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How Music Works

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How Music Works is a non-fiction book by David Byrne, a musician, writer, and public figure best known for his work with the group Talking Heads. He discusses the form and influence of music in a non-linear narrative fashion, using a variety of experiences from his career to create something part autobiography and part music theory. 

The book, despite being non-fiction, has a highly non-linear structure with manual-like information, elements of Byrne's autobiography, and anthropological data on music theory all intermixed, each chapter able to stand alone. Byrne looks at the influence of music, even in such subtle forms as birdsongs, from a rational perspective that eschews romanticism. Overall, he writes that no music "is aimed exclusively at either the body or the head", with complex human beings interacting with it on different levels. 352 pages. Paperback.

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