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Thread: Favorite Books to Read?

  1. #1

    Default Favorite Books to Read?

    I'm always looking for new things to read, but I don't particularly like to read fiction or to just read for the sake of reading. I generally like reading with the intent to learn something new.
    So, I'm curious what your favorite books are relating to music. Anything that doesn't require me to pick up my mandolin. Could be books on music theory, interesting bios, research on practicing, composition, or perhaps you like to just study sheet music. Just looking for ideas here. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Registered User T.D.Nydn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Favorite Books to Read?

    I wrote a historical fiction book on the life of Nicolo Paganini,"a Gothic tale of abuse,promiscuity and self exploitation",,title "Four strings for the Devil" ..available now on Amazon kindle,,hard copies to follow...

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  4. #3

    Default Re: Favorite Books to Read?

    The Music Lesson by Victor Wooten is a good read. It's a little out there, but lots to think about.
    the billyhawks http://www.thebillyhawks.com

    Original Melodies for Mandolin, Mandola & Mandocello
    http://www.HillbillyChamberMusic.com

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    Mandolin Friendly Mark Gunter's Avatar
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    Default Re: Favorite Books to Read?

    +1 for The Music Lesson

    Also, check out The Practice of Practice by Jonathan Harnum
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    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Favorite Books to Read?

    My Current book for the Waiting room at the VA, for my medical appointments ,

    is City of Quartz , by Mike Davis.
    writing about music
    is like dancing,
    about architecture

  7. #6

    Default Re: Favorite Books to Read?

    What To Listen For In Music by Aaron Copland

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    Fatally Flawed willkamm's Avatar
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    Default Re: Favorite Books to Read?

    If you're looking for a Musician Biography, "Blind, but Now I See" the bio of Doc Watson, by Kent Gustavson, was a really enjoyable read for me.
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    Default Re: Favorite Books to Read?

    A couple of really interesting books that focus on pianos but go way beyond also:

    The Piano Shop on the Left Bank by Thad Carhart

    A Romance on Three Legs: Glenn Gould's Obsessive Quest for the Perfect Piano, by Katie Hafner

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    Default Re: Favorite Books to Read?

    I enjoyed Guitar Zero: The Science of Becoming Musical at Any Age by Gary Marcus

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    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Default Re: Favorite Books to Read?

    The Violin Maker: Finding a Centuries-Old Tradition in a Brooklyn Workshop by John Marchese who follows my friend, former bandmate and top violin maker in making one of his masterpiece violins.
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    bon vivant jaycat's Avatar
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    Default Re: Favorite Books to Read?

    This and this.
    "The paths of experimentation twist and turn through mountains of miscalculations, and often lose themselves in error and darkness!"
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    "The days tell, the years speak, the centuries decide . . ."
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    Default Re: Favorite Books to Read?

    Space is the place - the lives and times of sun ra, Szwed

    Talking music: conversations with cage et al and five generations of American experimental composers, Duckworth

    Music: physician for times to come (anthology), Campbell et al

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    Default Re: Favorite Books to Read?

    +1 "The Piano Shop on the West Bank"
    Planning to get "The Music Lesson" read one of these days......

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    Default Re: Favorite Books to Read?

    Read "Red Notice". I couldn't put it down.

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    Isolated enthusiast Caleb's Avatar
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    Default Re: Favorite Books to Read?

    CLAPTON'S GUITAR by Allen St John. Not about Clapton, but about Wayne Henderson's workshop in the hills of Virginia. Excellent reading.

    https://www.amazon.com/Claptons-Guit...ton%27s+guitar
    ...

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  22. #17

    Default Re: Favorite Books to Read?

    Anything by Mark Helprin, although it will be fiction. The overall effect of reading his prose is that of listening to great music (at least it is for me). This may be a screwball form of synesthesia, but for me his books are almost overwhelming. Most recent work is Paris in the Present Tense. A recent book with a musical reference buried within (The Ook-Pik Waltz) is Sunshine and Shadow

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    Registered User Mando Mort's Avatar
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    Default Re: Favorite Books to Read?

    Two mentioned above are excellent books: "Clapton's Guitar" and "Blind But Now I See". Through reading "Clapton's Guitar" I learned of Wayne Henderson. I saw him play in Galax, VA over Thanksgiving weekend and that was a great experience. We will be attending his annual guitar picking contest and music festival this June.

    I just finished reading "Blind But Now I See" and that is a well-written book about a true musical giant and great person.

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    Default Re: Favorite Books to Read?

    I enjoyed reading about how musicians learn and various ideas on effective practice. I probably read everything I could find but these two I reread:
    The Practice of Practice (mentioned above)
    Effortless Mastery

  26. #20
    Registered User maudlin mandolin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Favorite Books to Read?

    "Blues Mandolin Man" by Richard Congress is a biography of Yank Rachell well worth reading

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    Gummy Bears and Scotch BrianWilliam's Avatar
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    Default Re: Favorite Books to Read?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Wilson View Post
    I enjoyed reading about how musicians learn and various ideas on effective practice. I probably read everything I could find but these two I reread:
    The Practice of Practice (mentioned above)
    Effortless Mastery
    Just finished effortless mastery. Too cosmic for me. And wordy - I feel like it could have been summed up in 10 pages. Sorry Mr. Werner....

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  29. #22
    Registered User Russ Donahue's Avatar
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    Default Re: Favorite Books to Read?

    "Practicing: A Musician's Return to Music" by Glen Kurtz. Fascinating story, parts of which I immediately identified with.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    One watch by night, one watch by day...if you get confused, just listen to the music play.

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  31. #24

    Default Re: Favorite Books to Read?

    I read lots of musician biographies and autobiographies. Graham Nash's autobiography, "Wild Tales", is my favorite.

  32. #25
    Registered User DavidKOS's Avatar
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    Default Re: Favorite Books to Read?

    If you want to see music in a different way, try reading these:

    http://www.elijahwald.com/beatlespop.html

    https://www.amazon.com/How-Beatles-D.../dp/019975697X

    "How the Beatles Destroyed Rock 'n' Roll:
    An Alternative History of American Popular Music"

    It's not quite what it sounds like - it "is a history of American popular music stripped of the familiar clichés of jazz and rock history. Tracing the evolution of popular music through developing tastes, trends and technologies, rather than applying modern standards and genre categories, it gives a fuller, more balanced look at the broad variety of styles that captured listeners over the course of the twentieth century."

    Another of Wald's books gives similar insight into the blues:

    https://www.amazon.com/Escaping-Delt...89SMP3TK5B8MGV

    Escaping the Delta: Robert Johnson and the Invention of the Blues

    "The life of blues legend Robert Johnson becomes the centerpiece for this innovative look at what many consider to be America's deepest and most influential music genre. Pivotal are the questions surrounding why Johnson was ignored by the core black audience of his time yet now celebrated as the greatest figure in blues history.

    Trying to separate myth from reality, biographer Elijah Wald studies the blues from the inside -- not only examining recordings but also the recollections of the musicians themselves, the African-American press, as well as examining original research. What emerges is a new appreciation for the blues and the movement of its artists from the shadows of the 1930s Mississippi Delta to the mainstream venues frequented by today's loyal blues fans."

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