Amazon, Google Play and Barnes & Noble Nook have the eBook edition of How Music Works by David Byrne on sale for $1.99.
I can personally recommend this book for all music lovers and Talking Heads fans - really fascinating to see his insights, especially into composing and ethnomusicology
How Music Works
is David Byrne's incisive and enthusiastic look at the musical art form, from its very inceptions to the influences that shape it, whether acoustical, economic, social or technological. Utilizing his incomparable career and inspired collaborations with Talking Heads, Brian Eno, and many others, Byrne taps deeply into his lifetime of knowledge to explore the panoptic elements of music, how it shapes the human experience, and reveals the impetus behind how we create, consume, distribute, and enjoy the songs, symphonies, and rhythms that provide the backbeat of life. Byrne's magnum opus uncovers ever-new and thrilling realizations about the redemptive liberation that music brings us all.
Amazon Best Books of the Month, September 2012:
It's no surprise that David Byrne knows his music. As the creative force behind Talking Heads [amazon.com]
and many solo and collaborative ventures, he's been writing, playing, and recording music for decades. What is surprising is how well his voice translates to the page. In this wide-ranging, occasionally autobiographical analysis of the evolution and inner workings of the music industry, Byrne explores his own deep curiosity about the "patterns in how music is written, recorded, distributed, and received." He is an opinionated and well-educated tour guide, and the resulting essays--on topics from rockers' clothes to the role of the turntable, concert stages to recording studios--will give you an entirely new perspective on the complex journey a song takes from conception to your iPod. --Neal Thompson
From Booklist [amazon.com]
*Starred Review* Most people know idiosyncratic, Scottish-born David Byrne as the front man of that great new wave band, Talking Heads. But he is also an author, painter, photographer, and film and record producer. In this wide-ranging celebration of the power of music, he discusses, among many topics, the early days of the recording industry, various types of music venues, birdsong and whale calls, the significance of mixtapes, the development of CDs, his love of African rhythms, and the concept of creativity and what it means to be creative. But he also mentions his own career as well as the many collaborators he has worked with, including English musician and producer Brian Eno, Brazilian composer and singer Caetano Veloso, and DJ Fatboy Slim. He describes the origin of his twitchy stage persona and acknowledges his own shyness, describing himself as "a withdrawn introvert," whose most comfortable way of communicating was, he says, onstage. ("Poor Susan Boyle; I can identify," he writes). At one point, he even self-diagnoses himself as having a mild form of Asperger's syndrome. He concludes by asking provocative questions: What is music good for? Why do we need music? "Funding future creativity is a worthy investment," he insists. Endlessly fascinating, insightful, and intelligent. --June Sawyers
Byrne's book tells a version of the musical life that is deliberately less dramatic and heroic than first-person accounts by musicians usually are. That's because How Music Works
isn't just a memoir... it meanders at some points, or lapses into a digest of Byrne's broad reading on various subjects. In a book that covers so much ground, often with a zoomed-in level of detailed focus, it's up to the reader to find the through lines that speak to his or her particular concerns. —Simon Reynolds
Praise for How Music Works
"Brilliantly original"—The New York Times Book Review
"Extraordinary" —The Guardian
"Dazzling"—The Onion A.V. Club
"Essential"—The San Francisco Chronicle