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145 Featured Titles

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Exam Copy
Night Beat
A Shadow of Rock & Roll
Written by Mikal Gilmore


Format: Trade Paperback, 496 pages
Publisher: Anchor
On Sale: February 16, 1999
Price: $19.00
ISBN: 978-0-385-48436-7 (0-385-48436-4)

Few journalists have staked a territory as definitively and passionately as Mikal Gilmore in his twenty-year career writing about rock and roll. Now, for the first time, this collection gathers his cultural criticism, interviews, reviews, and assorted musings. Beginning with Elvis and the birth of rock and roll, Gilmore traces the... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
The Book of Exodus
The Making and Meaning of Bob Marley and the Wailers' Album of the Century
Written by Vivien Goldman


Format: Trade Paperback, 336 pages
Publisher: Three Rivers Press
On Sale: April 25, 2006
Price: $16.00
ISBN: 978-1-4000-5286-8 (1-4000-5286-6)

Follow the Sacred Journey to Create One of the Lasting Musical Masterpieces of Our Time


Bob Marley is one of our most important and influential artists. Recorded in London after an assassination attempt on his life sent Marley into exile from Jamaica, Exodus is the most lasting testament to his social conscience... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
The Mansion on the Hill
Dylan, Young, Geffen, Springsteen, and the Head-on Collision of Rock and Commerc e
Written by Fred Goodman


Format: Trade Paperback, 464 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: March 31, 1998
Price: $16.95
ISBN: 978-0-679-74377-4 (0-679-74377-4)

Read more >

Exam Copy
Paul Robeson
A Watched Man
Written by Jordan Goodman


Format: Hardcover, 320 pages
Publisher: Verso
On Sale: October 8, 2013
Price: $29.95
ISBN: 978-1-78168-131-2 (1-78168-131-7)

In his heyday, Paul Robeson was one of the most famous people in the world; to his enemies he was also one of the most dangerous. From the 1930s to the 1960s, the African-American singer was the voice of the people, both as a performer and as a political activist who... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
Reading Jazz
A Gathering of Autobiography, Reportage, and Criticism from 1919 to Now
Edited by Robert Gottlieb


Format: Trade Paperback, 1088 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: October 26, 1999
Price: $25.00
ISBN: 978-0-679-78111-0 (0-679-78111-0)

Including over 100 selections and 1,000 pages, Reading Jazz is indispensable for anyone interested in jazz and its world. While no single volume can contain everything written about any significant subject, this book does manage to encompass a vast array of jazz figures, veiw points, events, and criticism. As the book's... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
Reading Lyrics
More Than 1,000 of the Century's Finest Lyrics--a Celebration of Our Greatest Songwriters, a Rediscovery of Forgotten Masters, and an Appreciation of an
Edited by Robert Gottlieb and Robert Kimball


Format: Hardcover, 736 pages
Publisher: Pantheon
On Sale: November 21, 2000
Price: $45.00
ISBN: 978-0-375-40081-0 (0-375-40081-8)

Reading Lyrics is a collection of the finest American and British song lyrics written between 1900 and 1975.  More than one hundred lyricists are represented:  from Irving Berlin and "Alexander's Ragtime Band" to the greats of Broadway and Hollywood, including Ira Gershwin, Lorenz Hart, Cole Porter, Oscar Hammerstein, Yip Harburg, Dorothy Fields, Frank... Read more >

Exam Copy
Can't Buy Me Love
The Beatles, Britain, and America
Written by Jonathan Gould


Format: Trade Paperback, 672 pages
Publisher: Three Rivers Press
On Sale: November 4, 2008
Price: $17.00
ISBN: 978-0-307-35338-2 (0-307-35338-9)

Nearly twenty years in the making, Can’t Buy Me Love is a masterful work of group biography, cultural history, and musical criticism. That the Beatles were an unprecedented phenomenon is a given. In Can’t Buy Me Love, Jonathan Gould seeks to explain why, placing the Fab Four in the broad and... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
The Inner Game of Music

Written by Barry Green and W. Timothy Gallwey


Format: Hardcover, 240 pages
Publisher: Doubleday
On Sale: February 21, 1986
Price: $25.95
ISBN: 978-0-385-23126-8 (0-385-23126-1)

By the best-selling co-author of Inner Tennis, here's a book designed to help  musicians overcome obstacles, help improve  concentration, and reduce nervousness, allowing them to  reach new levels of performing excellence and musical artistry. Read more >

Exam Copy
If You Can't Be Free, Be a Mystery
In Search of Billie Holiday
Written by Farah Jasmine Griffin


Format: Trade Paperback, 256 pages
Publisher: One World/Ballantine
On Sale: April 30, 2002
Price: $14.95
ISBN: 978-0-345-44973-3 (0-345-44973-8)

