Ted Gioia is a music historian and the author of eleven books, including How to Listen to Jazz. His three previous books on the social history of music - Work Songs, Healing Songs and Love Songs - have each been honoured with ASCAP Deems Taylor Award. Gioia's wide-ranging activities as a critic, scholar, performer and educator have established him as a leading global guide to music past, present and future.
One of the most perceptive writers on music has cut a wide swath down the path of history, illuminating details often left in the shadows and broadening our understanding of all things sonic. Gioia vividly points out that the wheels of cultural advancement are often turned by the countless unsung heroes of inventiveness. A mind opening and totally engaging read! --Terry Riley As a fan of 'big histories' that sweep through space and time, I gobbled this one like candy as I found myself astounded by some idea, some fact, some source, some dots connected into a fast-reading big picture that takes in Roman pantomime riots, Occitan troubadours, churchbells, blues, Afrofuturism, surveillance capitalism, and much more. A must for music heads. --Ned Sublette, author of Cuba and Its Music and The World That Made New Orleans In this meticulously-researched yet thoroughly page-turning book, Gioia argues for the universality of music from all cultures and eras. Subversives from Sappho to Mozart and Charlie Parker are given new perspective -- as is the role of the church and other arts-shaping institutions. Music of emotion is looked at alongside the music of political power in a fascinating way by a master writer and critical thinker. This is a must-read for those of us for whom music has a central role in our daily lives. --red Hersch, pianist and composer, and author of Good Things Happen Slowly: A Life In and Out of Jazz Gioia's sprawling and deeply interesting history of music defies all stereotypes of music scholarship. This is rich work that provokes many fascinating questions. Scientists and humanists alike will find plenty to disagree with, but isn't that the point? 'A subversive history', indeed. --Samuel Mehr, Director, The Music Lab, Harvard University