Barbara Brabec, widow of Harry J. Brabec Harry Brabec's Book Collection,
Out-of-Print Books in Many Categories
(Many Collectible First and Signed editions)
Now for Sale on

Drum and Percussion Books

On Amazon, look for my seller nickname of BARBARA-BRABEC-BOOKS for price, publisher information, condition notes, and my bookseller profile. If you don't see my seller name, it means Harry's copy of the book has sold. But this pages will be permanently archived on my site for historical reference purposes, and the link will still take you to that book's product page on Amazon so you can search for another copy of it. - Barbara Brabec

United States Military Drums 1945-1865, A Pictorial Survey, by G. Craig Caba. Civil War Antiquities (1977 PB).

This extremely rare and autographed book was sold in February 2009 for $295. I've removed the link because Harry's copy was apparently the only copy available anywhere on the Web. I'm leaving the listing here for historical purposes, as the book may still be found in some libraries. Only a thousand softcover copies were published in 5-1/4 x 8-1/4-inch format. Text featured pictures of military drums throughout six chapters, with chapter 7 being a "Manual for Drumming” that included several pages of drum music. A directory of drum makers and dealers rounded out this unique book.

Percussion Instruments and Their History, by James Blades. Bold Strummer (1992 Revised 2nd edition)

First published in the UK in 1971, this book by a celebrated British percussionist quickly became one of the standard works on percussion instruments. Historians and musicologists loved its lavish photographs and drawings. Harry's beautiful copy of this book sold for $175, but new and used copies of other editions are still available on Amazon. (See the other Blades book in Harry's Collection, below.)

The Drum: A Royal Tournament Tribute to the Military Drum, by Hugh Barty-King Royal Tournament (1988 PB).

This book tells the story of the part played by drummer boys and drum majors, side drums, and kettledrums in the British Army. Text pages are bright, printed on a glossy stock that shows off the book's many photographs, several of which are in color. A book any drummer would love!

The Trumpet and Drum book by Sousa

THE TRUMPET AND DRUM, by Sousa--A Book of Instruction for the Field-Trumpet and Drum Signals Now in Use in the Army, Navy, and Marine Corps.

Sousa was the bandmaster for the U.S. Marine Corps when this book was first published in 1886. This sweet little 1961 reprint of Sousa's book is a true collector's item, and it appears to be the ONLY like-new copy anywhere on the Web. This very rare reprint was published by W. F. L. Drum Company in 1961, five years before the company was bought out by Ludwig. The cover, which may appear tattered, is actually designed to replicate the appearance of the 1886 edition in Ludwig's collection. Measuring 4-1/2 x 5-1/2 in.. with 23 bright pages, it is remains in like-new condition.

Drum Roll—A Professional Adventure from the Circus to the Concert Hall, by James Blades. Faber and Faber (1977)

This very rare book, originally published in the UK by Faber & Faber, is the First Quality Book Club Edition printed and bound in England in 1978. A center section features 36 photos on glossy page stock; fronticepiece has an original drawing of the author. In this memoir, Blades tells his fascinating life tale, from his adventures as a circus and dance band drummer, and his experiences in film studios (it was he who made the actual sound of the Rank Organization's gong), to his career on the concert stage. Blades hoped to live to 100 so he could experience the music of A.D. 2000, but he died in 1999 at the age of 97.

Edward B. Straight’s American Drummer, Enlarged Tenth Edition. 124 pages. 3-1/2 x 9-1/2 in. Paper wrapper. This extremely rare Franks Drum Shop Edition was probably purchased by Harry sometime in the early sixties. He was a friend of owner Maurie Lishon, who died in 1997. The only copy on the Web, this little book sold to an appreciative buyer for $55, and the listing is retained here for historical purposes simply because of this book's rarity. Like every other Chicago percussionist of that era, Harry spent many happy hours at Franks Drum Shop, which is featured in Barbara's book, The Drummer Drives! Everybody Else Rides.

LEFT: Harry, whose sense of humor was as
legendary as his musical talent, hams it up during the break at a Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra rehearsal.

Harry's unusual musical career has been documented in Barbara's memoir, THE DRUMMER DRIVES, EVERYBODY ELSE RIDES--The Musical Life and Times of Harry Brabec, Legendary Chicago Symphony Percussionist and Humorist.

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by Barbara Brabec
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