Book review: How Music Works by David Byrne

Steven Caldwell Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalBook/Film/Article reviewpeer-review


In recent years, several books have been published which discuss changes in the recording industry as a result of the digital revolution, exploring technological issues such as piracy, copyright, remix culture, and playlists. Many of these, such as Matthew David’s Peer to Peer and the Music Industry and Patrik Wikström’s The Music Industry: Music in the Cloud, aim to contextualize the present day by delving deep into the past. Barry Kernfeld’s Pop Song Piracy: Disobedient Music Distribution since 1929 is another noteworthy example. In How Music Works, David Byrne goes beyond providing a historical overview of music by adding personal observations. Best known for his work in Talking Heads, Byrne writes with authority. He was there. Infused with his passionate writing style, the book is an exhilarating read, particularly with its vague title promising so little.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)381-383
Number of pages3
JournalPopular Music and Society
Publication statusPublished - 11 Aug 2015


  • popular music
  • music industry
  • music piracy
  • digital technology
  • popular culture
  • music recording


Dive into the research topics of 'Book review: How Music Works by David Byrne'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this