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Free Music Books – PDF Song Books – All Music Styles

Free Music Books PDF - Song Books Online - All Music Styles

Get thousands of music books pdf on instrumental and vocal instruction. Genres, song books online free, music business, textbooks.

Book Collections on Music Instruction and Various Topics

Instrumental Music : Search Results at Internet Archive

Free pdf books about instrumental music. Some book titles: Sound Innovations for Concert Bands; Sound in Motion: A Performer’s Guide to Greater Musical Expression; Saxophone Playalong: TV Themes. Music pdf download.

Instrumental Music : Search Results at Open Library

Free pdf books about instrumental music. Some book titles: How to Play the Recorder; Ultimate Guide to Music; All Things Strings: An Illustrated Dictionary.

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Musical Instruments : Search Results at Internet Archive

Free pdf books about musical instruments. Some book titles: The Musical Instrument Desk Reference; Woodwind; Christmas Medleys for Students.

Musical Instruments : Search Results at Open Library

Free pdf books about musical instruments. Some book titles: A graded collection of piano duets by master composers; Flute; The digital musician.

Music Instruction and Study : Search Results at Internet Archive

Free pdf books on music instruction and study. Some book titles: A Creative Approach to Music Fundamentals; Let’s Start the Music: Programming for Primary Grades; 12-Bar Fingerstyle Blues.

Music Instruction and Study : Search Results at Open Library

Free pdf books on music instruction and study. Some book titles: Your Child’s Career in Music and Entertainment; Ipad Music: In the Studio and on Stage; Music in our Lives: Rethinking Musical Ability, Development and Identity.

Vocal Music : Search Results at Internet Archive

Free pdf books on vocal music. Some book titles: A History of Singing; The Great Family Songbook; Writing Better Lyrics.

Vocal Music : Search Results at Open Library

Free pdf books on vocal music. Some book titles: Lady Gaga; Vocal and stage essentials for the aspiring female R&B singer; The Words and Music of Bob Marley (The Praeger Singer-Songwriter Collection).

Guitar Instruction and Study – Collection

PDF books on Guitar Instruction and Study. Some titles: Learn How to Play the Electric Guitar, Alfred’s Guitar 101, How to Play Guitar for Children, Rock Guitar, Ultimate Guitar, Classical Guitar, Electric Bass for the Young Beginner, Teach Yourself Guitar Basics. Best guitar books for self teaching pdf, books to learn music.

Piano Instruction and Study – Collection

PDF books on Piano Instruction and Study. Some titles: Accelerated Piano Adventures, Get Started in Playing Piano, How to Improve at Piano, Clavier Companion, Adult Piano Adventures, Improve Your Sight Reading.

Piano – Collection

Free piano music books pdf at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “Piano”. Some books: 50 Greats for the Piano, The Older Beginner Piano Course, Alfred’s Basic Adult Piano Course, Piano Servicing Tuning & Rebuilding, Pianist’s Guide to Pedaling, John W. Schaum Piano Course, Piano for Dummies, The Library of Children’s Piano Pieces, Theory & Technic for the Young Beginner.

Music Appreciation – Collection

Free music appreciation books pdf at the Internet Archive. Some Books: Study and Listening Guide for a History of Western Music, What to Listen for in Music, Norton Anthology of Western Music, Essential Canon of Classical Music, The Musical Experience, Music Appreciation for Children, A Complete Guide to Learning and Loving Classical Music, 101 Music Games for Children, The Beatles’ Abbey Road Medley, The Norton Scores; a study anthology, Bluegrass, Building a Classical Music Library, Beethoven; the Symphonies, Classical Music for Everybody.

Music Industry PDF : Search Results at Internet Archive

Free pdf books on the music trade. Some book titles: Recording and Promoting Your Music; The New Music Industry: Adapting, Growing and Thriving in the Information Age; The Song Machine: Inside the Hit Factory.

