How Music Works

How Music Works

Best known as a founding member and principal songwriter of the iconic band Talking Heads, David Byrne has received Grammy, Oscar, and Golden Globe awards and has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In the insightful How Music Works, Byrne offers his unique perspective on music - including how music is shaped by time, how recording technologies transform the Best known as a founding member and principal songwriter of the iconic band Talking Heads, David Byrne has received Gramm...

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Title:How Music Works
Author:David Byrne
Rating:
Genres:Music
ISBN:How Music Works
ISBN
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:345 pages pages

How Music Works Reviews

  • Christopher
    Sep 12, 2012
    As much as I am a fan of Talking Heads and David Byrne, when he wrote a book about bicycling a couple of years ago, I picked it up but I didn't get very far. Not a big fan of bicycles. But I am a big fan of music. So when David Byrne writes a book explaining music, I AM THERE. This ...
  • Jay Gabler
    Nov 21, 2012
    Clearly Byrne wanted to write a musical manifesto rather than a reminisce, but the most compelling parts of this book are the sections where he talks about his own musical history. When this is effectively integrated with his broader project?for example, when he opens up about the fi...
  • Chris
    Jan 31, 2014
    This book fails to live up to its title, and indeed to the name of its author, who's musical career might lead you to expect that he has some interesting insight into the question of how music works. What you get instead is a cursory and unfocused ramble through recent history of mu...
  • Josh
    Oct 29, 2017
    This was good! David Byrne takes a comprehensive, largely pragmatic survey of all aspects of music. He spends a lot of time refuting musical/artistic myths. For example, he definitely doesn't think music is made by inspired geniuses. It comes from hard work and practice. And more borin...
  • Alan
    May 06, 2018
    David Byrne's How Music Works was a perfect book for me to take traveling?dense with information, observations and concrete advice, all organized in manageable sections and copioiusly illustrated. Byrne delivers most handsomely on his title's promise: these essays are nothing less th...
  • Jud Barry
    Dec 20, 2012
    Byrne gives us his take on music in a style that is very pleasant, straightforward, and conversational. He comes across as someone whose wide-ranging, collaborative experience and creative intelligence combine with an everyday kind of modesty in a way that allows you to imagine you cou...
  • Patrick Neylan
    Feb 02, 2016
    You'd expect David Byrne ? he of Talking Heads ? to write something engaging. His band was quirky and unique, and far more intelligent than most other acts out there. Indeed, what he's come up with is an intelligent and not overly intellectual book that explains pretty much every a...
  • Marvin
    Dec 02, 2013
    I expected ex-Talking Heads front man and eclectic solo artist David Byrne would have some interesting things to say about music. But I was impressed by the scope and range of How Music Works. Byrne covers nearly every aspect of creating and enjoying music from the first steps of compo...
  • Jordan Debben
    Dec 08, 2018
    I felt like I learned a lot about music by reading this. I knew almost nothing when I started reading, and it's nice to read a book where you feel like you have learned something from every page. It's remarkably comprehensive too, with chapters on the theory, practice, history, creatio...
  • Denis
    May 05, 2018
    Absolutely fantastic read. Byrne has done a great service here. Whether or not you are a musician, care about David Byrne or the Talking Heads, this well researched and organized work (each chapter clearly focuses on different aspects) will enlighten you in some way or another as to un...
  • Alex
    Feb 04, 2013
    David Byrne is our great charlatan. He stands up there twitching and tweaking and exhorting, like an amateur weatherman who thinks too much about his hands. Like a caricature of an amateur weatherman. Like a snake oil salesman. He speaks in tongues. "You may tell yourself, 'This is not...
  • Neal
    Sep 08, 2012
    My review for Amazon's Best Books of the Month: It's no surprise that David Byrne knows his music. As the creative force behind Talking Heads and many solo and collaborative ventures, he's been writing, playing, and recording music for decades. What is surprising is how well his voice ...
  • Cheryl
    Jun 02, 2016
