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How Music Works by David Byrne []



“I think I managed to give a sense that the world of music is wider than my personal experience, but my experience figures in here too”, David Byrne writes about his recent book How Music Works, and this statement gives you a very good idea of what you will find in this very enjoyable book. How Music Works explores the world of music through the experience of one musician’s experiences and wide ranging thoughts. As a result, it is neither a comprehensive book on the nature of music nor a complete biography of its author, though it combines elements of both. Byrne explores the history of music and musical thought, the influence of technology and economics on music, the role of music in society, and the future of the music industry. Along the way we learn much of Byrne’s career, his own approach to music, art, and performance in general.

Byrne is an excellent writer, and a man with wide ranging and interesting ideas. Reading How Music Works is a pleasure, and left me with an increased urge not only to explore more of his music and to read more of his writing (Forbes Library also owns his Bicylce Diaries), but most of all, to make more music of my own. It is, above all, David Byrne’s unending enthusiasm for everyday creativity and for the participation of everyday people in the world of music that will make the greatest impression on you. A great book which will be enjoyed by music lovers of all types.

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