Music Audiobooks

Greetings and welcome to a new Flute Friday/Saturday. Mercury retrograde is finally ending on Monday! Any projects that you have been struggling to get done during this time will start moving forward again.  Hope this week is indeed very productive for all of my readers.

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Earlier this week I was listening to one of my favorite inspirational audiobooks on my Audible app, You are a Badass by Jen Sincero (I often do this while folding laundry or taking my lunchtime walk by the local creek). I began to think about what other books may be available on Audible and if, maybe, some of the great flute books and treatises have be translated to audiobook. Unfortunately, this is a niche that has not been explored yet on Audible…BUT there are a number of other great audiobooks about music, music history, music biographies, and much, much more. Listening to audiobooks while performing passive activities such as laundry, cooking, or taking a stroll through the park is a good way to efficiently absorb new ideas or review some forgotten lessons from yesteryear. Today’s blog features 10 very good audiobooks about music that are currently available on

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If you do not yet have an Audible subscription, you may sign up for a free 30-day trial. After that, it’s only $14.95/month which gives you 1 credit to use on any audiobook (even if the normal download price is waaaay above $14.95). You also get 30% off any additional Audible purchases. The app is free to download on your phone and allows you to upload and store audiobooks directly on your device (meaning you do not need to be connected to the internet to enjoy your audiobooks – hello, plane ride!). The best part is that you can cancel anytime and keep all of your audiobooks. I have done this several times (cancel, renew, cancel, renew) and have never lost any of my books. Of course, I always end up going back to Audible because it is so awesome and I get a lot out of listening to audiobooks. I am a busy woman! I need to mutli-task whenever possible. Pro-Tip: Keep your eyes peeled on Groupon for special subscription deals. I once got a free 3-month subscription rather than the standard 1-month by going through Groupon.

To subscribe for your free trial, please click here:

Top 10 Music Audiobooks at Audible

  1.  How to Listen to and Understand Great Music, 3rd Edition; Narrated by: Professor Robert Greenberg Ph.D. University of California Berkeley

How to Listen to and Understand Great Music, 3rd Edition

Publisher’s Summary: If you have ever longed to appreciate great concert music, to learn its glorious language and share in its sublime pleasures, the way is now open to you, through this series of 48 wonderful lectures designed to make music accessible to everyone who yearns to know it, regardless of prior training or knowledge. It’s a lecture series that will enable you to first grasp music’s forms, techniques, and terms – the grammatical elements that make you fluent in its language – and then use that newfound fluency to finally hear and understand what the greatest composers in history are actually saying to us.

  1. How to Make It in the New Music Business; Practical Tips on Building a Loyal Following and Making a Living as a Musician by: Ari Herstand, Narrated by: Ari Herstand, Derek Sivers

How to Make It in the New Music Business: Practical Tips on Building a Loyal Following and Making a Living as a Musician

Publisher’s Summary: In the last decade, no industry has been through as much upheaval and turmoil as the music industry. If you’re looking for quick fame and instant success, you’re in the wrong field. It’s now a democratic DIY business, and any guide to success in these new waters must be told by someone who’s already survived them. Giving today’s aspiring musicians the practical tools they need to build and maintain a lifelong career, How to Make It in the New Music Business becomes not only a brilliantly compiled tutorial on how to accomplish specific tasks – routing a tour, negotiating contracts, getting paid for Spotify and Pandora plays, or even licensing music to commercials, film, and television – but also a manifesto that encourages musicians to pave their own paths. Iin clear, easy-to-follow chapters, Ari Herstand’s necessary and definitive handbook promises to redefine what it means to make it in the brave new world of professional music.

  1. This Is Your Brain on Music; The Science of a Human Obsession, By: Daniel J. Levitin, Narrated by: Edward Herrmann

This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession

Publisher Summary: In this groundbreaking union of art and science, rocker-turned-neuroscientist Daniel J. Levitin explores the connection between music – its performance, its composition, how we listen to it, why we enjoy it – and the human brain. Drawing on the latest research and on musical examples ranging from Mozart to Duke Ellington to Van Halen, Levitin reveals:

How composers produce some of the most pleasurable effects of listening to music by exploiting the way our brains make sense of the world

Why we are so emotionally attached to the music we listened to as teenagers, whether it was Fleetwood Mac, U2, or Dr. Dre

That practice, rather than talent, is the driving force behind musical expertise

How those insidious little jingles (called earworms) get stuck in our heads

  1. Great Masters: Mozart – His Life and Music, By: The Great Courses, Narrated by: Professor Robert Greenberg Ph.D. University of California Berkeley

Great Masters: Mozart – His Life and Music

Publisher’s Summary: Beginning with an examination of the many myths that surround Mozart to this day, Professor Greenberg offers not only an understanding of his music, but also a realistic view of Mozart the boy and man, from his emergence as youthful prodigy to his posthumous deification.You’ll learn about his difficult and ultimately doomed relationship with his father, his troubled marriage, his relationships with luminaries like Haydn, Emperor Joseph II, and his operatic librettist, Lorenzo da Ponte, and the triumphs and disappointments that marked his career – including the astonishing and inexplicable creative recovery that enabled him to create his great Masonic opera, The Magic Flute, only months before his death.

