Saturday 11 January 2014

Book Review: The Story of Music by Howard Goodall

Title: The Story of Music
Author: Howard Goodall
Publisher: Pegasus
Publication Date: January 2014
Pages: 368
Format: E-Book - EPUB
Genre: Non-Fiction - Music
Source: ARC via NetGalley
Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Music is an intrinsic part of everyday life, and yet the history of its development from single notes to multi-layered orchestration can seem bewilderingly complex.

In his dynamic tour through 40,000 years of music, from prehistoric instruments to modern-day pop, Howard Goodall leads us through the story of music as it happened, idea by idea, so that each musical innovation--harmony, notation, sung theatre, the orchestra, dance music, recording--strikes us with its original force. Along the way, he also gives refreshingly clear descriptions of what music is and how it works: what scales are all about, why some chords sound discordant, and what all post-war pop songs have in common.

The story of music is the story of our urge to invent, connect, rebel--and entertain. Howard Goodall's beautifully clear and compelling account is both a hymn to human endeavor and a groundbreaking map of our musical journey.
(Goodreads Synopsis)

The Story of Music is a great overview of the history of Western music. For those like myself with a strong background knowledge in the subject, there is probably nothing new to learn, although the anecdotes are amusing and the prose is very readable and enjoyable. For those new to the subject, though, this book will be an excellent introduction. Some passages require knowledge of music theory for full-comprehension, but mostly this book is accessible to all readers. A nice addition to any library.

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