Music Book News (July 2018)

The Secret DJ

Music Book News (July 2018)

A round-up of new and recent books.

Featured below: The Secret DJ; the changing relationship of artist and audience; Jacqueline Sholes on narrative in Brahms’ music; artists write about identity, voice and gender in music creation; Jaime Rollins writes about the role of music in Northern Irish republican identity. Please send information on new music books to editor [at]

The Secret DJ
The Secret DJ
Faber & Faber
21 June 2018

An anonymous but apparently ‘globally recognised’ DJ exposes the real world of club culture, juxtaposing the reality with the image, and examining the spaces where the two collide. An occasional contributor to Mixmag, the Secret DJ has covered mixing advice, drug culture and navigating commercial pressures, gathered together here as a ‘cautionary tale’. 


Playing to the Crowd: Musicians, Audiences, and the Intimate Work of Connection
Nancy K. Baym
NYU Press
July 2018  

In Playing to the Crowd, researcher Nancy K. Baym dissects the ways the relationships between artists and their fans have been changed in the digital age, and the rise of personalised fandom. The book draws on both Baym’s own experience and research – this is her third book on the topics of audiences and technology – and interviews with musicians such as the Cure and Billy Bragg. 


Allusion as Narrative Premise in Brahm’s Instrumental Music
Jacquelyn E. C. Sholes
Indiana University Press
24 May 2018

Musicologist Jacquelyn E. C. Sholes examines new and known musical references in the work of Brahms, drawing narrative lines in his work that express his relationships with past masters such as Schumann and Beethoven. This book shows it is not just contemporary musicians and composers that come to question the idea of ‘canon’ and their place within it.


Grounds for Possible Music
Ed. Julia Eckhardt
Errant Bodies
24 July 2018 

This collection of writing from 20 artists working in the area of sound takes a look at the relationship between art and its maker through the lens of gender, voice, identity and language. Edited by Julia Eckhardt, an experimental musician and curator based in Belgium, Grounds for Possible Music is published by experimental publishing project Errant Bodies.



Lullabies and Battle Cries: Music, Identity and Emotion among Republican Parading Bands in Northern Ireland
Jaime Rollins
Berghahn Books
August 2018

In Lullabies and Battle Cries, Jaime Rollins looks at the centrality of music to identity in both the past and post-conflict Northern Irish republicans. The book explores how the music of parading bands relates to emotion, memory and political ritual. 


Please send information on new music books to editor [at]

Published on 19 July 2018

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