Skip to main content
Cover for The Words and Music of Joni Mitchell (Praeger Singer-Songwriter Collection)

The Words and Music of Joni Mitchell (Praeger Singer-Songwriter Collection)

James Bennighof


List Price: 49.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Few singer-songwriters have been as influential as Joni Mitchell. Her song Both Sides, Now has been recorded over 640 times, while Bill and Hillary Clinton credit her Chelsea Morning as the inspiration for their daughter's name. The Words and Music of Joni Mitchell surveys the entire output of this legendary artist, from her 1968 debut album Song to a SeagulI to her 2007 album Shine.

After a brief overview of Mitchell's career and a chapter that explains some of the important technical features of the guitar styles upon which she draws, the book offers an in-depth discussion of every song Mitchell wrote and recorded. Proceeding chronologically through Mitchell's albums, author James Bennighof clarifies the musical content of the songs and the personality behind the music. Each brief essay describes how important musical features--such as instrumentation, idiosyncratic guitar tunings, harmonic structure, form, and elements of melody and rhythm--interact with the text of the song to create the unforgettable artistic statements for which Mitchell is celebrated.

Praeger, 9780313355943, 236pp.

Publication Date: March 30, 2010

About the Author

James Bennighof, PhD, is professor of music theory and vice provost for academic affairs and policy at Baylor University, Waco, TX.