Now in its 2nd edition, How Music REALLY Works!: The Essential Handbook for Songwriters, Performers, and Music Students, is the classic "how-to" manual for anyone interested in playing, singing, or writing emotionally powerful music. The book focuses on specific techniques a player, vocalist, or songwriter can use to seize the attention of listeners and move them emotionally. For the benefit of the majority of musicians (amateur and pro) who do not read music, the book contains no music notation. Instead it provides in-depth, visually-oriented, easy-to-understand (and humorous!) text and graphics covering every important aspect of music-making. At 890 pages, including nearly 600 bibliographical references and a 21-page index, the book has 4 major divisions.
Part I: The Big Picture, begins with Chapter 1, "What Music REALLY Is, Who Makes It, Where, When, Why," a substantive treatment of the evolutionary roots of the human ability to make music, focussing on why music is such an emotionally powerful way of communicating.
Chapter 2, "What the Popular Music Industry REALLY Is, and Where It Came From," takes the reader on a tour of the major genres of Western music: folk/roots, classical, musical/film, jazz, blues, ragtime, country/bluegrass, gospel, swing, R & B/soul, rock/pop, reggae, dance/electronica, and hip-hop.
Part II: Essential Building Blocks of Music, begins with Chapter 3, "How Tones and Overtones REALLY Work," covering topics such as the harmonic series, how the various types of musical instruments work (including the voice), and the emotional effects of pitch, loudness, and tone color.
Chapter 4, "How Scales and Intervals REALLY Work," discusses the emotional effects of various types of intervals. Topics include scales used in the West, including blues and pentatonic, as well as scales used in the Arabic world, India, China, etc.
Chapter 5, "How Keys and Modes REALLY Work," covers the major and minor modes, and also the "Church modes": Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian, and Locrian. Other topics include tuning, temperament, transposing, modulation, and tonality.
Part III: How to Create Emotionally Powerful Music and Lyrics, is the heart of the book.
Chapter 6, "How Chords and Chord Progressions REALLY Work," introduces the "Chase chart," a simple visual method of working out beautiful, original chord progressions. The chapter ends with 10 chord progression guidelines designed to maximize emotional impact.
Chapter 7, "How Beat, Pulse, Meter, Tempo, and Rhythm REALLY Work," begins with an examination of the role of memory in music, then discusses each element of rhythm (beat, pulse, meter, etc.), how they all relate to each other, and how to manipulate the various elements to maximize emotional impact. Chapter 8, "How Phrase and Form REALLY Work," highlights the differences between vocal-melodic phrases and structural phrases, and the central role of binary form.
Chapter 9, "How Melody and Melody-harmony Integration REALLY Work," provides an in-depth treatment of melody, including 10 specific techniques a songwriter or composer can use to create emotionally powerful tunes.
Similarly, 95-page Chapter 10, "How Lyrics REALLY Work," provides detailed techniques for writing lyrics that communicate emotional meaning in the strongest, most effective ways possible.
Chapter 11, "How Repertoire, Signature, and Performance REALLY Work," closes Part III with a "how-to" discussion of a musician's signature sound and style. Other topics include stage fright and live sound mixing.
The book ends with Part IV, "How the Music Business REALLY Works," a look at the elements of a performer's public image, and the advantages and disadvantages of starting one's own record label vs signing with an independent or major label. To summarize, How Music REALLY Works! is probably the most useful, practical, and authoritative single volume any musician or lyricist could own.
eBookMall recently interviewed Wayne O. Chase. Here is an excerpt:
What gave you the idea to write How Music REALLY Works! ?
"When I was a producer and arranger, musicians’ lack of vital knowledge about music and lyrics struck me as seriously unfortunate. So I decided to do something about it."
Read more on Wayne's author page!