Music and Book reviews

Browsing: Books

Biography
Awakening: Four Lives in Art

Author: Eileen Chanin, Steven Miller
Category: Biography, Books
Adelaide: Wakefield Press, 2015. 229pp. Paperback
ISBN: 978 1 74305 365 2
www.wakefieldpress.com.au
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Four inspiring women, though not exactly household names today, are given some much-deserved attention in this engrossing publication. Dora Ohlfsen, Louise Dyer, Clarice Zander and Mary Cecil Allen, born in Australia in the second half of the nineteenth century, all…

Biography
Beyond Black and White – My Life in Music

Author: Roger Woodward
Category: Biography, Books
Sydney: HarperCollinsPublishers Australia Pty Limited, 2014. 609pp ABC Books under licence.
ISBN: 978 0 7333 2303
www.harpercollins.com.au
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In contrast with the austere black and white dust jacket, the first thing one sees when opening this book is the vividly coloured endpaper, painted by the nine year old author; such talent would surely lead to a future as…

Books
Collaborative Creative Thought and Practice in Music

Author: Margaret S. Barrett, editor
Category: Books, Musicology
Farnham, England: Ashgate Publishing, 2015. 326pp. Also in ebook PDF, ebook ePUB.
ISBN: 978-1-4724-1584-4 (hbk)
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Issues to do with both collaborative activity and creativity are of real interest and concern at this point in time. Not because either of these things are in any way new aspects of human activity, but because changes in social…

Books
Creating Cities

Author: Marcus Westbury
Category: Books, Cultural Policy
Melbourne: Niche Press, 2015. 192 pp. Paperback
ISBN: 9780992568740
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The story of Australia’s most famous urban ‘intervention’ that provides a different model and scale of state-cultural industry relationships. The literature on the ‘creative’ or ‘cultural’ city is now substantial, driven by scholarly interest in how artistic creativity becomes embedded…

Books
Encounters: musical meetings between Australia and China

Author: Edited by Nicholas Ng. Authors: Wang Zhengting, Aline Scott-Maxwell, Kim Cunio, Yang Mu, Catherine Ingram, Tony Mitchell, Nicholas Ng, Shan Deng, Tony Wheeler, Erik Griswold, Vanessa Tomlinson, William Yang, Gao Ping, John Huie, Anne Boyd, Julian Yu, Larry Sitsky, John Curro, Ash Dargan.
Category: Books, Musicology
Toowong, Qld: Australian Academic Press, 2012, 192pp.
ISBN: 9781922117069 (pbk) Also in ebook.
Reviewed by

This paperback volume is a collection of papers and transcribed discussions derived from a conference-festival of the same title, held in Brisbane in May 2010. As such, the book falls into the sometimes maligned genre of conference proceedings. In this…

Books
Goodwood

Author: Holly Throsby
Category: Books, Fiction
Sydney: Allen & Unwin, 2016. 376pp.
ISBN 978 1 76029 373 4 (pbk)
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“Goodwood is Holly Throsby’s first novel. This is an intriguing, captivating story, well written, presenting extraordinary insight into everyday life in a small town.”

Books
Grainger the Modernist

Author: Suzanne Robinson, Kay Dreyfus, editors
Category: Books, Musicology
Farnham, England: Ashgate Publishing Limited, 2015 270pp
ISBN 9781472420220 (hardback) ISBN 9781472420237 (ebook- PDF) ISBN 9781472420244 (ebook-PUB)
www.ashgate.com
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Should Percy Grainger be regarded as a modernist? Or should he be dismissed, as he has been in the past, as an inconsequential arranger of British folksong? Even a cursory scan of Grainger’s life reveals that he was an innovator…

Biography
Grant and I: Inside and Outside The Go-Betweens

Author: Robert Forster
Category: Biography
Australia: Penguin Hamish Hamilton 2016, 339pp.
ISBN 9780670078226 (pbk)
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In December 1977, Robert Forster asked Grant McLennan to form a band with him. Some weeks later, McLennan agreed and The Go-Betweens were formed. Grant and I is a story of Forster and McLennan, their friendship and the music they…

Books
How Music Got Free: What Happens When An Entire Generation Commits The Same Crime?