Music Industry PDF : Search Results at Open Library

Free pdf books on the music trade. Some book titles: I’m Good at Music: What Job Can I Get?; Cool Careers without College for People Who Love Music; How to Make Money in the Guitar Biz.

Book Collections of Music History and Genres

Pop Music – Collection

Free pop music books pdf online at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “Pop Music”. Some Books: Pop Music-Pop Culture, Pop and Rock Music, Justin Bieber biography online, Encyclopedia of World Pop Music 1980-2001, Pop Music and Popular Culture, Ranters and Crowd Pleasers, Pop Babylon, 1970s Pop, History of American Pop, West African Pop Roots, K-Pop; Korea’s Musical Explosion, Pop Princess, Music of Bob Dylan, The Monkees biography. Music pop stars.

Rock Music – Collection

Free rock music books pdf online at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “Rock Music”. Some books: Rock Music Styles History, Who’s Who in Rock Music, Rock Music in America, Rock Music Source Books, Rock Gold; the Music Millionaires, Outlaw Blues, Women Performing Popular Music, History of Indie Rock, Should My Children Listen to Rock Music?, Forty Years of the Rock Music Festival, Illustrated History of San Francisco Rock Music, Rock Eras.

Country Music – Collection

Free country music books pdf online at the Internet Archive. Some Books: 70 Years of America’s Favorite Music, Cool Country Music, Encyclopedia of Country Music, Wynonna Judd biography, History of Country Music, Country Music Reader 2007, Western Stars of Country Music, Garth Brooks book free online, Taylor Swift biography free, Grass Roots Music, How Nashville became Music City USA, The Best of Country Music, Kenny Rogers memoir, Dixie Chicks biography free, Jimmy Dean memoir, free book of 100 Great Country Songs, Billy Ray Cyrus scrapbook.

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American Music History Books PDF – Books Collection

Music in American History books pdf. Some books: History of American Classical Music, History of American Musical Education, American Singing Groups history from 1940s to Today, History of American Church Music, American History in Song 1890-1920, Frank Sinatra and Popular Culture, A Cultural History of American Christmas Songs, Slave Songs and the Birth of African American Poetry, Amore; the Story of Italian American Song, Mexican American Music in Los Angeles, American Popular Song; the Great Innovators 1900-1950.

Folk Music – Collection

About 400 free folk music books pdf online at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “Folk Music”. Some Folk Music Books: The Folk Music Source Book, Southern Music/American Music, Negro Folk Music USA, Celtic Music, English and American Folk Music, Folk Music and Modern Sound, Hungarian Folk Music, Traditional Music of America, Grass Roots Music, Palestinian Arab Music, Early Songs of Uncle Sam, Southern Folk Ballads, Traditional Songs from Nova Scotia.

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Women Singers – Collection

Free women singers books pdf online at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “Women Singers”. Many works of fiction appear inadvertently in this group. Some subjects: Dusty Springfield, Young Women Superstars of Pop Music, World of Women in Classical Music, Lady Gaga, Dolly Parton, Mary J. Blige, Rhianna, The Marvelletes, Britney Spears, Shania Twain, Pop Princesses, Judy Garland.

Jazz – Collection

Free Jazz books pdf at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “Jazz”. Some books: Rolling Stone Jazz Record Guide, Stan Kenton: This is an Orchestra, John Coltrane: his life and music, Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings, Lady Sings the Blues: Billie Holiday, A New History of Jazz, Autobiography of Quincy Jones, Miles Davis Autobiography, Jazz Styles, Writings on Jazz, Birth of Bebop, Stan Getz: a life in Jazz, Benny Goodman and the Swing Era.

Best Rock Biographies – Collection

Best rock biographies pdf at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “Rock Groups”. Groups with books here include: Grateful Dead, the Beatles (many books), U2 (several books), The Clash, the Monkees, Pet Shop Boys, Devo, Cheetah Girls, Roxy Music, The Eagles, Led Zeppelin, Black Flag, AC/DC, Mary-Kate & Ashley, Hanson, Fleetwood Mac. Also many anthologies, encyclopedias etc. that each profile a number of groups. Best rock and roll history books, rock memoirs.

