Absolutely not. As a book on music per se, it is terrible. Byrne has absolutely has no clue of the origins of classical music in liturgy, the development of harmony, etc, although he is pompous as heck about knowing it all. He reduces classical music, ballet and opera to status tokens for robber capitalists while 'hip hop' artists who blast their music out the car windows are said to be generous "sharing" their worthy music. Africans can be spiritual, yet Bach who wrote the most spiritual music ever, and inscribed each piece with "only for the glory of God", can't be, and is presented as essentially a buffoon. For Byrne, classical music is synonymous with the symphony, which is a minor part of it all. Solo artists, people who play classical music for pleasure, minimum wage listeners to NPR, etc, aren't considered. In short, Byrne sets himself up as the beginning and end of all that's worthy in music. The narcissism and lack of scholarship in "How Music Works" is appalling. This had me running back to Taruskin for a real music history, and both John Butt and John Eliot Gardiner for another look at Bach. Why did David Byrne wear a big suit in Talking Heads? To match his BIG HEAD.
A serious book on music.
Clear, articulate, accurate.
It was a good description of Mr Byrne's personal history with the recording business.
Not recommended. The book should be retitled so people actually looking for a general book on music won't be misled.
I know it's a "potboiler", if you pardon the expression in this context, but come on! The "love story" was ridiculously stupid, derivative, pathetic. Of course, any character who indulged in homoerotic behavior was weak, or morally weak, etc, etc, etc. The author has to be congratulated for taking a story we already all know to a new level of predictability. And the narrator reminded me of a friend who went to England to study for a semester and came back with an accent....
McCabe delivers not only a brilliant novel, but a brilliant performance as well. I found myself listening to this nonstop on a car trip across the US, twisting the key in the dashboard to keep the CD player going even when I stopped for gas. A little Jobriath, a litte slang, and many memories of the rural Ireland of those years...
Report Inappropriate Content