Dr. Harlan Tarbell began publishing a magic correspondence course in 1928. The course helped professional, amateur, and beginning magicians learn the art of magic from home. Louis Tannen compiled Tarbell’s writings into book form in 1941.
In this article, we review the Tarbell Course in Magic. Find out why this set of magic books has become required reading for magicians around the world.
The Tarbell course consists of eight volumes of magic. The first five volumes contain the original correspondence course instructions written by Tarbell. Volume six includes further published works of Tarbell. Harry Lorayne wrote volume seven. It includes contributions from other magicians. Volume seven also has a comprehensive index to the entire set of books. Volume eight is a compilation of Tarbell’s previously uncollected writings on magic.
The volumes together contain over one hundred lessons in magic. There are over 3,000 illustrations. The lessons cover everything from close-up to stage magic, illusions, escapes, mentalism, and more.
When reading this collection of magic you can treat the writings like a set of encyclopedias. Instead of reading straight through from beginning to end, you can skip around. This allows you to find the tricks that matter most to you. For this reason, I would suggest starting with volume seven of the set. Since this is the volume that contains the index. From there you can find any trick you want to learn from the volumes.
The lessons in the books are well written and easy to follow. Beginning magicians will find plenty of secrets to help them develop an act. While professionals will benefit from topics such as marketing, ethics, and showmanship. There really is something for everyone in these books.
I especially like the sections on coin magic and cards. The routines are easy to adapt to modern times with some imagination. Many modern magicians are still using material adapted from these books today.
Visit the Institute of Magic online magic shop to purchase the complete Tarbell Course in Magic today!