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A Sound Mind

How I Fell in Love With Classical Music (and Decided to Rewrite its Entire History)

Paul Morley

Bloomsbury Publishing

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ISBN10: 1635570263
ISBN13: 9781635570267


624 Pages



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Paul Morley made his name as a journalist covering the rock and pop of the 1970s and 1980s. But as his career progressed, he found himself drawn toward developing technologies, streaming platforms, and, increasingly, the music from the past that streaming services now made available. Suddenly able to access every piece Mozart or Bach had ever written and to curate playlists that worked with these musicians' themes across different performers, composers, and eras, he began to understand classical music in a whole new way and to believe that it was music at its most dramatic and revealing.

In A Sound Mind, Morley takes readers along on his journey into the history and future of classical music. His descriptions, explanations, and guidance make this seemingly arcane genre more friendly to listeners and show the music's power, depth, and timeless beauty. In Morley's capable hands, the history of the classical genre is shown to be the history of all music, with these long-ago pieces influencing everyone from jazz greats to punk rockers and the pop musicians of today.


Praise for A Sound Mind

“Morley remains a brilliant conductorof music, of ideas, of inexplicable flashes of lightning. He knows the score.”The Sunday Times

“An intoxicating journey into classical music . . . [Morley] expertly probes classical composers' agitated minds and collective oeuvres. Adeptly framing observations of pop, rock, and classical music within the context of the industry, Morley also underscores extraordinary changes in our time, highlighting the rapid growth of technology and its impact on music . . . A rich resource for music lovers.”Booklist

“A thoughtful work full of fresh observations and strong opinions . . . [Morley's] writing strikes just the right note: erudite but edgy, entertaining but enlightening. An excellent guide for anyone interested in expanding their musical horizons.”Library Journal

“Morley delivers many perceptive, tunefully written passages.”Publishers Weekly

About the author

Paul Morley

Paul Morley has worked as a music journalist, pop svengali, and broadcaster. He is the author of a number of books on music-The Awfully Big Adventure: Michael Jackson in the Afterlife; The Age of Bowie: How David Bowie Made a World of Difference; Ask: The Chatter of Pop; Words and Music: A History of Pop in the Shape of a City-as well as two acclaimed memoirs. Paul has written for a number of publications, including the New Statesman, the Sunday Telegraph, NME, the Observer, and the Guardian. He lives in London.