*** Accompanies BBC2's major new TV series and The Story of Music in 50 Pieces on Radio 3 ***
Music is an intrinsic part of everyday life, and yet the history of its development from single notes to multi-layered orchestration can seem bewilderingly specialised and complex.
In his dynamic tour through 40,000 years of music, from prehistoric instruments to modern-day pop, Howard Goodall does away with stuffy biographies, unhelpful labels and tired terminology. Instead he leads us through the story of music as it happened, idea by idea, so that each musical innovation – harmony, notation, sung theatre, the orchestra, dance music, recording, broadcasting – strikes us with its original force. He focuses on what changed when and why, picking out the discoveries that revolutionised man-made sound and bringing to life musical visionaries from the little-known Pérotin to the colossus of Wagner. Along the way, he also gives refreshingly clear descriptions of what musicis and how it works: what scales are all about, why some chords sound discordant and what all post-war pop songs have in common.
The story of music is the story of our urge to invent, connect, rebel – and entertain. Howard Goodall’s beautifully clear and compelling account is both a hymn to human endeavour and a groundbreaking map of our musical journey.
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Now comes Howard Goodall and all of everyone's prayers are answered ... He is sharply witty and entirely on the ball, but he never acts the smart ass and, most importantly, he obviously has deep knowledge of what he is talking about ... I prophesy that it will not only win prizes but change lives - Daily Telegraph
The Story of Music is a lively zip through some 45 millennia … jumping back and forth between classical, folk and pop - Sunday Times
An accessible guide to roughly 42,000 years of music in just over 300 pages that manages neither to sacfrifice precise detail nor pugnacious opinion ... Goodall is unfailingly acute ... a clever, engaging read - Scotland on Sunday
He starts right at the beginning, with 25,000-year-old bone flutes ... It's a huge brief, made huger by Goodall's alertness to new thinking in scholarly circles, and his fondness for interesting asides ... a racily written, learned and often shrewdly insightful book - Daily Telegraph (Review)
A roller-coaster ride, which Goodall tells with verve... a racily written, learned and often shrewdly insightful book - Daily Telegraph
An accessible guide to roughly 42,000 years of music in just over 300 pages … The Story of Music is a clever, engaging read - Scotland on Sunday
Howard Goodall’s beautifully clear and compelling account is both a hymn to human endeavour and a groundbreaking map of man’s musical journey - Wiltshire News
Goodall's distinguisihing gift is his ability to explain the mechanics of music instead of gliding hastily over them. He is fearless in unknotting those medieval mysteries of oranum and isorhythms, as well as chords, triads, fugues, keys, equal temperament, atonality, dodecaphony and blues - Spectator
There is a Jumpin’ Jack Flash liveliness in Goodall’s approach - The Times
A clear and compelling account which is a hymn to human endeavor and a groundbreaking musical journey - Kirkham & Fylde
Fascinating – as well as illuminating on how music works - The Lady
Who better to demystify the origins of music and trace the evolution of this most universal of artistic disciplines? - Express
At his best, Goodall has a facility for lively shorthand… - Guardian
HOWARD GOODALL is an Emmy, BRIT and BAFTA award-winning composer of choral music (Eternal Light: A Requiem), stage musicals (The Hired Man, Love Story), film and TV scores - among them The Vicar of Dibley, Q.I., Red Dwarf, Blackadder and Into the Storm. He was awarded the CBE in 2011 for service to music education.