How Music Works Hardcover – Sep 12 2012
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"From the former Talking Heads frontman, a supremely intelligent, superbly written dissection of music as an art form and way of life...Byrne touches on all kinds of music from all ages and every part of the world... Highly recommended--anyone at all interested in music will learn a lot from this book."
--"Kirkus" (Starred Review)
"In this fascinating meditation, Talking Heads frontman Byrne ("Bicycle Diaries") explores how social and practical context, more than individual authorship, shaped music making in history and his own career... his chapters on Heads recording sessions are some of the most insightful accounts of musical creativity yet penned. The result is a surprising challenge to the romantic cliche of musical genius... Byrne's erudite and entertaining prose reveals him to be a true musical intellectual, with serious and revealing things to say about his art."
--"Publishers Weekly" (Starred Review)
About the Author
David Byrne is a Scottish-born Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and cofounder of Talking Heads. He has been the recipient of many awards, including an Oscar and a Golden Globe. The author of<I>Bicycle Diaries</I> and<I>The New Sins</I>, Byrne lives in New York City.
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Top Customer Reviews
There's a wealth of information in this book about the evolution of the pop music scene from the mid-twentieth century to the present, not to mention comparisons to contemporary trends in classical music and jazz, all described from an astonishingly cosmopolitan perspective. The thread holding all of these things together is the author's exhortation to reject the mistaken belief that musicmaking should only be undertaken by virtuosi and that the rest of us should be resigned to listening only. That myth serves primarily the interests of corporate media barons while leading us to abandon many of the joys of music which we should instead claim as our birthright.
David Byrne's most readable book, How Music Works, looks at the medium of music from multiple angles and asks a whack of intriguing questions. In conversational style that makes you feel like you're sitting together over a coffee, he discusses the academic research -- medical, artistic, psychological -- and personal experience as a lover of music, a maker of music, an observer of music, and twists this object we know as music upside down, backwards and forwards again.
From his first exposure to music as a listener, his first forays into playing in front of an audience, to his life with Talking Heads, this book could be called, "How to be a serious musician in a modern world." He tells of the various song writing methods he's used: writing lyrics first, writing music first, to jamming in the studio and writing lyrics to fit the notes. He goes through, from his own perspective, the various business models music runs on.
But mostly, this book is about art, about who has the 'right' to create it. In his view, everyone. That music making or art making are useful to us all, as a release, as an exploration, as a means to making us all better people.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in music, art, or music making.
Most recent customer reviews
Book is great.In awesome condition.It arrived later than promised but that's okay.Still very happy.Published 5 months ago by john siden
A must read for musicians and music listeners alike. More brilliance from Mr. ByrnePublished 22 months ago by Tuba Czar
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