Library Notes: Exploring the histories of music can strike a chord with the curious – Salisbury Post


Library Notes: Exploring Music’s Histories Can Strike a Chord for the Curious

Published at 00:00 on Saturday, October 8, 2022

By Stephanie Reister
Rowan Public Library

Music is considered a universal language, but as George Bernard Shaw joked, “Although music is a universal language, it is spoken with all sorts of accents.” Find your own musical interpretations at the Rowan Public Library.

RPL has a variety of biographies and memoirs of musicians, singers, songwriters and the people who supported them. “Music is History” is written by Questlove, founder of The Roots and musical director of “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”, Grammy winner. It recalls his experiences with music and provides an analysis of American history and contemporary music from 1971 to the present day.

In “Anatomy of a Song,” Wall Street Journal contributor Marc Myers ponders 45 songs that he says transformed rock, rhythm and blues and pop from 1952 to 1991. “Devil’s Music , Holy Rollers and Hillbillies” by James A. Cosby explains the early roots of rock and roll, from slavery to segregation, and discusses the personalities who shaped the genre.

DVDs include music-related movies, artist performances, documentaries, and instrument instruction. “Yesterday” is an offbeat film that explores what happens when only one guy on the planet remembers the Beatles and their music. “Dolly: The Ultimate Collection” is a performance retrospective of the beloved country singer.

North Carolina’s musical history is also represented in RPL’s collections. David Menconi’s “Step it Up & Go” chronicles NC’s contributions to popular music. It profiles artists from the local music scene that spans decades and genres.

RPL’s “Come Gather ‘Round Good People” podcast by librarian David Lamanno shares the story of a folk song with NC links. Lamanno then performs the song, sometimes accompanied by library associate Kim Dinkins. Find the podcast on RPL’s SoundCloud channel at

Maybe you’re inspired to write your own song. Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy shares his approach to songwriting in “How to Write One Song.” It gives readers permission to write one song at a time, without worrying about trying to write multiple songs at once. Tweedy’s humble and approachable style gives budding writers the confidence to write their own lyrics.

Wondering what it takes to make a living as a musician? “How to Make It in the New Music Business” by Ari Herstand is a detailed and up-to-date overview of the industry. Herstand shares his perspective and knowledge of the ever-changing music industry in which do-it-yourself musicians have usurped much of the power of the record labels.

Music is the soundtrack of our lives and there are many stories behind the music itself. Whatever your musical interests, RPL will inevitably have something to please you.

Stephanie Reister is a children’s librarian at the Rowan Public Library.


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