Books About Music

Get to know music by reading

Books about rock

An amazing way to learn more about the rock genre is to read about it. And there are some very good books about rock. Reading about rock will introduce you to new genres and styles, as well as increase your awareness about the social role of rock.

The term rock originated as “rock’n’roll” in America in the 1950s. Rock’n’roll has many stylistic origins, including country music, rhythm and blues, soul music, folk music and jazz. During the 60s, it developed into many styles through the work of such artists as The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan. Today, the number of subgenres of rock is almost ridiculous, including such styles as garage rock, glam rock, punk rock, soft rock, psychedelic rock, experimental rock, art rock, hard rock and so on.

If you want to purchase any of the books below, please go ahead and do so, using the provided Amazon links.

List of books

As of now, there are two books in this section.

Rock Music Styles: A History

books about rock music styles a history katherine charltonThis is a great book on rock music history, treating the subject from its very roots to contemporary trends. The author, Katherine Charlton, is a very experienced musician and teacher with an M.A. in music history. The first edition of Rock Music Styles was published already in 1990.

This book features, among other things, a listener’s guide to different rock songs. Thus, having your CD collection, Spotify or Youtube close at hand while reading will be helpful. Something that Katherine Charlton does very well is to consider all relevant contributions, when discussing developments throughout the history of rock. She illustrates how difficult it is to say that particular genres or particular developments came to be/occurred thanks to certain individuals or groups. Instead, influences, inspiration and opportunities came from pretty much all directions.

Buy at (US) | Buy at (UK)

What’s That Sound?: An Introduction to Rock and Its History

whats that sound john covachRock musicians can be professors too. The author of What’s That Sound – John Covach – is a great example. Moreover, his book is one of the most popular on the subject of rock history. This books starts off with a brief background on the society of each decade in rock’s fifty-year-old history, after which it treats the subjects of various notable musicians and the evolution of genres. Covach makes clear that rock music has affected society in many ways, whilst he also shows that society has shaped the development of rock music. Normally, when popular music is studied as an academic subject, topics such as social factors and politics are discussed in relation to the music to a much greater extent than when classical music is studied. Covach makes it easy to see why.

The book holds, at this moment, a strong 4,25 / 5 Amazon average rating.

Buy at (US) | Buy at (UK)

More books about opera will be reviewed in the near future.

Book review page: 18. Published August 21, 2012 as Books about rock.

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