Title Profile & Character Information

How Music Works

Annotation
InHow Music Works, David Byrne—founder of the band Talking Heads, and one of the most original and prolific artists of our day—takes on the role of musical historian and anthropologist as he dissects how, exactly, music has been shaped through time and place. Ranging in scope from Wagnerian opera houses to African villages to birdsongs in San Francisco, this is a guided tour of the business, physics, and joys of music. The author searches for patterns in how music is created and experienced—and then asks himself if these patterns have affected his own work. In many cases, the answer is yes; Byrne’s music is part of a larger, almost Darwinian pattern of adaptation that music takes to its surrounding cultural and physical environment.

One of the most brilliant artists of our time, Byrne’s writing, honed from a life of musical experience, will be remembered as one of the most enlightening books on the subject in a long, long time.


Awards
2012  New York Times Notable Books of the Year

GenreNonFiction
Arts
TopicsMusic
Songwriters
Composers
Musicians
Social conditions
Technology
Music critics
Music history