All the books and videos in this section are in my personal library. These are some of the best out there for information, pictures and instruction. Unfortunately, a lot of these are published by small publishers. The best advice I can give if you are interested in a specific title is go to Amazon or do an Internet search with the title, author or ISBN number.
The Inner Game of Music -- Barry Green and W. Timothy Gallwey
A very good book on developing techniques to express oneself through music. How to find one’s source of creativity that allows for freedom of expression.
Doubleday, ISBN-13: 978-0385231268
Unintentional Music: Releasing Your Deepest Creativity -- Lane Arye
One of the most unique angles on discovering one’s creativity. Psychologist Lane Arye’s premise is that we need to start paying attention to what is trying to happen instead of what we think should happen, showing that “mistakes” in self-expression are in fact treasures.
Hampton Roads Publishing, ISBN-13: 978-1571742605
Free Play--Improvisation in Life and Art -- Stephen Nachmanovitch
Liberate your creativity. An excellent book on improvisation, not only music but ingenuity and creativity in general.
Tarcher/Putnam, ISBN 0 87477 631 7
Improvisation-Its Nature and Practice in Music --Derek Bailey
This is the first book to deal with the nature of improvisation and all its forms. Bailey offers a clear eyed view of the breathtaking spectrum of possibilities inherent in improvisational practice, while underpinning its importance
as the basis for all music-making.
Da Capo Press, ISBN 0 306 80528 6
The Natural Classical Guitar -- Lee F. Ryan
Presents a holistic approach with ten principles that will help you develop yourself as well as your playing. The basic principle is to let nature support you in every way so that your playing is as effortless as possible.
Prentice-Hall, ISBN 0 13 610071 6
Just Being at the Piano -- Mildred Portney Chase
(This book has sort of become a classic, hence it might be expensive to obtain a copy.)
Showing how to use central joy, deep involvement, balance and alignment to create
while practicing, improvising, sight-reading, etc.
Creative Arts Book Co, ISBN-13: 978-0916870942
Ways of the Hand -- David Sudnow
Another pianist showing the scope of the human consciousness as we learn and experience music. Although there is a good deal of musical detail, almost all of it can be followed and applied by non-musicians.
The MIT Press, ISBN-13: 978-0262691611
The Music Lesson: A Spiritual Search for Growth Through Music -- Victor Wooten
This is one of my favorite books on music. It’s the true (?) story of bassist Victor Wooten and his encounters with “Michael” and some other remarkable musicians. Very enlightening!
Berkley Trade, ISBN-13: 978-0425220931
Music and the Power of Sound: The Influence of Tuning and Interval on Consciousness -- Alain Daniélou
In this book, Daniélou traces the development of musical scales from their origins in China and India, through their merging in ancient Greece and Persia onto the development of the Western musical traditions of modal and polyphonic music. He shows how music, above all arts, has always been esteemed for its power to speak directly to our higher consciousness. Due to its unchanging laws of number and proportion, music embodies the fundamental metaphysical principles underlying everyday reality.
Inner Traditions, ISBN-13: 978-0892813360
The Secret Power of Music -- David Tame
The transformation of self and society through musical energy. Drawing upon the wisdom of ancient civilizations as well as contemporary scientific data, David Tame offers a challenging and timely alternative view to the widely-held modern notion that music is an intangible art form of little practical significance.
Destiny Books, ISBN 0 89281 056 4
The Hidden Face of Music -- Herbert Whone
This is a series of essays dealing with the deeper implications of music, demonstrating how the laws which govern music also govern man, Nature and the universe.
The Camelot Press Ltd, London and Southampton, ISBN 0-575-01739-2
Music: Its Secret influence Throughout the Ages -- Cyril Scott
An eminent British composer examines the secret influence of music and its functions
in all aspects of man’s esoteric traditions.
Red Wheel Weiser, ISBN-13: 978-0877283157
The Mysticism of Sound -- Hazrat Inayat Khan
Contains brilliant essays on the power of sound and music by the Sufi teacher who moved to the West from India.
Random House, Inc. ISBN 1-57062-231-0
Music: The Keynote of Human Evolution -- Corinne Heline
Demonstrating that all life is vibration and how differentiation is due to varying rates thereof. Hence, vibration, which includes music, is the key to both health and sickness. Heline demonstrates in this book how music can be considered the noblest of all arts.
New Age Press, Inc, ASIN: B001L1XV5S
The Spiritual Dimensions of Music: Altering Consciousness for Inner Development -- R. J. Stewart
Musician, composer and author, R. J. Stewart, presents a practical theory of consciousness- expansion through music.
He explains how sound as music can cause measurable changes in emotion and vitality.
