New Books: Music

Before I was writing here on the blog and running book drives around the northeast of the US and Canada I was busy being a music major, doing everything from conducting orchestras to playing classical guitar concerts to a regular Wednesday gig at a pub in Ireland.  Even these days I’ve been known to write the occasional piece for a festival or dance.

Anyway, because of this huge part of my life, I tend to read books that either have to do with music or my other love (modernist literature, particularly turn of the 20th century British lit).

Luckily there has hardly been a better time to be into the former as there are a few great new books for me to suggest that you read (as usual click the cover to check it out at www.BetterWorld.com ):

The one most recently reviewed in the Sunday New York Times Book Review: Grand Obsession.  This text, by Perri Knize describes her search for the perfect piano that takes her on a journey all over geographically and mentally.  It’s an entertaining and engaging story that will have you longing to play, be it chopsticks or Chopin.

Not being a piano player didn’t take away from my enjoyment of Grand Obsession, but I certainly was more apt to pick up Practicing: A Musician’s Return to Music.  I’ve heard great thing but haven’t cracked this one open yet.  I’ll review it soon for those of you itching for a book about a classical guitarist who returns after years away from the instrument (tell me almost everyone doesn’t regret not continuing their _____ lessons as a kid).

Last is a book I’m just getting through right now called This is Your Brain On Music. This book approaches music with a far more scientific approach than the previous two.  This book deals with layman’s versions of how the brain works in it’s approach to listening to, reacting to and generally engaging with music.  Anyone who can understand the haunting quality of a single note or chord or finds themselves playing the same songs over and over needs to check this one out.

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