A quick review of David Byrne’s new edition of How Music Works.
How Music Works is David Byrne’s incisive and enthusiastic look at the musical art form, from its very inceptions to the influences that shape it, whether acoustical, economic, social or technological. Utilizing his incomparable career and inspired collaborations with Talking Heads, Brian Eno, and many others, Byrne taps deeply into his lifetime of knowledge to explore the panoptic elements of music, how it shapes the human experience, and reveals the impetus behind how we create, consume, distribute, and enjoy the songs, symphonies, and rhythms that provide the backbeat of life. Byrne’s magnum opus uncovers ever-new and thrilling realizations about the redemptive liberation that music brings us all.
You probably know David Byrne from his work on iconic 80’s hits in the band Talking Heads, and from his signature over-sized suit. What you might not know is that he is a published author of multiple works of memoir and non-fiction. His 2013 book, How Music Works, is a hefty volume that takes us through both Byrne’s personal musical experiences and the history of music production and culture. A new edition was published in May this year, and it will be an educational and aesthetically-pleasing addition to any book collection or music room.
Most us enjoy music but typically don’t think about the factors that make us like it. Byrne teaches readers this while looking at music with a microscope from all angles. He traces the economic, political, cultural, and social aspects of music along with the technical aspect of music production. This book opened my mind to information that I had not once ever thought to consider. While long and dense, the writing is interesting and fast-paced. I recommend “How Music Works” to both lifelong music fans and to those simply looking to learn more. Readers don’t need to know anything about Byrne or The Talking Heads before reading, but his personal anthologies are definitely more interesting if you’ve ever been a fan.
I received a free copy of How Music Works from Penguin Random House thru Blogging For Books in exchange for an honest review.
Information about this edition:
Release: May 2nd, 2017
Format: Trade Paperback
Category: Music-History and Criticism