Free music books, music book pdf, songbooks pdf, musician biographies, music history. Free online library with thousands of popular books about music.
‘Book Collections‘ are at the bottom.
CORE BOOKS – Music
The Rough Guide to Reggae – Free Music Book PDF
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.
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 – Free Music Books
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.
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.
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 – Free Music Book PDF
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.
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.
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.
Country Music: A Biographical Dictionary – Free Music Book PDF
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 – Free Music Books
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 – Music Books PDF
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.
Cook, Richard and Morton, Brian
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.
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 – Free Music Book PDF
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 – Free Music Book PDF
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) – Free Music Books PDF
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. History of music in America.
Sight-Reading for Guitar – Songbooks PDF
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.
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 – Music Books PDF
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
Jenkins, Lucien and Berkley, Rebecca
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.
The Encyclopedia of Country Music: The Ultimate Guide to the Music – Free Music Book PDF
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 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 – Free Music Books
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.
Levitin, Daniel J.
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.
Lomax, John A. and Lomax, Alan
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.
The Land Where the Blues Began – Free Music Book PDF
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.
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 – Free Music Books
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 – Free Music Books
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 – Free Music Book PDF
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 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 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 – Music Book PDF
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. Music books pdf.
Understanding Basic Music Theory – Music Books PDF
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 – Free Music Book PDF
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.
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 – Free Music Books
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.
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 – Songbooks PDF
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. Music books pdf, songbooks pdf.
Country Music: The Rough Guide – Free Music Book PDF
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.
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.
BOOK COLLECTIONS – Music
Instrumental Music : Search Results at Internet Archive – Songbooks PDF
About 100 free books. Some book titles: Sound Innovations for Concert Bands; Sound in Motion: A Performer’s Guide to Greater Musical Expression; Saxophone Playalong: TV Themes. Songbooks pdf.
Instrumental Music : Search Results at Open Library – Free Music Books
About 1,680 free books. Some book titles: How to Play the Recorder; Ultimate Guide to Music; All Things Strings: An Illustrated Dictionary.
Musical Instruments : Search Results at Internet Archive – Free Music Books
About 671 free books. Some book titles: The Musical Instrument Desk Reference; Woodwind; Christmas Medleys for Students.
Musical Instruments : Search Results at Open Library – Songbooks PDF
About 1,680 free books. Some book titles: A graded collection of piano duets by master composers; Flute; The digital musician.
See our Music Magazines
Vocal Music : Search Results at Internet Archive – Songbooks PDF
About 160 free books. Some book titles: A History of Singing; The Great Family Songbook; Writing Better Lyrics. Books on learning music.
Vocal Music : Search Results at Open Library – Free Music Books
About 1,105 free books. 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).
Music Industry PDF : Search Results at Internet Archive – Songbooks PDF
About 480 free books. 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. Songbooks pdf.
Music Industry PDF : Search Results at Open Library – Songbooks PDF
About 700 free books. 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. Songbooks pdf.
See our Acting & Performing Arts books
Music Instruction and Study : Search Results at Internet Archive – Music Book PDF
About 710 free books. 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 – Music Book PDF
About 1,700 free books. 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.
Music Appreciation – Collection – Music Book PDF
About 550 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. Books on learning music.
Song Books PDF – Collection – Songbooks PDF
About 400 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, Inside the Art of Songwriting, A Performer’s Guide to Greater Musical Expression, Billboard Book of Number One Hits, Craft and Business of Songwriting, Easy Piano in Every Key, The Secret History of Disco, Ultimate Latin Songs. Great American songbooks pdf.
Pop Music – Collection – Musician Biographies PDF
About 120 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, musician biographies pdf.
Rock Music – Collection – Musician Biographies PDF
About 1,600 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 – Musician Biographies PDF.
About 300 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.
American Music History PDF – Books Collection – Music Book PDF
About 320 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 – Music Book PDF
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, History of American Folk Music, Jewish Music in its Historical Development, Early Songs of Uncle Sam, Southern Folk Ballads, Traditional Songs from Nova Scotia, books for music industry, books of piano music.
Women Singers – Collection – Musician Biographies PDF
About 700 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 – Musician Biographies PDF
About 1,400 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.
Guitar Instruction and Study – Collection – Music Book PDF
About 130 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.
About 180 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 – Music Book PDF
Almost 1,400 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.
Best Rock Biographies – Collection – Musician Biographies PDF
About 2,500 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.