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Brian Eno: His Music And The Vertical Color Of Sound Paperback – August 22, 1995

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Eric Tamm earned his Ph.D. in music at the University of California, Berkeley, and has taught music history, theory, and piano at numerous Bay Area colleges and universities.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 246 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press; Upd Sub edition (August 22, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0306806495
  • ISBN-13: 978-0306806490
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,050,752 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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40 of 47 people found the following review helpful By David Bennett on February 17, 2006
Format: Paperback
Sorry, I haven't read it yet. But I thought potential buyers might want to know that this book and the same author's book on Robert Fripp are both available for free download from the author's web site. An act of generosity that certainly deserves five stars.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 7, 1998
Format: Paperback
This book is best for the fan who is also a home recording artist. It tackles Eno primarily in the studio and gives very clear descriptions of his techniques. There is even a glossary in the back. The book deals with his pre-1988 work and was originially a thesis paper so at times reads like one, dry. I enjoy Eno, but this book did nothing to enhance the "myth." Rather it made him human. Not bad, right?
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By William Johnston VINE VOICE on January 21, 2010
Format: Paperback
Most of the writing on music that is non-Classical or non-Jazz is done by hacks who just happened to buy enough albums as kids and have enough of a vocabulary to get jobs with music magazines. They possess no real knowledge of music outside of their own highly subjective and fickle opinions. No matter how much they seem to know they are still just fashion designers for the industry. In this case we have a serious "rock" musician taken seriously and analyzed seriously by a serious musicologist. The author demostrates a knowledge of music outside of the pop/rock world and places Eno in this context. Short on biography, long on theory, this is a truly intelligent foray into the music of Brian Eno and is a shining example of what rock journalism could be. Alas, very few examples of "rock" musicians approach Eno in their worthiness of analysis.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 12, 1999
Format: Paperback
Though this book is written more from a technical perspective, it provides interesting insights into the furtile, creative mind of Brian Eno. I would not recommend this book to anyone who doesn't have interest in musicology or the technical nature of music creation. However, for those who are interested, feast away.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Matthew L. Moffett on July 15, 2000
Format: Paperback
Since very little is known of Eno's private life, this book takes a pretty good and professional look at his composing life, starting with Roxy Music and up to about 1990. The most interesting aspects are the clear explanations of Eno's techniques and concepts. I found many of the ideas and thoughts applicable to other art forms, and am using some of the ideas for work of my own now. Be warned that the book does assume the reader has a certain level of understanding of music theory and contemporary music, but there is still much to enjoy if you are a newcomer to these ideas.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By masse@bj.refer.org or Jean-Jacques Massé on December 3, 1998
Format: Paperback
The oblique views of the most famous non-musician at work. In which we are introduced to the frog vision concept, Erik Satie's musique d'ameublement, John Cage's sound pictures and of course Eno's own conceptual continuity. Never a dull moment within the realms of minimalism ? Yes, you read right. Clever, smart, and appealing.
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24 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Autonomeus TOP 1000 REVIEWER on May 24, 2001
Format: Paperback
Eno has long since attained quasi-mythical status in hip circles. Considered a, if not The, "Father of Ambient," he is a paragon for the all-black-wearing conceptual art school crowd. What most interests me as a sociologist is how Eno's reputation came about, when, he admits himself, he is responsible for "no breakthroughs" (pp. 172-173), and is more important as an influence than someone whose records many people actually listen to. (For instance, I doubt if too many people in chill rooms at raves listen to Eno -- more likely it's the Orb, or FSOL, or the many others influenced by Terry Riley, Eno and others.)

The thing is, I have been around long enough to remember Eno as the androgynous keyboard player for Roxy Music, and so I've seen him move from '70s prog-rock to Father of Ambient. Nice move! It seems to me that his position is based on two very different things: 1) fame by association, based on his collaborations and production of Bowie, the Talking Heads and U2, and 2) his late '70s move toward "ambient" on recordings such as MUSIC FOR AIRPORTS and ON LAND.

Two crucial influences on Eno are Satie, who started an anti-romantic movement in music, and Cage, who saw himself as an "inventor" in the field of music, with no particular musical aptitude. Eno, likewise, strikes a minimalist posture in opposition to the excess of '70s prog-rock (ie, ELP, Yes), and a cool posture in opposition to the hot, angry punk movement. Anti-heroic and detached.

So it seems to me that Eno has managed to succeed in an unusual way by working in the interstices between genres, and by refusing to be pigeonholed by any tendency.
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