More Collections on Music Topics


Free Songbooks PDF – Collection

Free music song books pdf at the Internet Archive, resulting from a search for books on “Music/Songbooks”. Some Books: 80s & 90s Rock; melody line, chords and lyrics for keyboard guitar & vocal, Violin for Dummies, Basic Music Theory, Guide to Playing the Harmonica, Craft and Business of Songwriting, Easy Piano in Every Key, The Secret History of Disco, Ultimate Latin Songs. Music pdf download.

Free (Open Access) Textbooks

Open Access Textbooks

Open Access textbooks are licensed by authors and publishers to be freely used, and were published or updated in recent years. You may also find here other learning resources, such as course lesson plans.

Music Appreciation

Armin Harrison
Achieving the Dream 2021

Open Music Theory

Brian Jarvis, Bryn Hughes, et al
VIVA 2021

Intended to serve as the primary text and workbook for undergraduate music theory curricula. OMT2 provides not only the material for a complete traditional core undergraduate music theory sequence (fundamentals, diatonic harmony, chromatic harmony, form, 20th-century techniques), but also several other units for instructors who have diversified their curriculum, such as jazz, popular music, counterpoint, and orchestration.

A Practical Approach To Understanding Music Theory

Charles B. Brooks
Univ. of North Alabama 2022

A textbook designed for the non-music performance major or music business/audio engineer who needs to professionally interface with musicians without needing to write or compose music.

Music on the Move

Danielle Fosler-Lussier
University of Michigan 2021

With its innovative multimodal approach, Music on the Move invites readers to listen and engage with many different types of music as they read. The text introduces a variety of concepts related to music’s travels—with or without its makers—including colonialism, migration, diaspora, mediation, propaganda, copyright, and hybridity.

Fundamentals, Function, and Form: Theory and Analysis of Tonal Western Art Music

Andre Mount
Milne 2021

This text provides readers with a comprehensive study of the theory and analysis of tonal Western art music. Author Andre Mount begins by building a strong foundation in the understanding of rhythm, meter, and pitch as well as the notational conventions associated with each.

Understanding Music: Past and Present

Elizabeth Kramer, Jeffrey Kluball, et al
Univ. System of Georgia 2015

Covers the fundamentals of music and the physics of sound, an exploration of music from the Middle Ages to the present day, and a final chapter on popular music in the United States.

Fundamentals of Music Theory

John Kitchen, Michael Edwards, et al
Univ. of Edinburgh 2021

The materials introduce topics such as the organisation of discrete pitches into scales and intervals, and temporal organisation of musical sounds as duration, in rhythm and metre.

Music in World Cultures

Justin R. Hunter, Matthew Mihalka
Univ. of Arkansas 2021

This text provides just a small sampling of some of the various musical styles and traditions that might be found, though the skills developed in this course can be applied to any type of music.

Music: Its Language, History, and Culture

Douglas Cohen
CUNY Academic Works 2018

The chapters in this reader contain definitions and explanations of musical terms and concepts, short essays on subjects related to music as a creative performing art, biographical sketches of major figures in music, and historical and cultural background information on music from different periods and places.

Music Theory for the 21st-Century Classroom

Robert Hutchinson
Univ. of Puget Sound 2021

online four–semester college music theory textbook. This text differs from other music theory textbooks by focusing less on four–part (SATB) voiceleading and more on relating harmony to the phrase.

Resonances: Engaging Music in Its Cultural Context

Esther Morgan-Ellis
Univ. of North Georgia 2021

Although this book is intended primarily for use in the college music appreciation classroom, it was designed with consideration for independent learners, advanced high school students, and experienced musicians. That is to say, it includes enough detail that expert guidance is not required and is written using broadly-accessible language.

Music Fundamentals 1: Pitch and Major Scales and Keys

Catherine Schmidt-Jones
OpenStax CNX 2019

This collection is the first of five dealing with the rudiments of music.

