Books by Musicians, for Musicians

6 GREAT books that can inspire, influence, challenge, inform, empower you & your music. Here's a list chosen by the staff at Revolve Music– guaranteed page turners! Enjoy!


6) How Music Works - David Byrne (Talking Heads)

Byrne about How Music Works: "I’ve made money, and I’ve been ripped off... I’ve had creative freedom, and I’ve been pressured to make hits. I have dealt with diva behavior from crazy musicians, and I have seen genius records by wonderful artists get completely ignored... If you think success in the world of music is determined by the number of records sold, or the size of your house or bank account, then I’m not the expert for you. I am more interested in how people can manage a whole lifetime in music."

Click here to purchase How Music Works on Amazon


5) All You Need to Know About the Music Business: Eighth Edition - Donald S. Passman

Donald Passman, one of the most trusted music lawyers in the US, offers his sage advice for creating, selling, sharing, and protecting your music in the Information Age in this updated eighth edition of All You Need to Know About the Music Business. Called “the industry bible” by the Los Angeles Times, Passman’s comprehensive guide—which has sold hundreds of thousands of copies over the past twenty years—draws on his unparalleled experience and up-to-the-minute knowledge of industry trends. 

Purchase "All You Need To Know About The Music Business" on Amazon here


4) Beyond The Dance Floor: Female DJs, Technology and Electronic Dance Music Culture – Rebekah Farrugia

A pathbreaking study of the women who create electronic dance music, Beyond the Dance Floor focuses on the largely neglected relationship between these women and the conceptions of gender and technology that continue to inform the male-dominated culture surrounding electronic music. In this volume, Rebekah Farrugia explores a number of important issues, including the politics of identity and representation, the bonds formed by women within the DJ community, and the role female DJs and producers play in this dance music culture as well as in the larger public sphere.

You can purchase this book on Amazon.com by clicking here


3) Writing Better Lyrics - Pat Pattison

Whether you are a rock singer, singer-songwriter or a DJ/Producer, lyrics are key for a good song. This book is perfect for new and experienced songwriters alike, this time-tested classic covers the basics in addition to more advanced techniques. Writing Better Lyrics has been a staple for songwriters for nearly two decades. This revised and updated 2nd Edition provides effective tools for everything from generating ideas, to understanding the form and function of a song, to fine-tuning lyrics.

Songwriters will discover:
- How to use sense-bound imagery to enhance a song's emotional impact on listeners - Techniques for avoiding clichés and creating imaginative metaphors and similes - Ways to use repetition as an asset - Instruction for matching lyrics with music - Ways to build on ideas and generate effective titles - Advice for working with a co-writer

You can purchase a copy of Writing Better Lyrics here on Amazon.


2) The Underground Is Massive – Michaelangelo Matos

What started as an underground party business—run and dominated by youths and hustlers—grew into the music business’s greatest and biggest success. The Underground Is Massive is the first-ever big-picture history of the American electronic dance music underground, viewed through the lens of nineteen parties over thirty years—from the black, gay underground clubs of Chicago and Detroit’s elite teen-party scene through nineties “electronica” to today’s EDM-festival juggernaut, the book takes in the rise of the Internet and Burning Man, 9/11, and the collapse of the record business—and vividly charts why and how it took nearly three decades after electronic dance music became a global youth soundtrack for it to hit big in the land that birthed it.Through unparalleled insider access to anecdotes, interviews, and history, Michaelangelo Matos demystifies how what once belonged to a devoted audience of casual partiers and diehard dancers has become America’s soundtrack of choice and changed the music industry completely.

You can find this book here at Amazon.com


1) The Sonic Boom - Joel Beckerman and Tyler Gray 

Sound has surprising power to influence our decisions, opinions, and actions in ways we might not even notice. In The Sonic Boom, composer and strategic sound expert Joel Beckerman provides a new framework for thinking about sound’s effects on every aspect of our lives.

You can purchase The Sonic Boom here

RoAnne de Weerd

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