Singer, composer, actress, lover, wife, writer, pleasure seeker, drug addict, icon, commodity, myth and mystery: Billie Holiday is still one of the most famous jazz vocalists of all time. But Holiday's image - the gifted torch singer with insatiable appetites for food, sex, alcohol and drugs - is not the full... Read more >

Exam Copy
The First Four Notes
Beethoven's Fifth and the Human Imagination
Written by Matthew Guerrieri


Format: Trade Paperback, 384 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: March 4, 2014
Price: $16.95
ISBN: 978-0-8041-7019-2 (0-8041-7019-3)

A TIME Magazine Top 10 Nonfiction Book of 2012
A New Yorker Best Book of the Year
Los Angeles Magazine's #1 Music Book of the Year

This revelatory book of music history examines what is perhaps the best known and most-popular symphony ever written—and its famous four-note opening. Reaching back before Beethoven’s time, Matthew... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
Samba

Written by Alma Guillermoprieto


Format: Trade Paperback, 256 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: July 30, 1991
Price: $16.00
ISBN: 978-0-679-73256-3 (0-679-73256-X)

Guillermoprieto lived for a year in the villages surrounding Rio de Janeiro to learn samba and take part in Rio's carnival parade.  Samba is an exhilarating account of her experiences--as well as a cogent, lucid examination of the history and culture of black Brazilians--full of provocative insights into the aesthetic and ritual... Read more >

Exam Copy
Inside Music

Written by Karl Haas


Format: Trade Paperback, 480 pages
Publisher: Anchor
On Sale: September 1, 1991
Price: $17.95
ISBN: 978-0-385-41774-7 (0-385-41774-8)

Karl Haas, creator and host of the internationally syndicated radio program "Adventures in Good Music," has an inimitable flair for bringing classical music to life. This is a definitive and fascinating reference work for anyone who loves classical music and wants to learn more about its many aspects and dimensions. Read more >

Exam Copy
Divine Utterances
The Performance of Afro-Cuban Santeria
Written by Katherine J. Hagedorn


Format: Trade Paperback, 312 pages
Publisher: Smithsonian Books
On Sale: August 17, 2001
Price: $24.95
ISBN: 978-1-56098-947-9 (1-56098-947-5)

In Divine Utterances, Katherine J. Hagedorn explores the enduring cultural and spiritual power of the music of Afro-Cuban Santería and the process by which it has been transformed for a secular audience. She focuses on the integral connections between sacred music performances and the dramatizations of theatrical troupes, especially the state-sponsored... Read more >

Exam Copy
The Complete Lyrics of Oscar Hammerstein II

Written by Oscar Hammerstein II
Edited by Amy Asch
Foreword by Alice Hammerstein Mathias
Introduction by Ted Chapin


Format: Hardcover, 448 pages
Publisher: Knopf
On Sale: November 25, 2008
Price: $65.00
ISBN: 978-0-375-41358-2 (0-375-41358-8)

From every “beautiful mornin’” to “some enchanted evening,” the songs of Oscar Hammerstein II are part of our daily lives, his words part of our national fabric.

Born into a theatrical dynasty headed by his grandfather and namesake, Oscar Hammerstein II breathed new life into the moribund art form of operetta by... Read more >

Exam Copy
The Fan Who Knew Too Much
Aretha Franklin, the Rise of the Soap Opera, Children of the Gospel Church, and Other Meditations
Written by Anthony Heilbut


Format: Hardcover, 368 pages
Publisher: Knopf
On Sale: June 19, 2012
Price: $30.00
ISBN: 978-0-375-40080-3 (0-375-40080-X)

In The Fan Who Knew Too Much, Heilbut writes about art and obsession, from country blues singers and male sopranos to European intellectuals and the originators of radio soap opera–figures transfixed and transformed who helped to change the American cultural landscape.

Heilbut writes about Aretha Franklin, the longest-lasting female star of... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
Cinderella and Company
Backstage at the Opera with Cecilia Bartoli
Written by Manuela Hoelterhoff


Format: Trade Paperback, 304 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: October 5, 1999
Price: $19.00
ISBN: 978-0-375-70712-4 (0-375-70712-3)

A wickedly funny look at opera today—he feuds and deals, maestros and managers, divine voices and outsized egos—and a portrait of the opera world's newest superstar at a formative point in her life and career.