Music Appreciation: History, Culture, and Context

Bonnie Le, Brenda Wimberly, et al
Affordable Learning LOUISiana 2023

This text covers basic elements and vocabulary of music; appreciation and understanding of diverse styles of music past and present; developing listening skills. Includes opportunities for experiencing music (recorded and/or live).

Sight-Reading for Guitar

Chelsea Green
Rebus Community 2020

Teaches guitar players from all musical backgrounds to understand, read and play modern staff notation in real time. The Keep Going Method is designed to impart the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed for sight-reading with efficiency, fun and encouragement.

Brass Techniques and Pedagogy

Brian Weidner
PALNI 2021

Textbook for undergraduate brass methods course focusing on brass instrument techniques and pedagogy.

Suggested Books, with Descriptions


The Rough Guide to Reggae

Barrow, Steve
Rough Guides 2001

Covers the entire span of recorded music in Jamaica; from 1950s mento and R & B through to dancehall and ragga. The chapters chart the music’s evolution, including ska, rocksteady, roots, dub, toasting, and lover’s rock, as well as reggae’s offshoots in Britain, the US, and Africa. Throughout, there are interviews and features on the major artists, and reviews of the best discs; both on CD and vinyl.

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World Music : A Very Short Introduction

Bohlman, Philip V.
Oxford University 2002

‘World music’ emerged as an invention of the West from encounters with other cultures. This book draws readers into a remarkable range of these historical encounters, in which music had the power to evoke the exotic and to give voice to the voiceless. World Music is wide-ranging in its geographical scope, yet individual chapters provide in-depth treatments of selected music cultures and regional music histories. The book frequently zooms in on repertoires and musicians – such as Bob Marley, Bartok, and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan – and attempts to account for world music’s growing presence and popularity at the beginning of the twenty-first century.

The Rough Guide to Opera

Boyden, Matthew
Rough Guides 2007

A unique handbook on the most thrilling of art forms, spanning four hundred years of music drama. Lively biographical sketches of some 150 composers from Claudio Monteverdi to Poul Ruders. Entertaining accounts of hundreds of operas both famous and neglected and comprehensive reviews of over a thousand CD’s.

The Rough Guide to World Music. Europe, Asia & Pacific

Broughton, Simon et al, comp.
Rough Guides 2009

Has full coverage of genres from Balkan brass to Bollywood song and from fado and flamenco to Filipino fusion. The guide includes articles on more than 60 countries from Albania to Wales and Afghanistan to Vietnam written by expert contributors, focusing on popular and roots music. You’ll find discographies for each article, with biographical notes on thousands of musicians and reviews of their best CDs.

World Music: The Rough Guide. Africa, Europe and the Middle East

Broughton, Simon et al, comp.
Rough Guides 1999

The articles – from more than eighty contributors – are designed to provide the background to each country’s music styles, explaining how they relate to history, social customs, politics and identity, as well as highlighting the lives and sounds of the singers and musicians.

Who Shot Rock & Roll: A Photographic History, 1955 to the Present

Buckland, Gail
Knopf 2009

More than two hundred spectacular photographs, sensual, luminous, frenzied, true, from 1955 to the present, that catch and define the energy, intoxication, rebellion, and magic of rock and roll.

Rock: The Rough Guide

Buckley, Jonathan and Furmanovsky, Jill
Rough Guides 1999

Developed through the Internet, this guide has opinion on every phase and craze of rock. There are critical discographies, reviews of CDs and career details of more than 1200 bands and artists.

