Title: How Music Works
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (Nov. 3, 2010)
What makes a musical note different from any other sound? How can you tell if you have perfect pitch? Why do 10 violins sound only twice as loud as one? Do your Bob Dylan albums sound better on CD or vinyl? John Powell, a scientist and musician, answers these questions and many more in HOW MUSIC WORKS, an intriguing and original guide to acoustics. In a clear, accessible, and engaging voice, Powell fascinates the reader with his delightful descriptions of the science and psychology lurking beneath the surface of music. With lively discussions of the secrets behind harmony, timbre, keys, chords, loudness, musical composition, and more, HOW MUSIC WORKS will be treasured by music lovers everywhere. The book also includes a CD of examples and exercises from the book.
My take: I'm starting to think I'm turning British. It's the humor that used to flummox me, I'm really finding entertaining. Besides that, who doesn't want to find a lava lamp or sing Abba? The contents of the book, although delivered with snarky humor, is educational without being boring. Harmony and Cacophony, the Self-Confident Major and the Emotional Minor, along with Fiddly Details are some of the topics addressed. Sound boring? I kept laughing out loud. Thoroughly enjoyable read.
Want it? I would, if I were you. Mostly so you can read it quick then re-gift it for Christmas. Which is coming, by the way.
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Ends November 28th
For an extra entry, leave an comment detailing your musical talent. I'll tell you mine. I own a piano. I can play the kazoo. My 13 year old daughter taught me a few of the basics to play her viola a couple of weeks ago. It sounded like cats dying. I can play the kazoo.