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Twelve Days of Christmas - Day 11

Books! The holidays aren't complete without at least one excellent book...

Here are a trio of books that have been holding my attention at least since last year (some for much longer). Instead of reading many new books I tend to read a few books many times over, so my list is really small but dense!

No. 1 Tone Moves by Luca Chiantore - Originally written in Spanish and entitled Historia de la técnica pianística, this book is required reading for any serious pianist. Chiantore traces the development of keyboard technique from the 15th century until the modern era. I have never read a more interesting and comprehensive book about piano technique ever. It was recommended to me by the extraordinary Spanish pianist and composer Alex Conde, and it has been a tremendous resource for interpreting classical works.

No. 2 Blood in the Machine by Brian Merchant - Just because this book examines the history of the Luddite movement in England at the end of the 18th century and beginning of the 19th century, does not mean that the dramatic title is unwarranted. The Luddites were a movement of weavers and cloth makers who were desperately attempting to save their livelihoods. Typical accounts of this time set the Luddites against the technology replacing them, as if the factory owners imposing an unsustainable march toward automation had no responsibility for the events that took place. It's an extremely relevant read, especially for musicians as we struggle to piece together our compensation, which has been gutted by streaming services.

No. 3 The Book of Imaginary Beings by Jorge Luis Borges - Borges compiles a handbook of imaginary beings, (some from world mythology, some of his own creation) and assembles it into a beautiful observation of the human psyche—and I do mean beautiful...


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