Total Guitar

Burrows, Terry
Sterling 2002

The heart of the book: a playing section, divided into 20 self-contained lessons, each introducing new ideas and techniques. And, they cover a range of styles: rock, folk, country, jazz, blues, and classical. You’ll start right at the beginning, with how to stand and sit properly while holding the instrument, and find out how to tune it, do fingerpicking, master timing and rhythm, and improvise. An extensive chord dictionary contains over 1,000 chord fingerings. Best guitar books for self teaching pdf.F

How Music Works

Byrne, David
McSweeney’s 2012

David Byrne’s incisive and enthusiastic look at the musical art form, from its very inceptions to the influences that shape it, whether acoustical, economic, social or technological. Utilizing his incomparable career and inspired collaborations with Talking Heads, Brian Eno, and many others, Byrne taps deeply into his lifetime of knowledge to explore the panoptic elements of music, how it shapes the human experience, and reveals the impetus behind how we create, consume, distribute, and enjoy the songs, symphonies, and rhythms that provide the backbeat of life. Free music theory books.

Country Music: A Biographical Dictionary

Carlin, Richard
Routledge 2003

This illustrated A-Z guide covers more than 700 country music artists, groups, and bands. Articles also cover specific genres within country music as well as instruments used. Entries not only outline the careers of country music’s greatest artists, they provide an understanding of the artist’s importance or failings, and a feeling for his or her style. Select discographies are provided at the end of each entry, while a bibliography and indexes by instrument, musical style, genre, and song title round out the work.

The Rough Guide to Jazz

Carr, Ian
Rough Guides 2004

Surpasses all other handbooks with more than 1600 critical biographies. The Rough Guide is a completely revised edition of the acclaimed Essential Guide to Jazz. The authors have updated and expanded all the original entries, added hundreds of new artists, and provided personal recommendations of some three thousand key albums on both CD and vinyl.

Understanding Music: Past and Present

Clark, Alan, et al.
Univ of North Georgia 2015

This text covers the fundamentals of music and the physics of sound, an exploration of music from the Middle Ages to the present day, and a final chapter on popular music in the United States.

Music : A Very Short Introduction

Cook, Nicholas
Oxford University 1998

The world teems with different kinds of music-traditional, folk, classical, jazz, rock, pop-and each type of music tends to come with its own way of thinking. Drawing on a wealth of accessible examples ranging from Beethoven to Chinese zither music, Nicholas Cook attempts to provide a framework for thinking about all music. By examining the personal, social, and cultural values that music embodies, the book reveals the shortcomings of traditional conceptions of music, and sketches a more inclusive approach emphasizing the role of performers and listeners.

Penguin Guide to Jazz Recordings

Cook, Richard and Morton, Brian
Penguin 2008

The world’s leading guide to recorded jazz, a mine of fascinating information and a source of insightful – often wittily trenchant – criticism. Includes artist biographies, full line-ups, authoritative critical ratings, full index of artists. 14,000 CDs reviewed.

The Choral Singer’s Companion

Corp, Ronald
Thames/Elkin 2006

Essential information is provided on composers, works, technical terms, and how to run a choir, plus advice from Barbara Alden on how to sing better. There is a wealth of advice on repertoire and on such matters as how to conduct successful rehearsals and build balanced concert programmes.

The Savvy Musician

Cutler, David
Helius 2010

A guide to the aspiring musician who wants to make their living doing what they love.

Jazz Singing: America’s Great Voices from Bessie Smith to Bebop and Beyond

Friedwald, Will
Da Capo 1996

This history of jazz singing traces its development from its birth in the South as the blues and the days of Bessie Smith through the changing styles that have shaped our music over six decades.

Grove Dictionary of American Music (2nd edition, 2013)

Garrett, Charles Hiroshi
Oxford University 2013

One of the 8 volumes is missing from this link. Also here are all four volumes of the 1st edition, published in 1986. This is the largest, most comprehensive reference publication on American Music. The articles of the dictionary range from small definitions of dance styles and musical terms to mid-length biographies of important performers, composers and music patrons, to longer examinations of larger subjects such as the history of jazz, musical instruments, music education in the United States, and the American history of the orchestra. The dictionary’s articles are supplemented by over 400 images and 140 musical examples and other materials.

