Ways of Hearing
Our new Book
LISTEN ALONG: Access the companion playlist that highlights the music written about in the book.
VIRTUAL BOOK LAUNCH: Watch a live panel discussion moderated by co-editor SCOTT BURNHAM, with book contributors musician WU FEI, poet JANE HIRSHFIELD, scholar ELAINE PAGELS, and musician ABIGAIL WASHBURN.
Ways of Hearing:
Reflections on Music in 26 Pieces
An anthology, conceived in celebration of Princeton University Concerts’ 125th anniversary season, in which notable musicians, artists, scientists, thinkers, poets, and more explore the influence of music on their lives and work.
What happens when extraordinary creative spirits—musicians, poets, critics, and scholars, as well as an architect, visual artist, filmmaker, scientist, and a legendary Supreme Court justice—are asked to reflect on their favorite music? The result is Ways of Hearing, a diverse collection that explores the ways music shapes us and our shared culture. These acts of musical witness bear fruit through personal essays, conversations and interviews, improvisatory meditations, poetry, and visual art. They sound the depths of a remarkable range of musical genres, including opera, jazz, bluegrass, and concert music both classical and contemporary.
This expansive volume spans styles and subjects, including Pico Iyer’s meditations on Handel, Arnold Steinhardt’s thoughts on Beethoven’s Grosse Fuge, and Laurie Anderson and Edgar Choueiri’s manifesto for spatial music. Richard Powers discusses the one thing about music he’s never told anyone, Daphne Brooks draws sonic connections between Toni Morrison and Cecile McLorin Salvant, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg reveals what she thinks is the sexiest duet in opera. Poems interspersed throughout further expand how we can imagine and respond to music. Ways of Hearing is a book for our times that celebrates the infinite ways music enhances our lives.
Laurie Anderson, Performance Artist/Composer with Edgar Choueiri, Scholar
Jamie Barton, Mezzo-Soprano
Daphne Brooks, Scholar
Jeff Dolven, Scholar
Gustavo Dudamel, Conductor
Edward Dusinberre, Violinist (Takács String Quartet)
Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim, Journalist
Frank Gehry, Architect
Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Supreme Court Justice with James Ginsburg, Record Producer
Jane Hirshfield, Poet
Pico Iyer, Writer
Alexander Kluge, Scholar
Nathaniel Mackey, Poet
Maureen McLane, Poet
Alicia Hall Moran, Vocalist with Jason Moran, Pianist
Paul Muldoon, Poet
Elaine Pagels, Scholar
Robert Pinsky, Poet
Richard Powers, Writer
Brian Seibert, Journalist
Arnold Steinhardt, Violinist
Susan Stewart, Poet
Abigail Washburn, Banjo Player with Wu Fei, Guzheng Player
Carrie Mae Weems, Visual Artist
Susan Wheeler, Poet
C.K. Williams, Poet
Published by Princeton University Press.