How Music Works

Some very positive reviews in The Economist, The Telegraph, the NYT, and The IndependentI’d imagine that readers attracted to Byrne’s book might also appreciate Oliver Sacks’ book Musicopilia.

 Unless new profit-sharing models evolve, musicians can no longer make a living from recording. Something will have to give, he says: “I smell another revolution in the works.”

The flip side of the record—and the good news—is that digital technology has also freed music-making from its corporate straitjacket and returned it to the place it started: in bedrooms, on laptops, a free-for-all of experimentation in which authorship is less important than collaboration and performance.

His observations on the nature of pattern and repetition, and on people’s neurological response to aesthetic experience, apply to all creative fields. “How Music Works” should be required reading for all writers and publishers: this song is coming soon to an e-reader near you.