I know nothing about music — barely enough to recognize the author’s name, he of Talking Heads fame. And yet I very much enjoyed How Music Works, an ambitious and occasionally disordered hodgepodge of musical history, analysis of the music industry, and copious amounts of autobiography. I particularly enjoyed the analysis of the financial workings of the industry in a time of a wrenching transition to digital distribution as well as the chapter on technology. Who knew that the depth of the grooves in LPs mirror the sound, so that experts, back in the day, could identify classical records just by looking at them?
My only gripe is really a regret: at times, the autobiographical strands make all kinds of (to me) obscure references that I had to just turn the page. Still a lot of fun.