How Music Worksby David Byrne
Pub. Date: 09/17/2013
Publisher: McSweeney's Publishing
How Music Works is David Byrne’s remarkable and buoyant celebration of a subject he has spent a lifetime thinking about. In it he explores how profoundly music is shaped by its time and place, and he explains how the advent of recording technology in the twentieth century forever changed our relationship to playing, performing, and listening to music./i>… See more details below
How Music Works is David Byrne’s remarkable and buoyant celebration of a subject he has spent a lifetime thinking about. In it he explores how profoundly music is shaped by its time and place, and he explains how the advent of recording technology in the twentieth century forever changed our relationship to playing, performing, and listening to music.
Acting as historian and anthropologist, raconteur and social scientist, he searches for patternsand shows how those patterns have affected his own work over the years with Talking Heads and his many collaborators, from Brian Eno to Caetano Veloso. Byrne sees music as part of a larger, almost Darwinian pattern of adaptations and responses to its cultural and physical context. His range is panoptic, taking us from Wagnerian opera houses to African villages, from his earliest high school reel-to-reel recordings to his latest work in a home music studio (and all the big studios in between).
Touching on the joy, the physics, and even the business of making music, How Music Works is a brainy, irresistible adventure and an impassioned argument about music’s liberating, life-affirming power.
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This is a review of the audiobook. How Music Works is a non-fiction loving, eclectic reader's dream. It covers history, culture, science, psychology, technology, politics, business, entertainment, and so much more, all with a hefty dose of memoir thrown in. Information and ideas are presented in a logical order, each point setting the foundation for ruminations yet to come. The subject matter is what kept me listening; the narration was completely uninspiring. I wish the author had read the book, because I enjoyed listening to his prologue. Many times I wondered if narrator Andrew Garman either didn't understand what he was reading, or wasn't interested in it much at all. The business aspects of the recording industry and how music scenes are created started to lose my interest. I also felt there were times when Byrne was overly and unfairly judgmental of the classical music world. But for the most point, Byrne had my brain whirling with thoughts and ideas. This book offers so much to think about and discuss. I was especially fascinated by the way our brains process sound, and how recordings have changed the way we listen to and judge the music we hear. There was a beautiful explanation of the communal aspects of music: why people still attend live concerts when they can simply listen on their own devices at home, alone. And I loved when Byrne talked about the mixtape as an expressive form, communicating what we can't or are too shy to put into words. Eleanor & Park, anyone? :) How Music Works is a thought-provoking journey through all the disciplines and details that guide our musical experiences.
Excellent. Really enjoyed this book. Insight into the writing and creation of music, the business of music, and collaboration between artists. My favorite book of 2012!