How Music Works (review)


How Music Works (review)

  • Title: How Music Works
  • Author: David Byrne
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: McSweeney’s; First Edition edition (September 12, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1936365537
  • ISBN-13: 978-1936365531

I purchased the iBooks version, which included a lot of extra material such as photos and lecture material (which was cool) and a bunch of music at the end (which I didn’t really want or need).

I really loved this book – the first third discusses the various creative techniques David Byrne has used to create music, the second third talks about his experiences in the music business, and the last third talks about his view of the future of the music business, along with suggestions for ways to succeed in the new world of music production.

I enjoy learning about other people’s creative processes and the author was very direct and inviting in his descriptions – I felt I could duplicate (well, perhaps not the results) the process he used on one or another album. I could hardly put that part of the book down. The second third wasn’t as interesting to me – I’m sure his observations would be meaningful to people working in the industry, or to music historians, but it didn’t flow well from the first third for me. The last part was very interesting, talking about various ways to use parts of the music industry (or not) to publish and ‘get music out there.’

I recommend this book, I’m glad I got to read it, I feel I learned a few more ways I might attack creating music in the future.


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