Sight-Reading for Guitar

Green, Chelsea
Rebus Community 2020

This book and video series teaches guitar players from all musical backgrounds to understand, read and play modern staff notation in real time. The method in this book is designed to impart the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed for sight-reading with efficiency, clarity and encouragement. All types of guitars apply: electric, steel-string and nylon-string. Best guitar books for self teaching pdf.

The NPR Classical Music Companion: An Essential Guide for Enlightened Listening

Hoffman, Miles
Houghton Mifflin 2005

Offers an essential education certain to increase any listener’s understanding and appreciation of this potentially daunting musical genre.

Music Theory for the 21st-Century Classroom

Hutchinson, Robert
Hutchinson 2017

A four–semester college music theory textbook. Students learn about motive, fragment, phrase, and subphrase, as well as types of melodic alteration like inversion, intervallic change, augmentation, diminution, rhythmic change, ornamentation, extension, and retrograde. This text is meant to take the student from the basics of reading and writing pitches and rhythms through twelve–tone technique and minimalism over the course of four semesters.


Random House 2010

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. “Compelling . . . provocative, evocative . . . Part autobiography, part lavishly illustrated commentary on the author’s own work, Decoded gives the reader a harrowing portrait of the rough worlds Jay-Z navigated in his youth, while at the same time deconstructing his lyrics.”—Michiko Kakutani, NY Times.

The Billboard Illustrated Musical Instruments Handbook

Jenkins, Lucien and Berkley, Rebecca
Billboard 2006

Packed with more than 400 pictures and information on a vast array of instruments. Instruments are organized by type–percussion, wind, brass, stringed, keyboards, electric and electronic, innovations and inspirations–and also include historical context. Each entry describes the personality, history, and sound of the instrument, whether it’s a violin or a steel drum.

Early Music : A Very Short Introduction

Kelly, Thomas Forrest
Oxford University 2011

An interest in music of the past has been characteristic of a part of the musical world since the early 19th century. Much has been gained in the 20th century from the study and revival of instruments, playing techniques, and repertories. In this VSI, Thomas Forrest Kelly frames chapters on the forms, techniques, and repertories practices of the medieval, Renaissance, and baroque periods with discussion of why old music has been and should be revived, as well as a short history of early music revivals.

The Encyclopedia of Country Music: The Ultimate Guide to the Music

Kingsbury, Paul
Oxford University 1998

Includes more than 1,200 A-Z entries covering nine decades of history and artistry, from the Carter Family recordings of the 1920s to the reign of Taylor Swift in the first decade of the twenty-first century. Compiled by a team of experts at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

Ripped: How the Wired Generation Revolutionized Music

Kot, Greg
Scribner 2009

Ripped tells the story of how the laptop generation created a new music industry, with fans and bands rather than corporations in charge. In this new world, bands aren’t just musicmakers but self-contained multimedia businesses; and fans aren’t just consumers but distributors and even collaborators. Ripped brilliantly illustrates how, when, and where the changes happened first and leaves us with an understanding of how to move forward.

Classical Music: A Critic’s Guide to the 100 Most Important Recordings

Kozinn, Allan
Times 2000

New York Times classical music critic Allan Kozinn offers the ultimate collector’s guide, packed with a rich history of the composers and performers who stir our souls. Kozinn places each work in the greater context of musical development and stretches the listener’s understanding of each pivotal composition. These original essays on the one hundred greatest recorded classical works provide both practical guidance for building a library and deep insight into the transcendent power of music itself.

This Is Your Brain On Music: Understanding a Human Obsession

Levitin, Daniel J.
Atlantic 2008

Using musical examples from Bach to the Beatles, Levitin reveals the role of music in human evolution, shows how our musical preferences begin to form even before we are born and explains why music can offer such an emotional experience. Music is an obsession at the heart of human nature, even more fundamental to our species than language. In This Is Your Brain On Music Levitin offers nothing less than a new way to understand it, and its role in human life.