    Fascinating. Even though I know nothing about music, not even to know the difference between a chord and a chorus, nor have I been able to either enjoy or appreciate Talking Heads or Byrne's other music, I thoroughly enjoyed most of this book. I do admit to feeling overwhelmed enough, ...
  • yh
    Sep 09, 2013
    I've loved the music of Talking Heads for a long time, so when I first heard about this book, I made sure to file it away so that I could read it. I finally did, and I'm really glad that David Byrne wrote this book. This isn't really a memoir, nor is it a scientific treatise. Rather...
  • Patrick
    Nov 29, 2012
    An uneven, often enjoyable, but ultimately disappointing read. My disappointment stems?as, I'm sure, will most readers' interest in the first place (mine included)?from my deep admiration and subsequent expectations of David Byrne. In the acknowledgments at the end of the book, Byr...
  • Loring Wirbel
    Dec 31, 2012
    I approached Byrne's latest with a little trepidation, due to a less than stellar NY Times review, and due to the number of people in the music industry (notably his own former bandmates in Talking Heads) who feel somewhat mistreated by Byrne. I was ready to read something that might ...
  • Ben Winch
    Jul 18, 2014
    This is great. Good. Okay. All of the above. It?s unique (so far as I know): its closest relative is probably Miles Davis?s autobiography, or Byrne-friend Brian Eno?s Year With Swollen Appendices. It?s autobiographical, in a strictly professional/artistic sense ? that is, con...
  • Charles
    Nov 14, 2012
    I have been a Talking Heads listener for 30 years. For some reason that escapes me now I began to read How Music Works. To my delight I found it compelling. While much of the text is almost a autobiographical narrative of the creating of Byrne's musical corpus, the role of that narr...
  • Tomas Ramanauskas
    Jul 30, 2017
    David Byrne, a legend, becomes your professor for duration of this book and delivers a fascinating deep dive into the world of music, its hows and whys. He scatters autobiographical experiences amid broadly scoped lecture on the sounds, the formats, the shapes, the evolution, even the ...
  • Elaine
    Jan 12, 2013
    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, ...
  • Vicki
    Jun 06, 2017
    There is a lot of information about musical roots and how musicians worked to perfect their sound according to what worked best with their style. I was fascinated by the facts about the designs of opera houses, concert halls and clubs. There are some entertaining tidbits in this book...
  • Mina
    Jan 09, 2013
    a rambling, sprawling book. this is what happens when musos think they're musicologists or ethnomusicologists and a book devolves into a this-is-how-i-made-music-work-for-me. the title is misleading and the content is just skin-deep. very disappointed. ...
  • Spencer Rich
    Jan 21, 2014
    When he talks about things that he actually knows about, it's fantastic. This includes the autobiographical information about working with Eno and the Talking Heads. The rest of it is filled with half-truths and blanket generalizations. Or poorly formed opinions. I was hoping that this...
  • Erik
    Mar 15, 2017
    Three stars because i liked it. Its more of a 3.5 , but rounding down because too many issues. This book is a classic case of the whole being less than the sum of its parts. Part autobiography, part pop-sci book on music, part New Yorker-style expose on the nature of the arts. You g...
  • Jane
    Nov 21, 2012
    I LOVED this. Devoured it. Byrne is incisive and articulate and offers new way of seeing (and hearing) music. I do a good deal of business writing and no longer often find myself on fire to get something written down, but from the start of this book I was itching to tie Byrne's ideas o...
  • Darwin8u
    May 26, 2015
    ?But at times words can be a dangerous addition to music ? they can pin it down. Words imply that the music is about what the words say, literally, and nothing more... ? David Byrne, How Music Works ...If done poorly, they can destroy the pleasant ambiguity that constitu...
  • Dave
    Mar 22, 2017
    Wtf? ...
  • Stevie Dunbar
    Oct 01, 2018
    I'm writing about the book I read ...
  • Gehan
    May 18, 2016
    Only worth the read if you care about the boring details of the music industry. Its mostly a rambling stream of thought. Dont recommend it. ...
  • jordan
    Feb 04, 2019
    Overlooking the occasional grammatical or spelling error (aHEM, editing is always a good idea, y?know...) and the seemingly random, long-winded tangents that strained my patience, this did really open my eyes to different aspects of music, and change the way I look at (or rather, lis...