Love Songs: The Hidden History (Hardback)
  • Love Songs: The Hidden History (Hardback)
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Love Songs: The Hidden History (Hardback)

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£17.99
Hardback 336 Pages / Published: 05/02/2015
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The love song is timeless. From its beginnings, it has been shaped by bohemians and renegades, slaves and oppressed minorities, prostitutes, immigrants and other excluded groups. But what do we really know about the origins of these intimate expressions of the heart? And how have our changing perceptions about topics such as sexuality and gender roles changed our attitudes towards these songs? In Love Songs: The Hidden History, Ted Gioia uncovers the unexplored story of the love song for the first time. Drawing on two decades of research, Gioia presents the full range of love songs, from the fertility rites of ancient cultures to the sexualized YouTube videos of the present day. The book traces the battles over each new insurgency in the music of love-whether spurred by wandering scholars of medieval days or by four lads from Liverpool in more recent times. In these pages, Gioia reveals that the tenderest music has, in different eras, driven many of the most heated cultural conflicts, and how the humble love song has played a key role in expanding the sphere of individualism and personal autonomy in societies around the world. Gioia forefronts the conflicts, controversies, and the battles over censorship and suppression spurred by such music, revealing the outsiders and marginalized groups that have played a decisive role in shaping our songs of romance and courtship, and the ways their innovations have led to reprisals and strife. And he describes the surprising paths by which the love song has triumphed over these obstacles, and emerged as the dominant form of musical expression in modern society.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199357574
Number of pages: 336
Weight: 602 g
Dimensions: 237 x 163 x 29 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
[a] wide-ranging and fascinating study * PD Smith, The Guardian *
Extremely comprehensive, covering a huge swath of global music history in a conversational yet knowledgeable style. * The Australian, John McBeath *
Gioia's book covers a tremendous amount of ground and gives you something to remember on almost every page. * New Yorker, Adam Gopnik *
[Gioia] is one of those rare writers who [is] as comfortable with the comprehensive picture as with the telling example: clear-headed and persuasive as the overall argument of this intriguing book is, it is also packed with fascinating detail about everything from the love story of Dido and Aeneas to the twerking of Miley Cyrus... [Overall] this is an absorbing, provocative but consistently thoughtful study of a somewhat neglected area of musical history, a pioneering and useful complement to Gioias existing studies of Work Songs and Healing Songs. * London Jazz News, Sebastian Scotney *
An illuminating and entertaining book... . As with his previous book on work songs, and his well-known history of jazz, Gioia shows a gift for condensing a vast mass of detail into a graceful narrative... . Vast and fascinating. * Telegraph, Ivan Hewett *
[A] richly researched and heartfelt song book of the ages... Gioia boldly and brilliantly enters the space between the noises of ancient fertility rites and the sexualised music videos of YouTube to discover how melody and love songs, like hearts full of passion, jealousy and hate, are never out of date. * Times *
A fascinating new book... clearly a work of love itself. * Daily Express, Jenny Selway *

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