Karen Chung's Reviews > How Music Works: The Science and Psychology of Beautiful Sounds, from Beethoven to the Beatles and Beyond

How Music Works by John        Powell
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Mar 03, 12

Read in March, 2012

Much of what's in this book was review for me - I teach acoustic phonetics, and have worked through many works similar to this one. I read it mainly to see if I could get some new ideas on how to teach things like frequency, harmonics and decibels, and I did pick up some useful and interesting bits. I found the second half of the book, which is more on music per se rather than just acoustics, more engaging. The included CD gives clear examples of things like harmonics, and how and why the sharpness of a note played on a guitar varies according to where on the string you pluck it. One star taken off for some of the attempts at humor, which often fell flat for me. If you don't know much but are curious about how sound waves, microphones, harmony, and beats work, or the differences between major, minor and mode scales and how they are constructed, I highly recommend this book.
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