American Ballads and Folk Songs

Lomax, John A. and Lomax, Alan
Macmillan 1934

With this ample collection of authentic ballads and songs, you can immerse yourself in the rich tradition and heritage of American folk music. Many of the songs were recorded “on location” by noted folklorist John A. Lomax and his even more famous son, Alan, as they traveled around the United States. The results are firsthand versions of music and lyrics for over 200 railroad songs, chain-gang songs, mountain songs, Creole songs, cocaine and whisky songs, “reels,” minstrel songs, songs of childhood, and a host of others. Folk songbook.

The Land Where the Blues Began

Lomax, Alan
New Press 2002

Set in an era as harsh and fertile as Delta silt, The Land Where the Blues Began reveals how the river of African-American culture overtook its repressive banks–to give us R & B, soul, rock ‘n’ roll, and the only purely American art form, the blues. Alan Lomax takes us on an adventure into the “bad old days” of the post-slavery, Jim Crow Mississippi Delta–the birthplace of the blues–when railroads and levees were being built and cotton boomed at the expense of Southern working-class African Americans.

Singing: The First Art

Marek, Dan
Scarecrow 2007

The Italian singing technique Bel Canto instructs, “He who knows how to breathe and how to pronounce, knows how to sing.” Singing: The First Art incorporates the techniques of Bel Canto along with those of masters like Berton Coffin and Manuel Garcia to promote and facilitate vocal excellence. Many concepts are described, from correct posture and alignment to improving and maintaining proper breathing, from good pronunciation and diction to producing an even, pure tone, and from vocal ranges to singing within and smoothly shifting between vocal registers.

The Listener’s Guide to Classical Music: An Introduction to the Great Classical Composers and Their Works

McLeish, Kenneth
Sphere 1991

A reference book which spans four centuries of classical music. It includes concise biographies of a hundred composers, descriptions of their major works, follow-up listening recommendations covering more than a thousand works and explanations of types of music, instruments and musical forms.

Flowers in the Dustbin: The Rise of Rock And Roll, 1947-1977

Miller, Jim
Simon & Schuster 1999

A prizewinning historian and journalist who has covered the pop music scene for more than three decades, James Miller brings a powerful and challenging intellectual perspective to his recounting of some key turning points in the history of rock. He traces its roots from the jump blues of the forties to the disc jockeys who broadcast the music in the early fifties. Richly anecdotal and always provocative.

Perfecting Sound Forever: An Aural History of Recorded Music

Milner, Greg
Faber and Faber 2009

Greg Milner takes us through the major breakthroughs and glorious failures in the art and science of recording. From Les Paul to Phil Spector to King Tubby, from vinyl to pirated CDs to iPods, Milner’s Perfecting Sound Forever pulls apart musical history to answer a crucial question: Should a recording document reality as faithfully as possible, or should it improve upon or somehow transcend the music it records? The answers he uncovers will change the very way we think about music.

Writing Better Lyrics: The Essential Guide to Powerful Songwriting

Pattison, Pat
Penguin 2009

Writing Better Lyrics has been a staple for songwriters for nearly two decades. This provides effective tools for everything from generating ideas, to understanding the form and function of a song, to fine-tuning lyrics. With 50 fun songwriting exercises, and examples from more than 20 chart-toppings songs, Writing Better Lyrics gives you all of the professional and creative insight you need to write powerful lyrics.

The Contemporary Singer: Elements of Vocal Technique

Peckham, Anne
Berklee 2010

The companion online audio makes this guide an ideal tool for creating a singing course for students of almost any age or gender, who can practice technique along with lead sheets for such standard vocal pieces as “Yesterday” and “I Heard It Through the Grapevine.” Topics covered include getting started, posture, belting and diction, maintaining vocal health, microphone technique, and much more.


Richards, Keith and Fox, James
Little, Brown 2010

As lead guitarist of the Rolling Stones, Keith Richards created the riffs, the lyrics, and the songs that roused the world. Now he tells his story.