Author: Stephen Witt
Category: Books, Music Business
London: The Bodley Head, 2015. 296 pp
ISBN: 9781847923363 (Paperback)
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How Music Got Free is business history written with the narrative drive of a Raymond Chandler crime novel. This carefully researched and deeply unsettling account traces the unravelling of the recording industry as copyright protection collapses and new digital technologies…

Biography
I am Melba – a Biography

Author: Ann Blainey
Category: Biography, Books
Black Inc Publishing
ISBN 9781863953672
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Ann Blainey makes no apology for adding to the already substantial collection of biographies of Miss Nellie Mitchell. In her Preface, she acknowledges her debt to her forerunners Agnes Murphy, John Hetherington, Thérèse Radic and Pamela Vestey, but claims the…

Books
It’s Culture, Stupid: Reflections of an Arts Bureaucrat

Author: Leigh Tabrett
Category: Books, Cultural Policy
Strawberry Hills, Currency House 2013. 69pp.
ISBN 9780987211439
www.currencyhouse.org.au
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 Leigh Tabrett has made a thoughtful contribution to Platform Papers quarterly essay series. Tabrett’s It’s Culture, Stupid: Reflections of an Arts Bureaucrat identifies some serious funding and policy issues that challenge the Australian arts sector. Tabrett was at the helm…

Biography
I’m Talking. My life, my words, my music

Author: Kate Ceberano, assisted by Tom Gilling
Category: Biography, Books
Sydney: Hachette Australia, 2014. 324 pages
ISBN 978 0 7336 3023 1 (pbk)
Reviewed by

“Eclectic” is surely a key word in the story of Kate Ceberano. In case you are unaware, she has achieved success singing rock, pop, jazz, funk, dance, the role of Mary Magdalene in a highly successful production of Jesus Christ…

Biography
Keith Humble, Music and Me – Memories of a Shared Life

Author: Jill Humble
Category: Biography, Books
Healesville, Victoria: Fernmill Books, 2015 (121 pages). Available by emailing John Whiteoak, whiteoak@hotkey.net.au or writing to Fernmill Books PO Box 395, Healesville 3777
ISBN 978-0-646-93884-4
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I had the honour in 1971 of organising and promoting the premiere performance of Keith Humble’s Nunique VI in the Great Hall of The University of Sydney. I spent three days prior to the performance working with Keith and his…

Books
Learning Strategies for Musical Success

Author: Michael Griffin
Category: Books, Music Education
Adelaide: Music Education World. 2013. 174 pages
ISBN/EAN13: 1481946730 / 9781481946735
www.musiceducationworld.com
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The essential message of Michael Griffin’s terrific book is simple: that the greatest predictor of musical success is the quality and quantity of practice. Those experts like Mozart and Beethoven worked relentlessly from their early childhood to hone their skills.…

Books
Lian Husi Klamar: Musika Tradisional Husi Timor-Leste (Sounds of the Soul: The Traditional Music of East Timor)

Author: Roslyn Dunlop
Category: Books, Ethnomusicology
Sydney: Tekee Media, 2012, 160pp, with CD and DVD (www.tekeemedia.com)
ISBN: 978-0-646-58183-5
www.tekeemedia.com
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Literature on and research into the music and dance of East Timor are rare; public consciousness of this newly independent nation, if there is any, centres around its colonial history and the atrocities committed against it during and after its…

Books
Life in the Real World: How to Make Music Graduates Employable

Author: Dawn Bennett, Editor
Category: Books, Music Business
Champaign, Illinois: Common Ground Publishing LLC, 2012. 284pp.
ISBN 978 1 61229 078 2
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This book is a collection of papers from an international team of music educators exploring themes specific to the development of music-related careers for music students, including transitions into work for musicians, entrepreneurship and networking for musicians. There are also…

Musicology
Loading the Silence: Australian Sound Art in the Post-Digital Age

Author: Linda Ioanna Kouvaras
Category: Musicology
Farnham, UK: Ashgate Publishing Ltd, 2013
ISBN 9781409441564
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While several books have been written which seek to summarise music-making practices in this country, none have focused on non-instrumental art music like this rigorous study by Linda Kouvaras. Roger Covell’s landmark book of 1967, Australia’s Music — Themes for…

Books
Making New Zealand’s Pop Renaissance: State, Markets, Musicians

Author: Michael Scott
Category: Books, Cultural Policy, Music Business
Farnham, England: Ashgate 2013, 185 Pages
ISBN 9781409443353
www.ashgate.com
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As a “small, isolated, commodity dependent” trading nation, New Zealand is a difficult place to maintain a career in music. This was particularly the case during the 1990s when the country was undergoing some fairly strong  “neo-liberal” reforms under the…

Books
Music Business and the Experience Economy: The Australian Case

Author: Peter Tschmuck, Peter Pearce, Steven Campbell, eds.
Category: Books, Music Business
ISBN 978 3 642 27897 6
www.springer.com
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Books that focus on music as business are relatively uncommon, so it is surprising to find an entire volume from international publishing house Springer devoted to the Australian music sector. The idea for the book arose in Townsville, when Peter…

Books
Music, Evolution and the Harmony of Souls

Author: Alan Harvey
Category: Books, Music and the Body
Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2017. 304 pages.
ISBN 9780198786856 (hardback)
www.oup.com/uk/psychology
Reviewed by

In 1997, the cognitive scientist, Stephen Pinker, stated in his seminal book, How the Mind Works, that music served no evolutionary purpose and described it as ‘evolutionary cheesecake’. Sometimes such catch phrases can set off a hive of activity by…

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