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How Music Works by David Byrne

How Music Works (2012)

by David Byrne

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How Music Works is as detailed and as well organized as you’d expect in a book written by a (self diagnosed) Aspergian. Actually, it's not so much a 'book' as it is a collection of essays that cover a wide array of topics relating to the mechanics and aesthetics of music plus some history of the Talking Heads and the NYC club scene of the early 80's. ( )
  wandaly | Jun 30, 2016 |
Byrne truly covers every aspect of the title in this book - from the hard science, to the social science, to the history, to the business of music. And he does it in a very down-to-earth way. ( )
  bookwyrmm | Jan 29, 2016 |
A wonderful book about pretty much every aspect of music and the music business. One strange thing though: Byrne numerous times during the book talks about money and whether he made enough in a certain year or on a certain project to get by, and another time he talks about the "1 percent" who fund opera and symphonies and how 'we' aren't part of that, or some such. Hmmm. Unless he made some grave errors during his life, he is a many times over multi-millionaire, and part of the 1%, whether he likes it or not. Regardless, a great book! ( )
1 vote BooksForDinner | Oct 8, 2014 |
  Bruno_Estigarribia | Mar 31, 2014 |
This really was a joy to read. Touching on all aspects (and genres) of music, from how technology shapes our perceptions of what music should be, to what to expect from a recording contract, this book really does cover it all.

David Byrne (frontman from Talking Heads), is engaging, funny, insightful, immensely knowledgeable and more importantly, enthusiastic about a subject he has dedicated his life too.

The one thing that stopped this book rating higher for me is that it sometimes reads slightly more like an autobiography than a celebration of music. Byrne obviously uses his own experience in the music business but, just occasionally, he seems to lose the subject.

Full review here ( )
  ElaineRuss | Sep 23, 2013 |
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The Rock-and-Roll Hall of Fame inductee and co-founder of Talking Heads presents a celebration of music that offers insight into the roles of time, place and recording technology, discussing how evolutionary patterns of adaptations and responses to cultural and physical contexts have influenced music expression throughout history and culminated in the 20th century's transformative practices.… (more)

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