Music and the Child

Sarrazin, Natalie
Open SUNY 2016

This book explores a holistic, artistic, and integrated approach to understanding the developmental connections between music and children. This book guides professionals to work through music, harnessing the processes that underlie music learning, and outlining developmentally appropriate methods to understand the role of music in children’s lives through play, games, creativity, and movement.

Understanding Basic Music Theory

Schmidt-Jones, Catherine
OpenStax CNX 2013

“The text covers all areas of what one would consider basic music theory and is geared truly for the beginner who has had experience in reading music on some level, but desires more comprehensive descriptions of the “why”.” – Review.

The Rough Guide to Hip Hop

Shapiro, Peter
Rough Guides 2001

The definitive guide to every aspect of the music, tracing its story from its origins in the 1970s as New York’s urban folk music. Extensive biographies cover hip-hop’s entire spectrum. All the best MCs, DJs, B-Boys and graffiti-writers are here, but there are also extensive sidebars that go beyond the music to the lifestyle, describing hip-hop’s fashions, films, feuds and fads.

Folk Music : A Very Short Introduction

Slobin, Mark
Oxford University 2011

This is the first compact introduction to folk music that offers a truly global perspective. Slobin offers an extraordinarily generous portrait of folk music, one that embraces a Russian wedding near the Arctic Circle, a group song in a small rainforest village in Brazil, and an Uzbek dance tune in Afghanistan. He goes on to sketch out the turbulent times of folk music today and tomorrow, confronting new possibilities, frameworks, and challenges.

The Rough Guide to Classical Music

Staines, Joe and Clark, Duncan, eds.
Rough Guides 2005

A unique handbook, spanning a thousand years of music from Gregorian chant via Bach and Beethoven to current leading lights such as Thomas Adès and Kaija Saariaho. There are concise biographical profiles of more than 200 composers and informative summaries of the major compositions in all genres, from chamber works to operatic epics. Topics such as the influence of jazz, notation, conducting, the madrigal, and why Stradivarius made such great violins are covered fully in feature boxes.

Music USA: The Rough Guide

Unterberger, Richie
Rough Guides 1999

Tours the musical heritage of America, from New York to Seattle, stopping at all the shrines of sound in between. Coverage includes background on the development of local music styles, with details on clubs and venues, radio stations and record stores nationwide.

Tunesmith: Inside the Art of Songwriting

Webb, Jimmy
Hachette 1999

Jimmy Webb has given the American song book more hits, in more styles, than any other songwriter of his generation. In a combination of anecdotes, meditations, humor, and advice, Webb breaks down the entire process of creating a song, including coping with writer’s block, song construction, rhyme schemes, chord progression, and the art of collaboration. He then sheds light on the machinations of marketing yourself, selling a song, and coping with big business, be it in Hollywood, Nashville, or on Broadway.

Song Index; an Index to More than 12000 Songs in 177 Song Collections, Comprising 262 Volumes

Wilson, H.W.; Sears, Minnie Earl, comp.
Wilson 1926 Dewey Dec. 016.7

Songs in English as well as many other languages. Song titles and authors are indexed alphabetically, with references to the collection where they are contained, plus a full bibliography of the song collections.

Country Music: The Rough Guide

Wolff, Kurt
Rough Guides 2000

Both a record buyer’s guide as well as an encyclopedia; it covers every phase of country’s development, from hillbilly string bands and honky-tonk legends to the musicians of the new century, both mainstream and “alternative.” Insightful essays that trace Country’s growth from hand-me-down folk to a major American industry; concise biographies of hundreds of performers, more than 250 images. Most famous country music, best biography books musicians.

Songwriters on Songwriting

Zollo, Paul
Writer’s Digest 1991

In this collection of interviews, songwriters offer their thoughts, feelings and opinions on their art. Representing many genres, including folk, jazz, blues and pop, these are the artists whose work has shaped American music. Presents interviews with more than thirty popular songwriters, including Pete Seeger, Brian Wilson, Carole King, Paul Simon, Randy Newman, Frank Zappa, Janis Ian, Madonna, and Joan Baez.

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