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Cover for Play It Loud

Play It Loud

Instruments of Rock & Roll

Jayson Dobney, Craig Inciardi, Anthony DeCurtis (Contributions by), Alan DiPerna (Contributions by), David Fricke (Contributions by), Holly George-Warren (Contributions by), Matthew Hill (Contributions by)


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A brash and dazzling celebration of the instruments that created the sounds of rock and roll from the 1940s to the present day

Play It Loud celebrates the musical instruments that gave rock and roll its signature sound—from Louis Jordan’s alto saxophone and John Lennon’s Rickenbacker to the drum set owned by Metallica’s Lars Ulrich, Lady Gaga’s keytar, and beyond. Seven engrossing essays by veteran music journalists and scholars discuss the technical developments that fostered rock’s seductive riffs and driving rhythms, the thrilling innovations musicians have devised to achieve unique effects, and the visual impact their instruments have had. Abundant photographs depict rock’s most iconic instruments—including Jerry Lee Lewis’s baby grand piano, Chuck Berry’s Gibson ES-350T guitar, Bootsy Collins’s star-shaped bass, Keith Moon’s drum set, and the white Stratocaster Jimi Hendrix played at Woodstock—as works of art in their own right. Produced in collaboration with the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, this astounding book goes behind the music to offer a rare and in-depth look at the instruments that inspired the musicians and made possible the songs we know and love.

Metropolitan Museum of Art, 9781588396662, 236pp.

Publication Date: April 23, 2019

About the Author

Jayson Kerr Dobney is Frederick P. Rose Curator in Charge of the Department of Musical Instruments at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Craig J. Inciardi is curator and director of acquisitions at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland.