- Hardcover: 358 pages
- Publisher: Canongate Books Ltd (13 Sept. 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0857862502
- ISBN-13: 978-0857862501
- Product Dimensions: 18.6 x 3.6 x 23.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 226,749 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
How Music Works Hardcover – 13 Sep 2012
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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
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
Incisive and intriguing Nick Curtis, The Evening Standard
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
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
David Byrne deserves great praise for How Music Works. It is as accessible as pop yet able to posit deep and startlingly original thoughts and discoveries in almost every paragraph. Not unlike getting your ears syringed, this book will make you hear music in a different way... Every form of music, from birdsong onwards, is considered and elegantly related to form, debunking romantic conceits about music and presenting a far more beautiful rationality. In the process, Byrne shows not just how music works, but how music publishing should work too Oliver Keens, The Sunday Telegraph
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
How Music Works is not just a noticeably handsome book but a beguiling and hugely perceptive one too Jonathan O'Brien, Sunday Business Post
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
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
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
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
An ambitious attempt at understanding a phenomenon to which the former Talking Head has dedicated his life's work John Doran, Quietus
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
Disarmingly frank, a fresh perspective from a down-to-earth mind Michel Faber, The Guardian
How Music Works is a big, beautiful work of art ... a far-ranging and astute look at all facets of music ... This is a really rather remarkable book The Big Issue --The Big Issue
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
Fascinating look at music's power to move Alexis Petridis, The 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
Creators of all stripes will find much to inspire them in Mr Byrne's erudite musings on the biological and mathematical underpinnings of sound, from Plato to Copernicus and from John Cage to Tantric Buddhists. How Music Works should be required reading for all writers and publishers The Economist
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
How Music Works in as entertaining and erudite book ... The chapter on the economics of music should be required reading for all 16-year-olds tinkering with their GarageBand software and dreaming of dollar signs Peter Aspden, Financial Times
[A] wide-ranging tome Geeta Daval, Wired Magazine
Not just a noticeably handsome book ... but a beguiling and hugely perceptive one too Jonathan O'brien Sunday Business Post
A fluid, intelligent analysis' --Patrick Freyne, The Irish Times
David Byrne's internationally bestselling magnum opus on the subject of music --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Paperback.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
As it is, it is an entertaining, but sometimes loose-knit and rambly selection that could have done with some serious editing. Unfortunately, Byrne draws no distinction between drawing on his own experiences (which is interesting), and drawing on accepted knowledge (which is infuriating). For example, admitting that he has next to no knowledge of Western Classical music does not stop him from comparing its performing tradition unfavourably with his own brand of "music for the people" based purely on the (supposed) demographic of its audience.
I have always enjoyed David Byrne and Talking Heads' recorded music and rate "Stop Making Sense" as one of the very best music films ever made - but he is less than honest about his aims in this book - which makes it a frustrating read. Had he done a bit more research, and relied less on received opinions in some areas, it could have been a much more interesting read.
Incidentally, a few irritations for Kindle readers: The book is fairly heavily illustrated, but the illustrations (in the text rather than a separate section) often appear a fair way on from their mentions rather than after the paragraph concerned, and there are numerous typos where words run together.
Despite its preppy, slightly earnest approach though How Music Works turns out to be an excellent read, putting forward some genuinely revealing and valuable insights into what makes musical performances and recordings really live and hacking efficiently through some of the mysteries and contradictions of record company practices.Read more ›
Some of this book deals with the history of music: recording techniques, marketing, different types of music etc. I was less interested in some of these sections as I was already familiar with a lot of the information.
The book concludes with a lengthy chapter on the various models by which a working musician or composer can make a living in the modern era. I am not a musician or composer however this chapter is full of interesting information and could be invaluable for anyone seeking to make a career out of music.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Comes at the subject from a different angle then usual. Makes a really good read with references to Talking Heads but still good if you are not a fan of the band.Published 23 days ago by Trev
Lovely finish to the book but the content is better. Absolutely fascinating stuff you won't hear/read elsewhere.Published 23 days ago by Senior Prezidente
Great book, covers all aspects of music. Can be read all in one go or dipped in and out easily. Learned a lot reading this and gave me an awful lot to think about.Published 26 days ago by g
Excellent, insightful overview of a number of issues facing the music industry today.Published 3 months ago by Mark Flister
I agree that this is highly recommended for anyone in or aspiring to the music biz.
However, here is a small point they might like to correct in future editions: in My Life in... Read more
I bought this book for my husband's birthday and he loved it as he works with music. It breaks down everything you need to know but is very readable and not too difficult to... Read morePublished 4 months ago by A. Woods