How Music REALLY Works!
Handbook for Songwriters, Performers, and Music Students, 2nd Ed.,
by Wayne Chase
Standard Song List and all of the charts featured at this website
in the book, How Music REALLY Works!, 2nd Edition. The book has its own website where you can
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How Music REALLY Works!: The Essential Handbook for
Performers, and Music Students (2nd
Author: Wayne Chase
Page Count: 890 pages
Publisher: Roedy Black Publishing, Vancouver, Canada
ISBN: 1-897311-55-9 (print); 1-897311-56-7 (PDF electronic)
Dimensions: 9.0 x 6.0 x 1.8 inches (22.9 x 15.9 x 4.6 cm)
Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (1.2
Chord Progression Chart
REALLY Works!, 2nd Edition, focuses
on specific techniques a player, vocalist, or songwriter can use to seize
the attention of listeners and move them emotionally.
For the benefit
of the majority of musicians (amateur and pro) who do not read music, the
book contains no music notation. Instead it provides
in-depth, visually-oriented, easy-to-understand (and humorous!) text and
graphics covering every important aspect of music-making and
The book has 4
PART I: The Big Picture
PART II: Essential Building Blocks of Music
PART III: How to Create Emotionally Powerful Music and Lyrics
PART IV: Making a Living in Music
I: The Big Picture
What Music REALLY Is, Who Makes It, Where, When, Why, presents a substantive
treatment of the evolutionary roots of the human ability to make music.
The chapter focuses on why music is such an emotionally powerful way of
What the Popular Music Industry REALLY Is, and Where It Came From,
takes the reader on a tour of the major genres of Western music:
folk/roots, classical, musical/film, jazz, blues, ragtime,
country/bluegrass, gospel, swing, R & B/soul, rock/pop, reggae, dance/electronica,
II: Essential Building Blocks of Music
Chapter 3: How
Tones and Overtones REALLY Work, covers topics such as the
harmonic series, how the various types of musical instruments work
(including the voice), and the emotional effects of pitch, loudness, and
Chapter 4: How
Scales and Intervals REALLY Work, discusses the emotional
effects of various types of intervals. Topics include scales used in the
West, including blues and pentatonic, as well as scales used in the Arabic
world, India, China, etc.
Chapter 5: How
Keys and Modes REALLY Work, covers the major and minor modes,
and also the “Church modes”: Dorian, Phrygian, Lydian, Mixolydian, and
Locrian. Other topics include tuning, temperament, transposing,
modulation, and tonality.
III: How to Create Emotionally Powerful Music
Chapter 6: How
Chords and Chord Progressions REALLY Work, introduces a simple
visual method of working out beautiful, original chord progressions. This
chapter includes dozens of examples of songs with great chord progressions, and ends with 10 chord progression guidelines designed to maximize
Chapter 7: How
Beat, Pulse, Meter, Tempo, and Rhythm REALLY Work, begins with
an examination of the role of memory in music, then discusses each element
of rhythm (beat, pulse, meter, etc.), how they all relate to each other,
and how to manipulate the various elements to maximize emotional impact.
Chapter 8: How
Phrase and Form REALLY Work, highlights the differences between
vocal-melodic phrases and structural phrases, and the central role of
Chapter 9: How
Melody and Melody-Harmony Integration REALLY Work, provides an
in-depth treatment of melody, including many examples of brilliant tunes
and why they work. The chapter presents 10 specific techniques a
songwriter or composer can use to create emotionally powerful tunes.
How Lyrics REALLY Work, provides a detailed blueprint for
writing lyrics that communicate emotional meaning in the strongest, most
effective ways possible. The chapter includes 10 specific techniques for
maximizing lyrical emotion and power.
How Repertoire, Signature, and Performance REALLY Work, closes Part
III with a “how-to” discussion of a musician’s signature sound and style.
Other topics in this chapter include dealing with stage fright and live sound mixing.
IV: Making a Living in Music
Chapter 12: How the Music Business and Music Entrepreneurship REALLY Work,
look at, among other things, the elements of a performer’s public image.
The chapter discusses the advantages and
disadvantages of starting one’s own label vs signing with an
independent or major label.
The book ends
- chapter notes
- an extensive bibliography
- a detailed index
How Music REALLY Works!, 2nd Ed. Order Page