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Best Music Books

Recommendations from 24 articles, Ellen DeGeneres, Jimmy Fallon, Bill Gates and 139 others.
98 books on the list
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How Music Works book cover
How Music Works
David Byrne - 2012-09-12 (first published in 2014)
Goodreads Rating
Explore the world of music with David Byrne's comprehensive guide, updated with a new chapter on digital curation. Drawing on his extensive career and collaborations with Talking Heads and Brian Eno, Byrne delves into the key influences that shape music, from acoustics to social and technological factors. Discover the power of music to shape our experiences and learn more about how songs, symphonies, and rhythms inspire us all. With every chapter, Byrne reveals exciting new insights into the liberating qualities of music.
This Is Your Brain on Music book cover
This Is Your Brain on Music
The Science of a Human Obsession
Daniel J. Levitin - 2006-08-03
Goodreads Rating
Explore the fascinating connection between music and the human brain with this groundbreaking and engaging book. Delve into the new discoveries in neuroscience and evolutionary psychology that shed light on why music has such a powerful effect on our emotions. Uncover the mysteries behind how musical preferences are formed, how the brain responds to music, and why musical pleasure is unlike any other kind. This book takes a deep dive into our obsession with music, examining cultural and scientific perspectives, and even studying patients who cannot make sense of music. Discover the unique role music plays in our lives through this informative and enlightening read.
How To Make It in the New Music Business book cover
How To Make It in the New Music Business
Practical Tips on Building a Loyal Following and Making a Living as a Musician (Second Edition)
Ari Herstand - 2023-01-17
Goodreads Rating
The ultimate guide for musicians navigating the ever-changing music industry. This book has become widely adopted by music schools and is considered "the best how-to book of its kind" by industry professionals. Learn how to build a stable career by taking advantage of social media, mastering merchandising, and authentic fan connections. The second edition includes updated online trends and inspiring success stories on Spotify and Instagram. A must-have for any musician hoping to make it on their own terms.
Just Kids book cover
Just Kids
Patti Smith - 2010-01-19
Goodreads Rating
This book takes you on a journey through the captivating story of two young artists who made a pact to take care of each other during the hungry years of late sixties and seventies New York City. It is a love story, an elegy, a historical snapshot, and a tribute to its rich and poor, its hustlers and hellions, and their ascent to fame. Written by Patti Smith, an influential artist herself, it serves as a salute to the worlds of poetry, rock and roll, art, and sexual politics, all colliding and exploding in this unforgettable milieu.
The Dirt book cover
The Dirt
Confessions of the World's Most Notorious Rock Band
Tommy Lee - 2002-07-09 (first published in 2001)
Goodreads Rating
Explore the wild, adrenaline-fueled world of Mötley Crüe in this explosive tell-all book. From their rock 'n' roll glory days to their darkest tragedies, no topic is off-limits in this uncensored account told by the band members themselves. Experience the highs and lows of their hard-partying lifestyle, from their epic exploits with porn stars and drug dealers to their infamous feuds with other rock legends. Complete with rare photos and handwritten lyrics, this book is a must-read for any diehard music fan. Get ready to get dirty with Mötley Crüe.
All You Need to Know About the Music Business book cover
All You Need to Know About the Music Business
10th Edition
Donald S. Passman - 2006-11-01 (first published in 2013)
Goodreads Rating
This comprehensive guide to the music industry is considered the definitive source for novices and experts alike. Written by veteran music lawyer Don Passman, this tenth edition covers the biggest transformation in the industry yet: streaming. Passman offers authoritative advice on how to navigate the ins and outs of record deals, songwriting, publishing, and copyrights in a world where music is monetized by how many times a song is streamed. A must-read for anyone in the industry, from musicians and songwriters to executives and managers.
Major Labels book cover
Major Labels
A History of Popular Music in Seven Genres
Kelefa Sanneh - 2021-10-05
Goodreads Rating
Explore the entire history of popular music over the past fifty years through the big genres that have defined and dominated it: rock, R&B, country, punk, hip-hop, dance music, and pop. Kelefa Sanneh, one of the essential voices of our time on music and culture, distills a career's worth of knowledge into a brilliant and omnivorous reckoning with popular music. Major Labels explores music as an art form, cultural and economic force, and tool that we use to build our identities. Sanneh debunks cherished myths, reappraises beloved heroes, and upends familiar ideas of musical greatness, arguing that sometimes, the best popular music isn't transcendent. This is a book about the music everyone loves, the music everyone hates, and the decades-long argument over which is which.
Divided Soul book cover
Divided Soul
The Life Of Marvin Gaye
David Ritz - 2003-05-08 (first published in 1985)
Goodreads Rating
Experience the life of the iconic Marvin Gaye like never before through this intimate and definitive biography. Full of interviews conducted before his death, music writer David Ritz paints a portrait of the brilliant and tormented artist surrounded by legends like Diana Ross, Berry Gordy, and Stevie Wonder. Get to know the man behind the word soul.
