How Music Works

How Music Works

3.99 (22,603 ratings by Goodreads)
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3.99 (22,603 ratings by Goodreads)

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How Music Works is David Byrne's bestselling, buoyant celebration of a subject he has spent a lifetime thinking about. Drawing on his own work over the years with Talking Heads, Brian Eno, and his myriad collaborators - along with journeys to Wagnerian opera houses, African villages, and anywhere music exists - Byrne shows how music emerges from cultural circumstance as much as individual creativity. It is his magnum opus, and an impassioned argument about music's liberating, life-affirming power.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 376 pages
  • 165 x 210 x 30mm | 840g
  • Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Main
  • No
  • 9780857862525
  • 13,750

Review Text

It was wildly ambitious to try and turn this galaxy of theory into a readable work of scholarship but Byrne has done it, and done it with style. Brian Eno might as well cancel that book deal now Mark Ellen The Observer
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Review quote

It was wildly ambitious to try and turn this galaxy of theory into a readable work of scholarship but Byrne has done it, and done it with style. Brian Eno might as well cancel that book deal now -- Mark Ellen * * The Observer * * As well as being an investigation into the context in which music is made, How Music Works is an accomplished celebration of an ever-evolving art form that can alter how we look at ourselves and the world -- Fiona Sturges * * Independent * * Brilliantly original * * New York Times Book Review * * As accessible as pop yet able to posit deep and startlingly original thoughts and discoveries in almost every paragraph . . . this book will make you hear music in a different way -- Oliver Keens * * The Sunday Telegraph * * A very involving read - Byrne is good company - he has a gift for a telling analogy that makes complex points easily grasped -- Keith Bruce * * The Herald * * How Music Works is a melange of bookish musings on how music is shaped by the places it is played and the technology used to create and disseminate it -- Danny Eccleston * * MOJO * * An entertaining and erudite book . . . this is a serious, straight-forward account of an art from that also manages to be inspiring -- Peter Aspden * * Financial Times * * Given the vastness of the subject, calling a treatise How Music Works seems intellectually arrogant, but it could also be seen as disarmingly frank, a fresh perspective from a down-to-earth mind. David Byrne's book, although a self-conscious art object (backwards pagination, upholstered cover and so on) contains plenty of plain-spoken, sensible observations: a dichotomy typical of the man * * Guardian * * Incisive and intriguing -- Nick Curtis * * The Evening Standard * * How Music Works is not just a noticeably handsome book but a beguiling and hugely perceptive one too -- Jonathan O'Brien * * Sunday Business Post * * The finest music book of the year . . . Handsomely bound, beautifully printed, wittily illustrated, it would make a beautiful collector's item but there is much more going on between the covers . . . bursting with a sense of free-flowing curiosity -- Neil McCormick * * The Daily Telegraph * * Creators of all stripes will find much to inspire them in Mr Byrne's erudite musings on the biological and mathematical underpinnings of sound. . . His observations on the nature of pattern and repetition, and on people's neurological response to aesthetic experience, apply to all creative fields * * The Economist * * It's a great book to pick up and start at any chapter, a hugely rewarding and enriching read. A fascinating look at music from many angles, I would receommend it to anyone who plays or simply has an interest in the history and evolution of the musical form, the culture of music, both as a well of inspiration and as a simple commodity * * Irish Times * * By investigating how music works, Byrne shows us how best it can be used. We are all the richer for his effort -- Yo Zushi * * New Statesman * * Fascinating look at music's power to move -- Alexis Petridis * * The Guardian * * A big beautiful work of art. . . As you might expect from someone as intelligent and open-minded as Byrne, How Music Works is a far ranging and astute look at all the facets of music -- Doug Johnstone * * The Big Issue * * Disarmingly frank, a fresh perspective from a down-to-earth mind -- Michel Faber * * The Guardian * * Inspiring * * Financial Times * * An ambitious attempt at understanding a phenomenon to which the former Talking Head has dedicated his life's work -- John Doran * * Quietus * * Extraordinary * * Guardian * * Unique among a deluge of music biographies and autobiographies coming out this Christmas, this wildly ambitious book breaks the mould -- Arthur House * * The Sunday Telegraph * * Byrne is a crisp and enthusiastic guide -- Rob Fitzpatrick * * The Sunday Times * * Absorbing * * Independent * * [A] wide-ranging tome -- Geeta Daval * * Wired Magazine * * A fluid, intelligent analysis -- Patrick Freyne * * The Irish Times * * Satisfying * * MOJO * *
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About David Byrne

David Byrne is a Scottish-born Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and co-founder of Talking Heads. He has been the recipient of many awards, including an Oscar and a Golden Globe. The author of Bicycle Diaries and The New Sins, Byrne lives in New York City.
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Rating details

22,603 ratings
3.99 out of 5 stars
5 37% (8,343)
4 36% (8,144)
3 19% (4,330)
2 5% (1,107)
1 3% (679)
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