The Secret of Music: A Look at the Listening Life
by Joshua McGuire
What is this fleeting experience that sometimes hits us when we listen to music? Through several short essays adapted from lectures given at Vanderbilt University between 2008 and 2012, author Joshua McGuire answers this question while exploring what it takes to become better listeners of music. McGuire's premise is that listening to music in a fuller way shows us a fuller way to live, clarifying the way we listen to everything. Ironically, better listening involves a recognition of the absence of time experienced amidst profound silence. After all, the purpose of music is to bring us to silence. “As we listen, we become the silence in which music happens. We disappear.”
MUSIC / Essays
ISBN: 978-1-947067-77-6 (print; softcover; perfect bound)
Released February 2019
Joshua McGuire is an award-winning opera librettist. He currently teaches at Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music.
“Insightful, pithy, surprising, and true. This book strikes at the heart of what it means to make music.”
“Joshua McGuire shows us what a profound act real listening is. In equating the act of listening to music with the actual act of living, McGuire asks us to acknowledge that like music our life has a beginning and an end. Music and life, both finite and infinite. After reading this marvelous book, I found myself savoring each moment of my life in real time, vowing to release the past and future, and appreciating the gift that is NOW.”
“The basic concepts that Joshua McGuire raises about music, time, and life in his book, “The Secret of Music,” are thought-provoking, compelling, and very much worth the read.”
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