        In Cinderella & Company, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Manuela Hoelterhoff takes us on a two-year trip on the... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
Lady Sings the Blues the 50th Anniversary Edition

Written by Billie Holiday and William Dufty
Foreword by David Ritz


Format: Trade Paperback, 256 pages
Publisher: Three Rivers Press
On Sale: July 25, 2006
Price: $15.95
ISBN: 978-0-7679-2386-6 (0-7679-2386-3)

LADY SINGS THE BLUES is the fiercely honest, no-holds-barred autobiography of Billie Holiday, the legendary jazz, swing, and standards singing sensation. Taking the reader on a fast-moving journey from Holiday’s rough-and-tumble Baltimore childhood (where she ran errands at a whorehouse in exchange for the chance to listen to Louis Armstrong and... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
A Natural History of the Piano
The Instrument, the Music, the Musicians--from Mozart to Modern Jazz and Everything in Between
Written by Stuart Isacoff


Format: Trade Paperback, 384 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: November 20, 2012
Price: $17.95
ISBN: 978-0-307-27933-0 (0-307-27933-2)

A fascinating celebration of the piano, including tales of its masters from Mozart and Beethoven to Oscar Peterson and Jerry Lee Lewis, told with the expertise of composer and author of Temperament, Stuart Isacoff.

This history takes us back to the piano's humble genesis as a simple keyboard, and shows how... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
Temperament
How Music Became a Battleground for the Great Minds of Western Civilization
Written by Stuart Isacoff


Format: Trade Paperback, 288 pages
Publisher: Vintage
On Sale: February 4, 2003
Price: $16.00
ISBN: 978-0-375-70330-0 (0-375-70330-6)

Few music lovers realize that the arrangement of notes on today’s pianos was once regarded as a crime against God and nature, or that such legendary thinkers as Pythagoras, Plato, da Vinci, Galileo, Kepler, Descartes, Newton and Rousseau played a role in the controversy. Indeed, from the time of the Ancient... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.

Exam Copy
Beats Rhymes & Life
What We Love and Hate About Hip-Hop
Written by Ytasha Womack
Edited by Kenji Jasper
Foreword by Michael Eric Dyson


Format: Trade Paperback, 320 pages
Publisher: Three Rivers Press
On Sale: May 15, 2007
Price: $19.00
ISBN: 978-0-7679-1977-7 (0-7679-1977-7)

Our generation made hip-hop. But hip-hop also made us. Why are suburban kids referring to their subdivision as “block”? Why has the pimp become a figure of male power? Why has dodging the feds become an act of honor long after one has made millions as a legitimate artist? What happens... Read more >

Exam Copy
Decoded

Written by Jay-Z


Format: Trade Paperback, 352 pages
Publisher: Spiegel & Grau
On Sale: November 1, 2011
Price: $25.00
ISBN: 978-0-8129-8115-5 (0-8129-8115-4)

Expanded paperback edition of the acclaimed New York Times bestseller features 16 pages of new material, including 3 new songs decoded.

Decoded is a book like no other: a collection of lyrics and their meanings that together tell the story of a culture, an art form, a moment in history, and one... Read more >
Also available as an eBook and a hardcover.

Exam Copy
Decoded

Written by Jay-Z


Format: Hardcover, 336 pages
Publisher: Spiegel & Grau
On Sale: November 16, 2010
Price: $35.00
ISBN: 978-1-4000-6892-0 (1-4000-6892-4)

Decoded is a book like no other: a collection of lyrics and their meanings that together tell the story of a culture, an art form, a moment in history, and one of the most provocative and successful artists of our time.

“Hip-hop’s renaissance man drops a classic. . . . Heartfelt, passionate... Read more >
Also available as an eBook and a trade paperback.

Exam Copy
Opera and the Morbidity of Music

Written by Joseph Kerman


Format: Hardcover, 384 pages
Publisher: New York Review Books
On Sale: April 8, 2008
Price: $27.95
ISBN: 978-1-59017-265-0 (1-59017-265-5)

The death of classical music, the distinguished critic and musicologist Joseph Kerman declares, is “a tired, vacuous concept that will not die.” In this wide-ranging collection of essays and reviews, Kerman examines the ongoing vitality of the classical music tradition, from the days of Guillaume Dufay, John Taverner, and William Byrd... Read more >

Exam Copy
The Complete Lyrics of Irving Berlin

Edited by Robert Kimball


Format: Hardcover, 560 pages
Publisher: Knopf
On Sale: October 9, 2001
Price: $65.00
ISBN: 978-0-679-41943-3 (0-679-41943-8)

Gathered together in one volume for the first time: all of the incomparable song lyrics of Irving Berlin, whose career and work are the most important and all-encompassing in the history of American popular music.

Berlin came from a poor immigrant family and began his career as a singing waiter, but by... Read more >

Exam Copy
Bang Your Head
The Rise and Fall of Heavy Metal
Written by David Konow


Format: Trade Paperback, 496 pages
Publisher: Three Rivers Press
On Sale: November 12, 2002
Price: $16.00
ISBN: 978-0-609-80732-3 (0-609-80732-3)

“Bang your head! Metal Health’ll drive you mad!”—Quiet Riot

Like an episode of VH1’s Behind the Music on steroids, Bang Your Head is an epic history of every band and every performer that has proudly worn the Heavy Metal badge. Whether headbanging is your guilty pleasure or you firmly believe that this... Read more >
Also available as an eBook.
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