The Story of Music: From Babylon to the Beatles: How Music Has Shaped Civilization

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A dynamic and expansive tour through 40,000 years of music, from prehistoric instruments to modern-day pop songs.
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 complex.
In his dynamic tour through 40,000 years of music, from prehistoric instruments to modern-day pop, Howard Goodall 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—strikes us with its original force. Along the way, he also gives refreshingly clear descriptions of what music is 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 endeavor and a groundbreaking map of our musical journey. 16 pages of B&W and color photographs

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Pegasus; 1 edition (January 7, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1605985384
  • ISBN-13: 978-1605985381
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.4 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds

Customer Reviews

Great book

 on August 30, 2016
By jessica killam
I bought this book from one of my college classes. It’s a great book well-written very useful for my class.

Great book that brings a vast amount of historical knowledge …

 on August 15, 2015
By Rawnmowah
Great book that brings a vast amount of historical knowledge as well as music theory in a captivating manner.

More Howard Goodall

3 people found this helpful.
 on December 24, 2013
By mrswalnut
I enjoy the programs that Mr Goodall has hosted about choirs, organs, and Big Bangs. I’m looking forward to January 2014’s The Story of Music, for which this is the companion book. Take it for what it is and what it’s not. No, it’s not the uber-scholarly, encyclopedic compendium of all things historical in music. It is a good read and a starting place for those who want to investigate further, if they wish. Goodall’s enthusiastic and understandable style carry over into the writing.

Music is wonderful and the history is fascinating

2 people found this helpful.
 on November 19, 2013
By tom goudkamp
This is exceptionally well written and research and is easy for a non expert like myself to follow and understand.

A must read for music lovers.

 on February 9, 2015
A masterful work and a pure delight to read

Five Stars

 on August 24, 2014
Enjoyable and informative


 on April 11, 2013
By pericles lavat
Mr. Goodall delivers a well crafted book. He take us through the history of music and many times compares it to what is happening in our time. Links to a music directory let us hear examples of what he is talking about. A fun book to read.

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