Monday, November 8, 2010

How Music Works Review and Giveaway

Title:  How Music Works
Publisher:  Little, Brown and Company (Nov. 3, 2010)
Genre:  Non-fiction
Pages:  272
ISBN: 978-0316098304

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. 

3 Winners
U.S. and Canada Only
No P.O. Boxes
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.


Dawn M. said...

I can play the piano. I'm just a little bit rusty 'cause it's been a while. I also learned to play the clarinet when I was in the band in school. Haven't played it since, though.

I'm a lapsed musician. Heh.

Thanks! :0)
librarygrinch at gmail dot com

debbie said...

I have the ability to make dogs howl and the cat hide under the bed when I try to sing or play an instrument.LOL. My son plays the guitar, so this would be for him.

Andrew Smith said...

My papa's brother has been teaching me how to play the guitar. I am by far still trying to learn how to play. One day I will be able to play like him.

Thanks for the chance to win.

coolandrew123 [at] gmail [dot] com

CountessLaurie said...

I think I can sing fantastically. And I do, in the car, with the radio turned up loudly.

My daughters, however, for some odd reason, often ask me to stop singing.

I don't know why.

Ivy said...

I use to play the organ. You know those little ones w/ the #'d keys & music books? I sing fantastically @ home & in the car..My youngest son asked me the other day who sang the song I was singing along w/...I told him & he said to me, "then let him sing it." Critics...All my boys play though & it's easier to list instruments hubby doesn't play...I play the stereo..*G*

Benita said...

I play the flute. And I can recall the words to songs I haven't heard for 20 or so years.


Sophia said...

I can play the piano pretty well =) As well as some violin

Anonymous said...

I dabbled with the flute when I was very young. I own an antique partial player studio piano and an electric piano, a couple of acoustic guitars, and have a harmonica "somewhere" :) I always sang in the church choir and used to play for church, weddings, and some Air Force events. I was lead vocals with four guys in a band many years ago. I also trained vocally with a captain in the Air Force who went on to perform with the Rome (Italy) Philharmonic. *Thanks* for the giveaway!

Shannon said...

I'm not musical talented...but I did play the flute from 5th to 12th grade and picked up the violin for awhile. But I don't have a natural ear for music unlike my mom. I blame my tone deaf dad. :)

Unknown said...

I can sing. I tried to play the guitar--THE instrument to play in my hippie upbringing--but I failed.

BTW, I answered "you betcha" to your following question but that felt weird. I'm not from Minnesota. I do think you're strange but I follow you anyway. Your strangeness is endearing.

degood said...

I have no ear for pitch or rhythm so my musical skills are pretty much zero. It is embarassing how untalented I am when it comes to music.

Laura H. said...

This person possesses no musical talent. However, I am a wannabe piano player. Does that count?