two, drawing out lost memories, creating new ones, and definitely entertaining, engaging, amusing us all along the way.

Included in this collection are monologues by Michael Ross Albert, Janet Allard, James Armstrong, Leslie Ayvazian, John Bolen, Darren Canady, Brent Englar, Jonathan Fitts, Edith Freni, Gabriel Rivas Gomez, John Guare, Angela C. Hall, Patrick Holland, Kimberly La Force, Susan Miller, Cary Pepper, Andrea Sloan Pink, Craig Pospisil, David Rusiecki, Murray Schisgal, Kyle John Schmidt, Shel Silverstein, Crystal Skillman, Douglas Soderberg, Lisa Soland, Lawrence Thelen, Mac Wellman, and the writing teams of A.K. Abeille and David Manos Morris, and Jean-Claude van Itallie and Joseph Chaikin.

5.5″ x 8.5″
288 pages
Applause Theatre & Cinema Books, an imprint of Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group

William W. Demastes is an Alumni Professor of English at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. He has published widely on modern theater and Drama, including two previous editions of The Best American Short Plays, and the earlier volumes of Best Monologues from Best American Short Plays, published by Applause Books, and Spalding Gray’s America, published by Limelight Editions. He lives in Baton Rouge, La.