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Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Big Bangs: Five Musical Revolutions by Howard Goodall

Book 34, Big Bangs: Five Musical Revolutions, was a good book, much better than the last few I have read. Howard Goodall is a writer who can convey to an intelligent non-technical reader the point he is trying to make, another Bill Bryson to my mind the ultimate non-fiction writer.

I don't play an instrument and I can't read music, although I do have a very rudimentary knowledge of music notation. I do like listening to "classical" music though, and I have a good background in the history of music. This book suited me more or less perfectly. You don't need to know technical stuff like what a key is (although after reading Big Bangs I think I am closer to getting it than ever) but if you don't it doesn't detract from the book at all.

Nearly every one of his revolutions I could understand and identify with and in the main they were all well written. Music score, Opera, Equal Temperament and Recording were all very good and interesting chapters. The book was written in 2000 so came before the likes of the Ipod, which surely is another revolution to add to the list. I award Big Bangs 8 out of 10, and it completes the Music section.

For book 35 I move on to Pets, Homes and Gardens. The first book is about the ultimate garden, a park, Regent's Park in particular.

I have walked through Regent's Park on my way to London Zoo but I have never thought there was much to the place. The fact that a whole book has been written on the subject intrigues me. What can there possibly be to say? We'll find out...

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