Hello everyone! After eight months of waiting, it is time to review a book that you have been waiting to hear about. Today I am going to review Hit Me with Music by Anupama (Anu) Pattabiraman and Uri Bram. Before I start the review, I would like to say thank you to Anu for donating a copy to review.
To begin this review, I feel like there was a few things that I do not think was in all the editions but was in mine. In the edition I read and reviewed there was several cases of double and triple spaces. I have heard of errors like this happening hence why I am assuming it was my computer. Also there was not any page numbers. The Kindle app set there was “locations” instead of page numbers. I could be wrong about it, but just in case this was something with my copy or how I added it to Kindle. If there are any other reports of this happening, then feel free to comment them to me.
With these slight slip ups aside, there was a lot to really like about this book. The first thing I really liked was the diagrams and the examples. They are very useful in explaining concepts as complex as these. Using Do Re Mi from “The Sound of Music” to explain solfege and Livin’ on a Prayer by Bon Jovi to explain rhythm had me laughing. They are rarely used together to explain something from a traditional standpoint, let alone in music all together. Along with that, the concept of explaining how intervals are derived and some scales were explained really well. There is a lot of information that is not commonly taught in school unless you are in graduate school or learn to compose. While these are wonderful points, I only have one real “complaint” about the book.
The main thing I did not really like about the book is it appears to be in a sort of “theory limbo”. I would like to view the book one of two ways: A.) from the perspective of a novice wanting an affordable substitution to get me started into music than trusting random people online or B.) A book that expands what I was taught in school by edging the bar forward more. The problem I felt with the book is it falls in that middle, with information a little too advanced for someone new to music or a little of the watered down side to someone whom has been through school. While this is not a bad thing overall I felt like there was not really a clear direction that the book was going in besides providing good information. Whenever I read the Amazon description, I felt like it did not help clarify my question either. Same thing goes for the Kickstarter (yea, I went into the archives and looked over it again). It did not really explain the book as well as it should, which I kind of feel like it missed the metaphorical “bar” by not completely answering the questions it imposed. Again, while this is not a bad thing against the book, it left my “let’s pretend I’m not a musician” side wondering why this did not really happen. In the case of my usual self why were they teaching the ratio of a tritone (augmented 4th/ diminished 5th) is 64:45 but not explaining modes, other chord progressions besides the couple that are in here or even 7th chord construction?
After putting everything into retrospect, I feel like this opinion was swayed more as a bias of expectation than really reviewing. I was expecting one thing and it did not happen. While that counts into the overall score of the book, it will not be taken from the amount of uses that it does have. It is a good book for both groups of people mentioned before: People whom are new to music and want a solid crash course, and to those who are interested into the makeup of music. There is a lot of useful information for those in either party. At the price of $3.99 at the time of writing this, it is well worth the money should you choose to buy it. There are other options for whichever market you are into but very few if any are at this price. With everything considered, I rate the book Hit Me With Music a 4 out of 5 stars. While the information is great and the examples are really great, it shuffles the information that it presents into that “theory limbo”. If you are not concerned with that, then this book is great and is worth buying!
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