The Story of Music
From Babylon to the Beatles: How Music Has Shaped Civilization
This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.
Why did prehistoric people start making music? What does every postwar pop song have in common? A “masterful” tour of music through the ages (Booklist, starred review).
From Mozart to Motown and beyond, this “racily written, learned, and often shrewdly insightful” social history reveals music’s role in our societies as well as its power to affect us on a personal level (The Daily Telegraph).
Once a building block of communication and social ritual, today music is also a worldwide tangle of genres, industries, and identities. But how did we get from single notes to multilayered orchestration, from prehistoric instruments like bone flutes to modern-day pop? In this dynamic tour, acclaimed composer and broadcaster Howard Goodall leads us through the development of music as it happened, idea by idea. In Goodall’s telling, each innovation that we now take for granted―harmony, notation, dance music, recording―strikes us anew. And along the way, Goodall gives listeners a crash course in how music works on a technical level.
The story of music is the story of human ambition: the urge to invent, to connect, to rebel. Offering “a lively zip through some forty-five millennia, jumping back and forth between classical, folk, and pop,” Howard Goodall’s beautifully accessible and entertaining ode to joy is a groundbreaking look at just how far we’ve come (The Sunday Times, London).
TheGood: Comprehensive; started out well
The Bad: Too long
The Ugly: Too obviously political (yawn)