Music Nonfiction: How Music Works by David Byrne

How Music Works is David Byrne’s remarkable and buoyant celebration of a subject he has spent a lifetime thinking about. In it he explores how profoundly music is shaped by its time and place, and he explains how the advent of recording technology in the twentieth century forever changed our relationship to playing, performing, and listening to music.

Acting as historian and anthropologist, raconteur and social scientist, he searches for patterns—and shows how those patterns have affected his own work over the years with Talking Heads and his many collaborators, from Brian Eno to Caetano Veloso. Byrne sees music as part of a larger, almost Darwinian pattern of adaptations and responses to its cultural and physical context. His range is panoptic, taking us from Wagnerian opera houses to African villages, from his earliest high school reel-to-reel recordings to his latest work in a home music studio (and all the big studios in between).

Touching on the joy, the physics, and even the business of making music, How Music Works is a brainy, irresistible adventure and an impassioned argument about music’s liberating, life-affirming power.

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  • Kelsey C.

    I forgot to mention...we're voting on genres tonight! Another plus to braving the cold!

    January 28, 2014

    • Susie H.

      Oh boo :(

      January 28, 2014

    • Kelsey C.

      Everyone gets a chance to vote on the actual book, though. Keep an eye out here when I soon put up the polls.

      January 28, 2014

  • Susie H.

    I have a confession. I only read about 20 pages. Also it's very cold outside. I'm wussing out, no excuses. Good news is I started reading next month's book and I love it! See you for the next one!

    1 · January 28, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sorry to cancel, I have to work late.

    January 28, 2014

  • Perry H.

    Apologies for canceling - got roped into a last minute work trip

    January 28, 2014

  • Kelsey C.

    Book club is still on! Park Street will be open! See you all there, if you dare.

    1 · January 28, 2014

  • Whitney

    I hope we still have book club tomorrow despite this cold weather!

    January 27, 2014

    • Marshall

      That's what the beer is for!

      1 · January 27, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'm afraid I won't be able to make it to this one, but I'm still reading the book. Hopefully I can ask you guys what you thought of it at the following meet-up!

    January 14, 2014

  • Kelsey C.

    As most of us saw last night, this is a larger book. Byrne says in the preface that the chapters can be read in any order, so feel free to choose the chapters that are of most interest to you. Do not feel like you need to finish the whole book in order to attend the meetup. We also have an extra week to read it. Yay!

    1 · December 18, 2013

    • Christine S.

      I just went trekking about to find it, finally got a glimpse and was scared away. XD

      January 4, 2014

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Rafaël

We just grab a coffee and speak French. Some people have been coming every week for months... it creates a kind of warmth to the group.

Rafaël, started French Conversation Group

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