Destiny Books, ISBN-13: 978-0892813124
The Third Ear -- Joachim-Ernst Berendt
Berendt has lived in cultures all over the world, and has studied their attitudes toward listening. At the core of almost every spiritual tradition lies the knowledge that the world is made of sound and that the way to wisdom lies through the ear. "Difficult reading, but well worth the effort."
Owl Books, ISBN 0 8050 2007 1
The Magic of Tone and the Art of Music -- Dane Rudhyar
Dane Rudhyar is one of the legends of the metaphysical side of music and a composer, philosopher, poet, painter, aesthetic theoretician and astrologer. Drawing on 70 years of experience, he reveals an understanding of the development of music that is inseparable from an understanding of the evolution of the human mind
and how the creation of music can help bring about a synthesis of East and West.
Shambhala, ISBN-13: 978-0394708874
Nada Brahma: The World is Sound --Joachim-Ernst Berendt
Music and landscape of consciousness. Berendt embarked on a path that took him throughout America, Europe and Asia, Africa and Latin America, exploring diverse traditions and revealing the universal importance of sound in shaping cultural and spiritual life. "Challenging reading, but excellent."
Destiny Books, ISBN 0 89281 168 4
Harmonograph--A Visual Guide to the Mathematics of Music -- Anthony Ashton
During the 19th Century, a remarkable scientific instrument known as the harmonograph reveals the beautiful patterns found in music. This book is an introduction to the evolution of simple harmonic theory, from the discoveries of Pythagoras to diatonic tuning and equal temperament.
Wooden Books ISBN 978 0 8027 1409 1
Cymatics—A Study of Wave Phenomena and Vibration -- Hans Jenny
Cymatics, the study of wave phenomena, is a science pioneered by Swiss medical doctor Hans Jenny. The current edition is a combination of the original volumes 1 and 2, published in the 60’s, with a stunning array of images reflecting a variety of geometric patterns throughout nature, art and architecture. These universal patterns show us the effect of sound on matter.
Macromedia Publishing ISBN 978-1-888-13807-8
Water Sound Images—The Creative Music of the Universe -- Alexander Lauterwasser
Photographer and researcher Alexander Lauterwasser further develops the sound-produced,
awe-inspiring images made famous by Ernst Chladni and Dr. Hans Jenny.
This book has some of the most beautiful color photos of this phenomenon.
Macromedia Publishing, ISBN 978-1-888138-09-2
The Life of Music in North India -- Daniel M. Neuman
Drawing primarily from field work performed in Delhi in 1969-71 - from interviewing musicians, learning and performing on the Indian Sarangi, and speaking with music connoisseurs - Neuman examines the cultural and social matrix of Hindustani music.
University of Chicago Press, ISBN 0 226 57516 0
Ragopedia: Vol. One -- Batish
An exhaustive encyclopedia of the rags (scales) of North India. Notated in Western staff and Indian sargam. Also contains a good overview of Indian music theory.
Batish Records, 1-800-724-6252
Dawn of Indian Music in the West -- Peter Lavezzoli
A very readable book chronicling the development of interest in the music of India in the West, tracing its modern renaissance through Ravi Shankar, Ali Akbar Khan, George Harrison, John Coltrain and the spread of its influence throughout Western music and culture.
Continuum, ISBN-13: 978-0826428196
Raga Mala: The Autobiography of Ravi Shankar --Ravi Shankar
This is unprecedented look at Ravi Shankar, master of the Indian sitar, and one of the most enduring and inspirational performers of the 20th Century. During a career spanning seven decades, he has performed for countless millions and earned the respect and admiration of his fellow musicians, East and West.
Written in a very charming and candid manner, this book covers his fascinating life to the present day. Welcsome Rain Publishers, ISBN-13: 978-1566491044
The Music of the Arabs --Habib Hassan Touma
This book presents an overview of the musical life of the Arabs throughout their cultural history and examines the artistic output of musicians involved in performing and nurturing Arabian art music today.
"Contains lots of photos and musical examples."
Amadeus Press, ISBN 0 931340 88 8
The Art of Persian Music --Jean During
This book provides the keys and definitions essential for understanding Persian music: it's history, instruments, repertory, organization, rhythms and modes (or dastgahs). Through quotes and anecdotes by and about masters passed and present, the reader can grasp the spirit and philosophy of Persian music.
"Contains fantastic photography plus a CD. This is as good as it gets."
Mage Publishers, ISBN 0 934211 22 1
Musical Instruments of the World
An illustrated encyclopedia with more than 4,000 original drawings.
Sterling Publishing Co., ISBN 0 8069 9847 4
Eye Witness Books: Music
"Though this is a children's book, it contains excellent close-up photography of many rare,
beautiful, ancient and exotic instruments."
Alfred A. Knopf, ISBN 0 394 82259 5