HOW MUSIC WORKS: The Science and Psychology of Beautiful Sounds, from Beethoven to the Beatles and Beyond
By John Powell
Little, Brown and Company
Hachette Book Group
October 27, 2010
Not everyone in the world has been trained to be a musician. Most people realize that musicians hear and respond to life differently. Their connection with the music makes them see the world through eyes that hear and feel from the soul. How can other people gain that connection?
How Music Works explains to the average person what techniques musicians use. It teaches us what to listen for in others to make music a special experience and a form of communication.
To begin, Powell explains music in scientific terms from the mathematics, physics, engineering, and history and the affect on musical compositions. Terms such as rhythm, timbre, pitch, frequency, harmony, and decibel are thoroughly discussed in humorous everyday terms. He also spends considerable time on the actual instruments themselves and the how and why they are individually and collaboratively used.
By the use of analogies, John Powell explains the affect music has on everyone and how it can personally modify a person’s mood or behavior. How Music Works actually explains the connections in creating music. Simply put, this explains the difference between noise and music.
One chapter is also devoted to the differences in music depending on where the music is actually performed. It shows the differences between a concert hall and an outdoors field.
Accompanying the book is a CD which demonstrates what is discussed in the book. How can you explain music without hearing music? The CD solves this.
By the use of his wonderful explanations, illustrations, pictures, knowledge, and humor, John Powell expertly explains music.
John Powell is both a physicist and a musician. He has taught classes in musical acoustics at Sheffield University and physics at the Universities of Nottingham and Lulea (Sweden). He currently resides in England.
This book is for those who want to enjoy music as well as for those who already have a music connection.