A delightful and informative history of modern music. Harmony is created by bringing sounds together. In music lessons, we learn how to do this in a formal way: we learn about chords and keys, and we are given rules for using them. This is the textbook way; this is legal harmony.?? Everything else ??? including the sounds that constantly surround us, those of ticking clocks, dogs, traffic, birdsong and aeroplanes ??? is illegal harmony. Illegal Harmonies charts the course of music over the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, linking it to developments in literature, theatre, cinema and the visual arts, and to popular music from Irving Berlin to The Beatles to rap. The result is a stimulating, provocative and always informative cultural history.