Monday, January 6, 2020

Ted Gioia

Ted Gioia's newest book is Music: A Subversive History.

From his Q&A with Deborah Kalb:

Q: You write, "This work has been in the making since the early 1990s, and it all started when I asked a simple question that led to some very complicated outcomes: How does music change people's lives?" What was the journey between that idea and this eventual book?

A: We are taught nowadays to view music as mere entertainment—a kind of diversion for our leisure hours.

Ivy League professor Steven Pinker has even described music as “auditory cheesecake.” He believes that the only purpose of a song is to stimulate the brain, and listening to music is no different from drinking a martini or using recreational drugs.

When I started the research for this book, more than 25 years ago, I had a very different view about music. I believed music is a source of transformation and enchantment in human life. It’s a change agent that possesses great power—over our bodies, over our communities, over our society as a whole.

I wanted to write the history of music from this perspective. I wanted to show how music has transformed the world around us.

This required a different kind of research. The stories I wanted to tell don’t usually show up in music history books. Instead I had to dig into...[read on]
See Ted Gioia's list of ten of the best novels on music.

--Marshal Zeringue