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Every Song Ever : Twenty Ways to Listen to Music  - Ben Ratliff

Every Song Ever

Twenty Ways to Listen to Music

Paperback Published: 18th April 2017
ISBN: 9781846146862
Number Of Pages: 272

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Encompassing the sounds of five continents and several centuries, Ratliff's book is an artful work of criticism, a lesson in open-mindedness and an invitation to experiment in our new world of sound.

For the first time in the history of music, we can listen to nearly anything, at any time. New technologies make it possible for us to roam across musical genres and generations, from Detroit techno to jam bands to baroque opera - or to drive deeper into the set of tastes that we already have. These new possibilities overturn old assumptions about what it means to properly appreciate music.

In Every Song Ever , celebrated critic Ben Ratliff reimagines the very idea of music appreciation for our times. As familiar categories like 'rock' or 'jazz' matter less and less, listeners can put aside the intentions of musicians and engage with music afresh on their own terms, by experience rather than genre. If we listen for loudness, for instance, we can detect the surprising affinities between The Sex Pistols' 'Holidays in the Sun' and the dance music of David Guetta and Sia. And if we listen for closeness, we might notice how the tight harmonies of Lennon and McCartney in 'She Loves You' illuminate the synchrony of John Coltrane's quartet.

Ratliff also goes in search of 'the perfect moment'; enters the psychological state of slow music as exemplified by DJ Screw, Sarah Vaughan and the final works of Shostakovich; considers what it means to hear emotion by sampling the complex sadness of Nick Drake; and examines why some people want to document and possess the entire performance history of the Grateful Dead.

Encompassing the sounds of five continents and several centuries, Ratliff's book is an artful work of criticism, a lesson in open-mindedness and an invitation to experiment in our new world of sound.

About the Author

Ben Ratliff has been a music critic for The New York Times since 1996. His book Coltrane: The Story of a Sound was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. He lives with his wife and two sons in the Bronx.

A music appreciation guide for our era ... Brilliant -- Dan Chiasson * New York Review of Books *
A remarkable new book . . . [Ratliff] goes leaping from Beethoven to Big Black, from Morton Feldman to Curtis Mayfield, identifying continuities while delighting in contrasts -- Alex Ross * New Yorker *
The spectacle of an active mind processing a world in constant flux . . . Maybe, as Ratliff beautifully argues, the brooding aggression of metal obscures a deeper melancholy -- Hua Hsu * New Yorker *
Incisive . . . Thanks to Ratliff's vast knowledge, what could have been a dry academic exercise is more like a trip into the world's coolest record store -- David Browne * Rolling Stone *

ISBN: 9781846146862
ISBN-10: 1846146860
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 272
Published: 18th April 2017
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 19.6 x 12.8  x 1.8
Weight (kg): 0.2
Edition Number: 1