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Music: A Subversive History

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  16 ratings  ·  7 reviews
A preeminent music historian and critic presents a global history of music from the bottom up


Histories of music overwhelmingly suppress stories of the outsiders and rebels who created musical revolutions and instead celebrate the mainstream assimilators who borrowed innovations, diluted their impact, and disguised their sources. In Music: A Subversive History, histori
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Hardcover, First Edition (U.S.), 528 pages
Published October 15th 2019 by Basic Books/Hachette Book Group, Inc. (first published October 2019)
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J Earl
Oct 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Music: A Subversive History by Ted Gioia started out by surprising me and ended up by blowing me away. Not what I had expected, as in: much more than I expected.

I love to read music histories. Most tend to be about a specific genre, maybe about an era, sometimes about an instrument. The few I have read that are a history of music as a whole still tend to be selective with what is considered music (or at least what they deem worthy of inclusion) and/or limited by a broad style (wester
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Ted Burke
Nov 05, 2019 rated it liked it
Fascinating read, Goia does us the favor of skipping the technical comparatives and assorted arcana that interest tech heads and deep nerds and instead discusses, in plain language, the evolution of music in social, philosophical and spiritual context, revealing the need to make music as a means to give direct and immediate expression of human experience . He covers a lot of material here, does a fine job displaying the various arguments over the use and misuse of music has been, and is very cog ...more
Kendra
Sep 26, 2019 rated it it was ok
Gioia notes early in this book that he's been writing it for 25 years. That shows: his conception of how music history is taught and written about and discussed is about 25 years out-of-date, and his work in this book suffers badly from it. The book would have been a powerful call to action and change two decades ago, but today, with hundreds of fantastic, progressive, new, and radically different approaches to music historiography in practice, both for "art" and "pop" musics, Gioia's work is ou ...more
June
Aug 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ng
Writing about music can be very difficult indeed--explaining with words what really is best heard with one's own ears. The cultural history of music is equally as complex, with every piece having a wide array of sources and influences, as well as some coincidental resemblances.

Ted Gioia has done well at emphasizing the interconnected nature of music as it relates to our experience as humans. The reader gains a kind of bird's-eye-view of why and how we make music, as well as lots of i
...more
Paul
Oct 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Music can be a tough subject to make interesting, and the author mostly succeeds. This is a long book, but the diversity of the topics covered and their inter-relationships is clear and well-executed. This may be a bit dry for some readers, but the author has deep knowledge and is a good writer.

I really appreciate the copy for review!!
Annarella
Sep 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A fascinating and well written book that gave me a lot of food for thought and helped me to understand the relationship between the human and the music.
Highly recommended!
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
Karl Nehring
Oct 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: music, history
Would have given it 5 stars had the author made more of his final couple of chapters, which seemed to be more of a straight overview of the music scene without as much analysis and argument as he had applied to the previous chapters. But I still highly recommend this book!
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“When dealing with music, the personal is the political, and always has been.” 0 likes
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