Music books you value which others might not know about

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Oldbones
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Music books you value which others might not know about

Postby Oldbones » Thu Mar 27, 2014 1:45 pm

Having bought sheet music, guitar tutors and books about guitars, guitarists and musicians who interest me ever since around 1960, I've picked out a few of the more unusual items on my own bookshelves which might be of interest.

Hopefully, members might like to add brief notes about the results of their own rummages.


'Picks' by Will Hoover published by MillerFreeman books and bought via Amazon.
Just how interesting can the history of plectrums be? It turns out the answer is "Fascinating". This small-format book is lavishly illustrated and covers just about every type of pick you can imagine (and many you can't), plus the wide range of materials they're made from (one of which can spontaneously ignite inside guitar cases .... Ouch!), plus the musical periods and musicians which are closely associated with the evolution of the humble little pick.

'Chet Atkins - Me and my guitars' by Chet Atkins and Russ Cochran. Published by Hal Leonard.
A lavishly illustrated book which tells in chronological order, the story of Chet's life by illustrating key guitars and recounting what he was doing and playing at that time. Well written and fascinating.

'Chet Atkins Cerftified Guitar Player'
Published by the Country Music Foundation Press in 2011 on the occasion of of a major exhibition at the Country Hall of Fame and Museum which ran from August 2011 to June 2012. This well produced book consists of four long articles on the themes of Chet as icon, guitarist, tinkerer and producer.

'Revolution in the Head' by Iam Macdonald. Published by Fourth Estate.
One of several books which tell the stories behind each of the Beatles' songs. This book goes into a lot of detail about each song and often includes musical information in great depth.

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My long-time interest has been folk music, so I have a lot of books and music for this genre.
These examples might be of interest.

'New penguin book of English folksongs' by Roud and Bishop (2012).
Beautifully bound hardback containing a wealth of often less well known songs. Very affordable if you shop around.

A set of 5 books by Roy Palmer published by Cambridge University Press between 1972 and 1978)
These are full of carefully selected songs, ballads and historical information on the following themes:
The rigs of the fair (sports and pastimes in the 19th century)
Strike the bell (Transport by road, canal and railway in the 19th century)
The painful plough (Life of the agricultural labourer in the 19th century)
The valiant sailor (Life on the lower decks in Nelson's navy)
Poverty knock (Industrial life in the 19th century)

All these books have become collectors' pieces because of the depth they go into about songs and the historical periods and events which spawned them.

There is also an associated book by Brian Sargent - 'Minstrels' (Medieval music to sing and play)

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As regards autobiographies and biographies go - I've read (or tried to read) quite a lot.
Many have been awful because of ghastly ghost writing, but this book was an outstanding exception - fascinating from beginning to end and written by the man himself.

'Barefaced Lies and Boogie-Woogie Boasts' by Jools Holland published by Michael Joseph (hardback) or Penguin (Paperback)

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So - if this thread-starter has interested you - what books can you add which you value and which others might like to hear about?
It isn't how fast you can play that counts - it's that you only play as fast as you need to play that is important.
Silence can be as eloquent as sound.

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Oldbones
Posts: 112
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2014 8:16 am
Location: Cheshire

Re: Music books you value which others might not know about

Postby Oldbones » Fri May 02, 2014 10:05 am

For anyone wanting to find a book featuring Gordon's music and playing, I've suggested a book in a separate thread ...

viewtopic.php?f=4&t=1300
It isn't how fast you can play that counts - it's that you only play as fast as you need to play that is important.
Silence can be as eloquent as sound.


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