How to Listen to Jazz (Paperback)

By Ted Gioia

Basic Books, 9780465093496, 272pp.

Publication Date: September 19, 2017

Other Editions of This Title:
Digital Audiobook (9/18/2017)

List Price: 16.99*
* Individual store prices may vary.


An acclaimed music scholar presents an accessible introduction to the art of listening to jazz

In How to Listen to Jazz, award-winning music scholar Ted Gioia presents a lively introduction to one of America's premier art forms. He tells us what to listen for in a performance and includes a guide to today's leading jazz musicians. From Louis Armstrong's innovative sounds to the jazz-rock fusion of Miles Davis, Gioia covers the music's history and reveals the building blocks of improvisation. A true love letter to jazz by a foremost expert, How to Listen to Jazz is a must-read for anyone who's ever wanted to understand and better appreciate America's greatest contribution to music.

"Mr. Gioia could not have done a better job. Through him, jazz might even find new devotees." -- Economist

About the Author

Ted Gioia is a music historian and the author of eleven books, including How to Listen to Jazz. His three previous books on the social history of music -- Work Songs, Healing Songs, and Love Songs -- have each been honored with ASCAP Deems Taylor Award. Gioia's wide-ranging activities as a critic, scholar, performer and educator have established him as a leading global guide to music past, present, and future.

Praise For How to Listen to Jazz

"Mr. Gioia could not have done a better job. Through him, jazz might even find new devotees." Economist

"How to Listen to Jazz is an effort to teach casual listeners how
'careful listening can demystify virtually all of the intricacies and marvels
of jazz.'"—New York Times

"How to Listen to Jazz fills an important and obvious gap by
offering a sensible and jargon-free introduction to what Gioia calls 'the most
joyous sound invented during the entire course of twentieth-century music.' The
book deserves a place alongside such classic works of jazz criticism as Martin
Williams's The Jazz Tradition,
Will Friedwald's Jazz Singing,
the books of Gary Giddins and Gioia's own The History of Jazz."—Washington Post

"[How to Listen to Jazz is a]
satisfying new book.... One of the best features of the book is a set of 'music
maps,' as Mr. Gioia calls them, that serve as a guide to individual
recordings."—Wall Street Journal

"His prose is brisk and
well-paced, with many surprising insights along the way.... It's also a lot of
fun, and before long you're no longer just a listener but an active participant
in the music."—Washington Post

"How to Listen
to Jazz is
a packed and useful introduction to the medium with
suggestions and aids for the listener who wants to gain entrance to a rich and
complicated body of work."—Weekly Standard

to Listen to Jazz
is a thorough, impassioned guide to a sound that
tends either to inspire deep, almost religious devotion or cause eyes to go crossed...[Gioia]
elucidates the music in a way that increases the listener's sense of awe and
wonder, rather than supplants it."—Columbia Daily Tribune

"Gioia's engaging yet authoritative style makes How to Listen to Jazz not just a
valuable primer but a delight to read."—City Journal (online)

A perfect begin an understanding of a music
that is, in truth, very, very easy to love."—Buffalo News

"How to Listen
to Jazz
is a fresh, clearly written and infinitely usable book that
should put the jazz novice on track."—Library Journal

"A pretense-free primer on
learning to appreciate jazz.... Curious neophytes can start here."—Mojo

"As jazz enters its second century, becoming more
multi-faceted apace, guidance for the novice--listener or musician--is more
useful than ever, and Ted Gioia offers it expertly, in blessedly readable
prose."—Dan Morgenstern, Director emeritus, Institute of Jazz Studies and author of Living with Jazz

"This book does what so many have tried to and failed:
it teaches without preaching and empowers the reader to search for their own understanding
and preferences. It's a welcome and needed addition to everyone's bookshelf."—Wayne Winborne, Executive Director, Institute of Jazz Studies