How Music Works - David Byrne

If anyone else had written this, perhaps it'd have been called "A Sociology of Music". This is David Byrne's multi-hundred-page treatise on how music fits into society - music as played vs. as listened to, venues, classical vs. pop music, the music business and much more. His eclectic background fills out his (quite personal) argument.

Overall, it's very thoughtful. I was never into Talking Heads at the time, but visiting it now, there's so much of interest there. Growing up, I only ever really saw self-assured, extrovert Rock or Pop Star, and retrospectively filling in the gaps with people like David Byrne is fascinating.

I'd bought it for my wife, who's more of a fan, and she dipped in and out of it, while I'm much more of an end-to-end reader. It's a chunky, well-designed and pleasant-to-read book. I don't think it's made me fundamentally rethink music (or rather, how it fits into society), but it's certainly made me think more about it.

Posted 2019-06-02.