Gardner Read (January 2, 1913 in Evanston, Illinois – November 10, 2005 in Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts) was an American composer and musical scholar. His book "Music Notation: A Manual of Modern Practice" is a standard text at most music schools and conservatories in the United States. It is considered by many to be a place of first (and last) authority when trying to determine the proper method of notating musical performance techniques, ideas and gestures.
In a 1976 radio interview Zappa mentioned he bought Read's book "Music Notation: A Manual of Modern Practice" the other day: "And it's an excellent book if it weren't for the fact that Mr. Read is so opinionated about jazz musicians. I'm opinionated about jazz musicians myself. I do believe they orally leave something to be desired, but he's really got that stodgy old school, you know: "Jazz music isn't real music, so therefore we shouldn't deal with it too much." But the book itself is excellent and anybody who wants to find out about all the mechanics about writing music down on paper, the right way to do it and the easiest way to transmit your teenage musical ideas to somebody who manipulates an instrument via a paper. Get this book! Buy it! It's great. I bought one copy of it and started reading it and flipped it out to the first person who came over to the house. He was a musician. I gave it to him, went out and bought another one. I've passed out five copies of that book so far. It's really good." .