Get More Fans book cover
Get More Fans
The DIY Guide to the New Music Business (2020 Edition)
Jesse Cannon - 2015-07-10 (first published in 2012)
Goodreads Rating
Learn how to promote your music on a budget, get more YouTube views, turn casual listeners into loyal buyers, and much more with this ultimate guide. Written by industry insiders who have worked with top musicians like The Cure and Animal Collective, this book spills the secrets of building a fanbase and getting exposure without the need for big labels. Featuring insider tricks and ideas, it's the ultimate resource for anyone who wants to do better in the music industry.
Start Your Music Business book cover
Start Your Music Business
How to Earn Royalties, Own Your Music, Sample Music, Protect Your Name & Structure Your Music Business (Music Law Series) (Volume 1)
Audrey K. Chisholm Esq. - 2014-12-15 (first published in 2013)
Goodreads Rating
This comprehensive guide offers practical and invaluable advice for anyone in the music industry looking to legally start and grow their business. Learn how to understand different types of royalties, own your music and masters, legally sample and cover music, protect your name and logo, structure your music business, avoid personal legal issues, and more. Written by an experienced entertainment lawyer who has worked with major clients and shows, this book is a must-read for songwriters, producers, artists, and musicians seeking success in the music business.
Musicophilia by Oliver Sacks
Good Booty by Ann Powers
The Storyteller by Dave Grohl
A Little Devil in America by Hanif Abdurraqib
Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner
How Music Got Free by Stephen Witt
Meet Me in the Bathroom by Lizzy Goodman
Please Kill Me by Legs McNeil
Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen
Our Band Could Be Your Life by Michael Azerrad
Last Train to Memphis by Peter Guralnick
Revolution in the Head by Ian MacDonald
The Rest Is Noise by Alex Ross
Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuk
Can't Stop Won't Stop by Jeff Chang
The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer
Streaming, Sharing, Stealing by Michael D. Smith
England's Dreaming, Revised Edition by Jon Savage
Hit Men by Fredric Dannen
The True Adventures of the Rolling Stones by Stanley Booth
Beeswing by Richard Thompson
Story of the Orchestra by Robert Levine
Music, The Brain, And Ecstasy by Robert Jourdain
Work Hard Playlist Hard by Mike Warner
The Music Business Advice Book by Bobby Owsinski
Rock She Wrote by Evelyn McDonnell
Music Money and Success 8th Edition by Jeff Brabec
Chronicles by Bob Dylan
Zin! Zin! Zin! A Violin by Lloyd Moss
The Song Machine by John Seabrook
Great Pop Things by Colin B Morton
Decoding Despacito by Leila Cobo
Hammer of the Gods by Stephen Davis
I Know a Shy Fellow by Barbara S. Garriel
Violet's Music by Angela Johnson
The Show That Never Ends by David Weigel
They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us by Hanif Abdurraqib
Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari
The Gene by Siddhartha Mukherjee
The Book of Joy by Dalai Lama
The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz
Broken Horses by Brandi Carlile
Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan
Me by Elton John
Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky
Born to Run by Christopher McDougall
Homo Deus by Yuval Noah Harari
The Lyrics by Paul McCartney
Genesis Begins Again by Alicia D. Williams
Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow
It's So Easy by Duff McKagan
Deep Work by Cal Newport
Misbehaving by Richard H. Thaler
Endurance by Scott Kelly
Before the Ever After by Jacqueline Woodson
The Beatles by The Beatles
The Universe in Your Hand by Christophe Galfard
Miles by Miles Davis
Sellout by Dan Ozzi
Traction by Gabriel Weinberg
Dilla Time by Dan Charnas
Listen to My Trumpet! by Mo Willems
The White Album by Joan Didion
The Autobiography of Gucci Mane by Gucci Mane
Unrequited Infatuations by Stevie Van Zandt
Nöthin' But a Good Time by Tom Beaujour, Richard Bienstock
Trombone Shorty by Troy Andrews
Because by Mo Willems
Wild Symphony by Dan Brown
When I Stop Talking, You'll Know I'm Dead by Jerry Weintraub
Ariana Grande - Thank U, Next by Junji Ito
The Most Beautiful by Mayte Garcia
Hellfire by Nick Tosches
The Attention Merchants by Tim Wu
Drum Dream Girl by Margarita Engle
Mo' Meta Blues by Ahmir "questlove" Thompson
Get in the Van by Henry Rollins
Bass Culture by Lloyd Bradley
The Noisy Paint Box by Barb Rosenstock
The First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Pérez
Beastie Boys Book by Michael Diamond
The Beatles Anthology by Beatles
Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys. by Viv Albertine
Grip by Kennedy Ryan
Lead by Kylie Scott
Tune In by Mark Lewisohn
Wicked Beat by Olivia Cunning