It's time again for another installment of New Music Books
I Wish I Had Time to Read. As always, I've been busy
books for the music library (about 100 per month), and I note the
ones that I think would be interesting to read, had I the time. Hopefully, there's something interesting here for everyone. Here are my biased picks,
listed in no particular order:
Have you read any good music books lately?
Vocab: MP3, gamelan, ambient music
- Music Career Advising: A Guide for Students, Parents, and Teachers by Eric Branscome - Maybe a little too academically inclined, but I think it is important because so many young people go into university music programs because they are told they should, yet have no idea where such a program could lead them.
- Download! How the Internet Transformed the Record Business by Phil Hardy - Tries to chronicle how the music industry had to adapt to the new internet digital music market, from the CD boom through MP3s to the present. Probably a bit premature, but we have to start somewhere.
- Ubiquitous Musics: The Everyday Sounds That We Don’t Always Notice, edited by Marta Garcia Quinones, Anahid Kassabian, and Elena Boschi - Essays on gym music, mood music, ambient music, mobile phones, listening while traveling, etc.
- Javanese Gamelan and the West, by Sumarsam - Examines not only how Gamelan performance in Indonesia has changed since it was introduced to the west, but how Gamelans have influenced the western music, including the many university Gamelans in the U.S. and elsewhere.
- Made in Spain: Studies in Popular Music, ed. by Silvia Martinez and Hector Fouce - English language collection of essays about popular music in Spain, encompassing jazz, folk song and dance, pop, music during Franco, and regionalisms (because Spain is not a monolithic whole like sometimes we think in the U.S.)
- Understanding the Music Industries, by Chris Anderton, Andrew Dubber, and Martin James - The plural in the title is no mistake—instead of talking about the monolithic industry, instead they try to see how all the little pieces interact and work together (or don’t work together): Songwriting, publishing, production, distribution, promotion, live music, audiences (which have a big impact on how people make money, it turns out), and copyright.
- “Cashville”: Dilution of Original Country Music Identity through Increasing Commercialization, by Stephanie Schäfer - I’ve always thought that country music was mostly a self-perpetuating myth refined over the years to make money, but now here’s a book that backs up that arguement.
- The Notation is Not the Music: Reflections on Early Music Practice and Performance, by Barthold Kuijken - While this book focuses on early music, which is usually not my cup of tea, I think it is important to keep in mind that what you see written was not necessarily what was heard when it was originally performed, especially for pre-1700 music and folk music.
- Elvis Costello and Thatcherism: A Psycho-Social Exploration, by David Pilgrim and Richard Ormond - How could you go wrong with a title like this?
- Music Education in Crisis, edited by Peter Dickinson - A collection of essays from the past 15 years, mostly from a British perspective, defending music education as it has been recently attacked and cut. Because we all need more things in our pocket about music advocacy.
- Erik Satie: Music, Art, and Literature, edited by Caroline Potter - A collection of essays, including one on a topic for which I wrote a short paper as a graduate student: Satie as a comic. Sadly, (or probably happily for those reading this essay), this is not my paper.
- Songs of People on the Move, edited by Thomas A. McKean - A collections of essays about the music of itinerant groups from all over the world, groups which are often on the margins of society.