print edition and


print edition

are now available on this site.

We are launching very soon a RECITAL SERIES for various brass instruments of SOLOS with PIANO. We hesitate to say "accompaniment" to describe the piano parts, because they are on an equal musical if not technical footing with the soloists'.


For the moment these arrangements and compositions will be transmitted manually from Rakeway Music after purchase. The EU's new digital rules — the VAT MOSS rules as they are called — require access to data, at the precise moment of transmission of the purchase, that is available for reasons of scale to only the largest companies. Manual transmission is excepted from these rules.

Howard Snell Blog

It is 18 years since 'THE TRUMPET — A GUIDE FOR STUDENTS' … 317 pages of general advice and guidance, but NOT a tutor … was first published by Rakeway Music in 1997. It continues to sell steadily throughout the whole world. Among many detailed subjects it covers CAREERS, PRACTICE ROUTINES, TECHNIQUES, ORCHESTRAL PLAYING, TEACHING, ANXIETY CONTROL.

What do I take from this? That it was worth all the effort of 5 years of solid work in the early 1990s, work that was quite apart from my (then) working as a full-time performing musician.

My blog at Wordpress gives quite a lot of personal background information and atmosphere to some of my experiences as a musician. Otherwise I am working on a small conducting volume, which takes an alternative view of the black arts of this particular form of music-making. It is slow going but enjoyable in a masochistic kind of way.

Some critical opinions of THE TRUMPET – A Guide for Students

‘Howard has written the New Testament of Trumpet Playing. I urge every trumpet player to read this excellent book … in language and structures we can all understand. Howard has laid bare the essentials for success.

John Wallace

Former Principal of the Royal Scottish Conservatoire of Music and Drama,

former Principal Trumpet, The Philharmonia Orchestra, London

‘I remember (Howard Snell) as a dominant hugely courageous player in the London Symphony Orchestra. He was also the most intelligent of players possessed of an enquiring analytical mind.... becoming an artist of real distinction, supreme accuracy in performance being allied to a fierce tenacity of purpose and the ability to concentrate, which is the hall-mark of the top professional. His new book - ‘The Trumpet’ - is the most remarkable of its type I have ever read.

For young aspiring professionals it is a fount of wisdom and observation for which he will be thanked every day of their working lives; for the professional even at the top of the trade, it contains reminders of the basic golden rules of positive thought and correct mental approach.... It is a book not just for trumpeters or brass players but for all performers. For the trumpeter it presents a pedagogy as complete as I have seen in print.

If it had existed forty years ago I would have been its first reader and disciple - it would have saved me several years of irritating frustration - but the book had to wait for Snell to live the experience, to formulate it, and here memorably to find the words.’

Elgar Howarth

Conductor and Composer

‘Howard Snell draws upon his wide experience and uses his penetrating intellect to give young trumpeters a book which covers the essential areas of study … (it) is of tremendous value to students and young professionals. It has also to be said that Mr Snell’s advice could be applied equally to any young musician.’

Denis Wick

Former Principal Trombone, London Symphony Orchestra (1957-1988), founder of the Denis Wick Company

THE TRUMPET'S sister volume 'THE ART OF PRACTICE — A SELF-HELP GUIDE FOR STUDENT MUSICIANS' has now sold out its first printing and is similarly reprinting after THE TRUMPET.

THE ART OF PRACTICE is intended for performers on all instruments, with illustrations for players of various instruments. It is a book that explores the common principles that underly all music performance. MASTER THE BASICS, MASTER YOURSELF, MASTER YOUR INSTRUMENT.

Downloads will have to wait until we are clear about THE NEW EU TAX and NEW EU REGULATIONS. Unlike most EU countries, the UK has no VAT on books or sheet music, for the very good reason that education is regarded as so worthwhile that any price incentive to buy these conveyors of knowledge and culture is thought to be valuable. The EU has now deemed that downloadable books and sheet music are to be charged with VAT according to the laws of the EU country to which the item is sold. No comment!

Go to ABOUT THE CATALOGUES for information about the different types of music available.

Howard Snell Blog


Please read this section carefully: it provides protection for both the buyer and the seller. If you buy from us, we want you to return, and to feel free to tell us what you need from us in future. Use email for questions about any aspect of the catalogue. By using this website through any device you agree to our use of COOKIES in addition to any other terms and conditions which may apply.

HOWARD SNELL MUSIC is an obvious name for a publisher of music, but why and what is RAKEWAY?

At the time I started to publish music, my wife Angela and I, plus four children who are now thoroughly middle-aged, lived in rural Staffordshire, as middle England as it is possible to get.

Our house was at the junction of a Roman road... part of it was in fact built over the road... and an ancient british, pre-celtic road. The road is in use to this day, only slightly updated. In old English it was called the Rake-Way. It seemed a suitable choice especially with its history and its character of always trying to follow the highest ground.

We lived there for many years before moving on to something completely different... (go to Howard Snell Music page for continuation)