A textbook for anyone who has ever dreamed of getting their music writing published.
“The long-running 33 1/3 series is branching out from its usual pocket-sized, album-by-album format to round up some of the best writing about music from the sharpest minds in the business.” – Fact Magazine
“The best critics make it look easy, but figuring out how and why music works on us—why certain sounds and melodies can incite ecstasy or devastation—is extraordinarily tough work. This smartly compiled primer, the first of its kind, is jammed full of priceless advice on how to make it happen.” – Amanda Petrusich, author of Do Not Sell At Any Price: The Wild, Obsessive Hunt for the World’s Rarest 78rpm Records
“It is remarkable that while there have been plenty of music history books and biographies, there has never really been a guide about the profession and just how to get started in it–until now … Excerpts of writings from the series are included in this guide as well as from other books, magazines and blogs. Specific areas about music journalism from crafting the live review to writing artist profiles are augmented by tips from writers and editors; there’s even a section on how to pitch a 33 1/3 book.” – David Chiu, Brooklyn Based
If writing about music is like dancing about architecture, you’d do best to hone your chops and avoid clichés (like the one that begins this sentence) by learning from the prime movers. How to Write About Music offers a selection of the best writers on what is perhaps our most universally beloved art form. Selections from the critically-acclaimed 33 1/3 series appear alongside new interviews and insights from authors like Lester Bangs, Chuck Klosterman, Owen Pallet, Ann Powers and Alex Ross.
How to Write About Music includes primary sources of inspiration from a variety of go-to genres such as the album review, the personal essay, the blog post and the interview along with tips, writing prompts and advice from the writers themselves. Music critics of the past and the present offer inspiration through their work on artists like Black Sabbath, Daft Punk, J Dilla, Joy Division, Kanye West, Neutral Milk Hotel, Radiohead, Pussy Riot and countless others.
The editors interviewed over 40 working music writers so within these pages you will find actual advice and war stories from: Kyle Anderson, Pete Astor, Nick Attfield, Michael Azerrad, Michael Barclay, Joe Bonomo, Franklin Bruno, Bryan Charles, Kim Cooper, Phillip Crandall, Drew Daniel, Marty Davis, Jim DeRogatis, Kevin Dettmar, Bruce Eaton, D.X. Ferris, Jim Fusilli, Matthew Gasteier, Rob Harvilla, Tony Herrington, Anthony Kwame Harrison, Richard Henderson, Jessica Hopper, Sam Inglis, Casey Jarman, Matt LeMay, Jonathan Lethem, Marvin Lin, Paul Morley, Simon Morrison, Evie Nagy, Chris Ott, Oliver Primus, Mark Richardson, Luis Sanchez, Rob Sheffield, Ross Simonini, Ben Sisario, Scott Tennent, Luke Turner, RJ Wheaton, Carl Wilson, Douglas Wolk, Alex Young and Lindsey Zoladz.