The Best 12 Music Books of 2023 

Are you looking for the best music books? These novels by some of the world’s finest musicians are certain to fulfil both the desire to rock and the desire to read an incredible narrative.  

We’ve put together a list of yearbooks from 2017 because there seem to be more and more books published about Music every year. As always, we share the new music books which stuck with this year and, in some cases, have changed their listening habits. Here are the 12 best music books. 

12 Best Books on Music 

1. A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance by Hanif Abdurraqib 

In the very long time since the launch of the MacArthur Foundation’s regarded association, the alleged “genius grant” has been granted to many artists and writers. In any case, Hanif Abdurraqib, named to the current year’s class, joins a modest little bunch of music scholars; such is the effect of his broad collection of work as a poet, critic, and journalist. A Little Devil in America is the best book about Music which you can listen to whenever you want to brighten up your mood. 

2. Begin by Telling by Meg Remy 

US Girls founder Meg Remy opens this thin, crushed memoir with a snapshot of innocent youth. A TV fell on baby Remi’s face, and “what I thought was squishable fell flat and steady.” Their childhood passes like this; one smells of disillusionment after another. She develops a fascination with blood-thirsty spectacles indoors and out, setting off an opening by describing him as a sad companion to his sometimes-frightening Music, who receives little attention other than the book. 

3. Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner 

Crying in H Mart, the first music book of Japanese Breakfast by Michele Zauner, is a musical memoir disguised as a literary mukbang. As Zauner unpacks the various nuances of growing up in Oregon as a biracial, Korean American immigrant and her rise in indie rock, her stories are intertwined with brilliant descriptions of Korean cuisine that will leave the reader with a drool-inducing effect.  

4. Finding the Raga: An Improvisation on Indian Music by Amit Chaudhuri 

Amit Chaudhary has lived many lives. The novelist, essayist, professor, and composer has spent time in London, Bombay, and Calcutta and studied North Indian classical music and American folk. He learned the guitar and aspired to western pop stardom until he met his mother’s Indian classical music teacher. Choudhury’s latest book, Finding the Raga, uses non-linear writing techniques to illustrate the slipperiness of his identity. 

5. This Is Your Brain on Music by Daniel J. Levitin 

This Is Your Brain on Music is the best music book written by Daniel J. Levitin. In this breakthrough combination of art and science, rocker-turned-neuroscientist Daniel J. Levitin investigates the relationship between Music—its performance, its creation, how we listen to it, why we appreciate it—and the human brain. 

6. Absolutely on Music by Haruki Murakami and Seiji Ozawa 

Haruki Murakami sits down with his buddy Seiji Ozawa, the renowned former conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, for a series of chats about their common interest: Music. Murakami and Ozawa spend two years debating everything from Brahms to Beethoven, Leonard Bernstein to Glenn Gould, Bartók to Mahler. Absolute on Music is a unique look inside the brains of two maestros. It is a profound contemplation of the fundamental essence of Music and writing. 

7. Major Labels by Kelefa Sanneh 

A magnum opus and a massive thrill, this book chronicles the history of popular music during the last half-century through the lens of the major genres that characterized and dominated it: rock, R&B, country, punk, hip-hop, dance music, and pop. This book is on Music that everyone enjoys and that everyone despises. 

8. The Beautiful Ones by prince 

The dazzling coming-of-age and ascension to superstardom narrative of one of the most excellent musicians of all time told in his own words—with never-before-seen photographs, original scrapbooks and lyric sheets, and the gorgeous memoir he started writing before his untimely death. This book is not only a homage to a legend but a unique and energetic literary work in and of itself, brimming with Prince’s ideas and vision, his voice, and image—his immortal gift to the world. 

9. How Music Works by David Byrne 

How Music Works is David Byrne’s insightful and exuberant examination of the musical art form, from its earliest origins to the forces that mold it. Byrne’s magnums work continually reveals fresh and fascinating insights into the redeeming liberty that Music provides to all of us. He also gives the best songwriting books to his readers. 

10. Songwriting Without Boundaries by Pat Pattison 

Songwriting Without Boundaries is the best music book written by Pat Pattison. It takes skill and discipline to write fantastic song lyrics. Through enjoyable writing activities, Songwriting Without Boundaries can assist you in committing to regular practice. This one-of-a-kind collection of over 150 sense-based prompts will assist you in developing the abilities necessary to engage your senses and infuse your writing with vivid details. 

11. In Defense of Ska by Aaron Carnes 

All roads lead to Ska. Or at least argue with Santa Cruz Weekly editor Aaron Carnes in defense of Ska. This oral history links everyone from Dan Deacon to Danny Elfman to the much-discredited musical movement. Through more than 150 interviews, Carnes explores the vast landscape of Ska, whose roots range from late 1950s Jamaican pop music to its cultural nadir to the ’90s fedora-clad “Third Wave.” The sketches are included as more than a punchline, recalling the ups and downs of the fight. There are dozens of bands involved. 

12. Last Chance Texaco: Chronicles of an American Troubadour by Rickie Lee Jones 

Last Chance Texaco is most exciting when Jones begins to stop time, providing line-by-line insight into his creative process. In other pieces, she analyzes her formative years at Troubadour in the late ’70s and the relationships around her scene with young, West Hollywood songwriters such as Tom Waits and Little Feet’s Lowell George.  


So now you know the top music books and biographies of artists. You can also pick up the mistakes that musicians avoid for yourself. We hope you like this blog; if any music book we forgot, do let us know in the comment section below.  

If you find this blog helpful, you can read more about digital marketing tips for musicians and classical music tunes

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