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Publisher's Summary

*Updated with a new chapter on digital curation*

How Music Works is David Byrne’s incisive and enthusiastic look at the musical art form, from its very inceptions to the influences that shape it, whether acoustical, economic, social or technological. Utilizing his incomparable career and inspired collaborations with Talking Heads, Brian Eno, and many others, Byrne taps deeply into his lifetime of knowledge to explore the panoptic elements of music, how it shapes the human experience, and reveals the impetus behind how we create, consume, distribute, and enjoy the songs, symphonies, and rhythms that provide the backbeat of life. Byrne’s magnum opus uncovers ever-new and thrilling realizations about the redemptive liberation that music brings us all.

©2012, 2017 Todo Mundo, Ltd. (P)2022 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“Brilliantly original.”—The New York Times Book Review

“Fascinating.”—Booklist 

“Extraordinary.”—The Guardian 

What listeners say about How Music Works

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Great Book and Narrator

This is a great book that combines stories about DB's origin and development, with practical info about the music industry over time, aspects of music theory not often explained, and predictions and preferences for where music is going.

The performance of the book was great as well. I can imagine that DB used his ear for sound to select someone who presents his thoughts as he would have.

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Great content, bland delivery

Many insights here are wonderful, from one of the greatest pop musicians of our time. Some of the information about the music industry is outdated, but still somewhat relevant.

The narration is pretty bland and sounds monotone, akin to a customer service automated system.