Ed Driscoll

In The Mail: Two Books On The Language Of Music

In the mail today were two soon to be released books on the language of music: first up, Rikky Rooksby’s How To Write Songs On Keyboards. I’ve interviewed Rikky a couple of times for magazine articles, and he has a seemingly endless knowledge of pop music’s history–on both sides of the Atlantic–from the Beatles to the present day. He’s already written several books on songwriting for the guitar (including this one, which was a tremendous eye-opener when I began playing seriously again around 2001); here he teaches songwriting craftsmanship to (as the title implies) keyboard players, who have many more options in terms of harmony more easily under their fingertips than the typical guitarist.

Also in the mail, a galley edition of The Language of the Blues, by Debra DeSalvo (with an introduction by the Night Tripper himself, New Orleans’ favorite son, Dr. John). Due out in January, this isn’t a music book per se–it’s a glossary of blues-oriented lingo, including words and phrases such as The Dozens, Cutting Contests, Vestapool and many more. If you’ve ever wandered what exactly a Stingaree is and how the word was derived, then this is your book! (Warning for curious parents: there are definitions of 12-letter words that make this book more than a little unsuitable for children.)

I’ll have more detailed reviews of both books over at Blogcritics–and I’ll let you know when they’re online.