The best contemporary music books on this list are specific and sweeping, creating new narratives that challenge dominant orthodoxy on music and its histories.
What do evolutionary biology and its founding father, Charles Darwin, have to do with love songs? As it turns out, quite a lot. Enjoy this excerpt of Ted Gioia's Love Songs: The Hidden History, courtesy of Oxford University Press.
Although enjoyable in that sweeping big picture kind of way, there is nothing subversive to be found in Ted Gioia's Music: A Subversive History.
"Sound," writes musician, author, and historian Ted Gioia in Music: A Subversive History, "is the ultimate source of genesis... A song can contain a cataclysm." In this beguiling excerpt, Gioia leads us to the sound of the universe itself.