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Best Music History Books That You Need

While there are many courses and tutorials online, learning from a book is still one of the best ways to greatly improve your skills. Below I have selected top Music History books.

An Outline History of Western Music (1997)

 Best Music History Books That You NeedThis succinct overview of the development of Western music can help students of all levels understand the evolution of musical styles. Although the text is only half the size of most music histories, it is enhanced by the many cross-references to the best anthologies and recordings for further information and examples.
Author(s): Milo Wold, Gary Martin, et al.

The Oxford History of Western Music (2018)

 Best Music History Books That You NeedThe Oxford History of Western Music, College Edition, Second Edition, immerses students in the engaging story of the Western musical tradition. By emphasizing the connections among works, both within each cultural era and across time and place, the text goes beyond a basic retelling of the music’s history to build students’ ability to listen critically to key works.
Author(s): Christopher H. Gibbs, Richard Taruskin

How Music Works (2017)

 Best Music History Books That You NeedHow Music Works is 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.
Author(s): David Byrne

Listening to Music (with Introduction to Listening CD-ROM) (Available Titles CourseMate) (2010)

 Best Music History Books That You NeedThe only music appreciation text on the market to include listening exercises throughout the book, Listening to Music (Sixth Edition) masterfully develops and refines the listening skills of students. Acclaimed for unparalleled clarity and accuracy, Wright succinctly covers traditional Western music from medieval to modern.
Author(s): Craig Wright

 Best Music History Books That You NeedRockin’ Out offers a comprehensive social history of popular music in the United States that takes the reader from the invention of the phonograph to the promise of the Internet, from the heyday of Tin Pan Alley to the present day sounds of singer-songwriters, pop country crossovers, rock, and contemporary hip hop.
Author(s): Reebee Garofalo

Literature of the Western World, Volume II: Neoclassicism Through the Modern Period (5th Edition) (2000)

 Best Music History Books That You NeedThe most comprehensive best-selling anthology of its kind, the second volume in this two-part survey enables readers to choose among the most important canonical and less-familiar texts of the Western literary tradition in Europe and the Americas. It offers complete texts whenever possible, uses the best translations of foreign-language material, and, when appropriate, presents more than one text by each author.
Author(s): Brian Wilkie, James Hurt

Concise History of Western Music (Fifth Edition) (2014)

 Best Music History Books That You NeedThe most student-friendly music history text available, now with Total Access. Barbara Hanning’s Concise History of Western Music offers students a manageable introduction to the forces that shaped music.
Author(s): Barbara Russano Hanning

 Best Music History Books That You NeedExplore the rich terrain of American popular music with the most complete, colorful, and authoritative introduction of its kind. In the fifth edition of their best selling text, American Popular Music: From Minstrelsy to MP3, Larry Starr and Christopher Waterman provide a unique combination of cultural and social history with the analytical study of musical styles.
Author(s): Larry Starr, Christopher Waterman

Music, Thought, and Feeling: Understanding the Psychology of Music (2008)

 Best Music History Books That You NeedExamining the intersection of music, psychology, and neuroscience, Music, Thought, and Feeling surveys the rapidly growing field of music cognition and explores its most interesting questions.
Author(s): William Forde Thompson

Rock Music Styles: A History (2014)

 Best Music History Books That You NeedIn its seventh edition, Rock Music Styles: A History offers an updated perspective on the development of rock music from its origins to its most contemporary styles.
Author(s): Charlton Rock Music Styles, Katherine

The Music of Black Americans: A History (Third Edition) (1997)

 Best Music History Books That You NeedA new edition of the classic text on African American music. Beginning with the arrival of the first Africans in the English colonies, Eileen Southern weaves a fascinating narrative of intense musical activity. As singers, players, and composers, black American musicians are fully chronicled in this landmark book.
Author(s): Eileen Southern

Music History: History of Music: From Prehistoric Sounds to Classical Music, Jazz, Rock Music, POP Music and Electronic Music (2017)

 Best Music History Books That You NeedThis is the fascinating story of music. How it started with a song and became one of our most beloved arts. History of Music: From Prehistoric Sounds to Classical Music, Jazz, Rock Music, POP Music and Electronic Music is a quick dip into our relationship with sound and movement through time. You’ll learn how music and songs grew from humble beginnings into an art that enriches, entertains, and relaxes us.
Author(s): Andrew Sullivan

 Best Music History Books That You NeedPaperback Publisher: Thomson (2006) ASIN: B0039XBXE2 Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,668,192 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #12813 in Popular Music (Books) Would you like to tell us about a lower price? If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Author(s): Glenn Appell

Best Music History Books That You Need

We highly recommend you to buy all paper or e-books in a legal way, for example, on Amazon. But sometimes it might be a need to dig deeper beyond the shiny book cover. Before making a purchase, you can visit resources like Library Genesis and download some music history books mentioned below at your own risk. Once again, we do not host any illegal or copyrighted files, but simply give our visitors a choice and hope they will make a wise decision.

Narratives from Beyond the UK Reggae Bassline: The System is Sound

Author(s): William 'Lez' Henry, Matthew Worley
ID: 2888455, Publisher: Springer International Publishing;Palgrave Macmillan, Year: 2021, Size: 5 Mb, Format: pdf

Decoding "Despacito": An Oral History of Latin Music

Author(s): Leila Cobo
ID: 2931839, Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Year: 2021, Size: 25 Mb, Format: epub

Punk, Fanzines and DIY Cultures in a Global World: Fast, Furious and Xerox

Author(s): Paula Guerra, Pedro Quintela
ID: 2454427, Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan, Year: 2020, Size: 6 Mb, Format: pdf

Please note that this booklist is not definite. Some books are really hot items according to Chicago Tribune, others are written by unknown writers. On top of that, you can always find additional tutorials and courses on Coursera, Udemy or edX, for example. Are there any other relevant books you could recommend? Drop a comment if you have any feedback on the list.

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