**SIDE NOTE – There are several other biographies in this series including Haydn, Beethoven and much more. Listening to an audiobook is a great way to understand more about the composers behind the music!

  1. Processing Creativity, The Tools, Practices and Habits Used to Make Music You’re Happy With, By: Jesse Cannon, Narrated by: Jesse Cannon

Processing Creativity: The Tools, Practices and Habits Used to Make Music You’re Happy With

Publisher’s Summary: Covering the pitfalls of creating music, the book thoroughly explores the hidden reasons we actually like music, how to get along with your collaborators, and patterns that help creativity flourish. While every musician says that being creative is the most important part of their life, they barely explore what’s holding back them back from making music they are happy with. When trying to navigate the ways our creative endeavors fail there’s no YouTube tutorial, listicle, or college course that can help navigate the countless creative pitfalls that can ruin your music.

  1. Jazz: A History of America’s Music, By: Geoffrey C. Ward, Ken Burns, Narrated by: LeVar Burton

Jazz: A History of America’s Music

Publisher’s Summary: Here are the stories of the extraordinary men and women who made the music: Louis Armstrong, the fatherless waif whose unrivaled genius helped turn jazz into a soloist’s art and influenced every singer, every instrumentalist who came after him; Duke Ellington, the pampered son of middle-class parents who turned a whole orchestra into his personal instrument, wrote nearly two thousand pieces for it, and captured more of American life than any other composer. Bix Beiderbecke, the doomed cornet prodigy who showed white musicians that they too could make an important contribution to the music; Benny Goodman, the immigrants’ son who learned the clarinet to help feed his family, but who grew up to teach a whole country how to dance; Charlie Parker, who helped lead a musical revolution, only to destroy himself at thirty-four; and Miles Davis, whose search for fresh sounds made him the most influential jazz musician of his generation, and then led him to abandon jazz altogether.

But Jazz is more than a mere biography. The history of the music echoes the history of twentieth-century America. Jazz provided the background for the giddy era that F. Scott Fitzgerald called the Jazz Age. The irresistible pulse of big-band swing lifted the spirits and boosted American morale during the Great Depression and World War II. The virtuosic, demanding style called bebop mirrored the stepped-up pace and dislocation that came with peace. During the Cold War era, jazz served as a propaganda weapon – and forged links with the burgeoning counterculture. The story of jazz encompasses the story of American courtship and show business; the epic growth of cities, and the struggle for civil rights and simple justice that continues into the new millennium.

  1. Maestros and Their Music: The Art and Alchemy of Conducting, By: John Mauceri, Narrated by: John Mauceri

Maestros and Their Music: The Art and Alchemy of Conducting

Publisher’s Summary: John Mauceri brings a lifetime of experience to bear in an unprecedented, hugely informative, consistently entertaining exploration of his profession, rich with anecdotes from decades of working alongside the greatest names of the music world. With candor and humor, Mauceri makes clear that conducting is itself a composition: of legacy and tradition, techniques handed down from master to apprentice – and more than a trace of ineffable magic.

He reveals how conductors approach a piece of music (a calculated combination of personal interpretation, imagination, and insight into the composer’s intent); what it takes to communicate solely through gesture, with sometimes hundreds of performers at once; and the occasionally glamorous, often challenging life of the itinerant maestro. Mauceri, who worked closely with Leonard Bernstein for 18 years, studied with Leopold Stokowski, and was on the faculty of Yale University for 15 years, is the perfect guide to the allure and theater, passion and drudgery, rivalries and relationships of the conducting life.

  1. The History of Classical Music, By: Richard Fawkes, Narrated by: Robert Powell

The History of Classical Music

Publisher’s Summary: From Gregorian Chant to Henryk Gorecki, the first living classical composer to get into the pop album charts, here is the fascinating story of over a thousand years of Western classical music and the composers who have sought to express in music the deepest of human feelings and emotions. Polyphony, sonata form, serial music – many musical expressions are also explained – with the text illustrated by performances from some of the most highly praised recordings of recent years.

  1. Music Practice: The Musician’s Guide to Practicing and Mastering Your Instrument Like a Professional, By: David Dumais, Narrated by: Jennifer Capunitan

Music Practice: The Musician’s Guide to Practicing and Mastering Your Instrument Like a Professional

Publisher’s Summary: Learn all the best practice tips, tricks, and techniques used by the greatest musicians in the world – all for the price of a coffee!

Do you want to know how to practice like the professionals do? Are you struggling with your playing? Having trouble getting motivated? Do you want to improve your playing and bring it to the next level. If you are serious about playing, practicing, and improving your skills on your instrument, then this audiobook is for you! Whether you are a beginner or professional, classically trained or not, this audiobook contains proven strategies that can be applied by anybody. This audiobook is a compilation of the best practice tips and strategies from the best musicians in the world. You will learn practice tips used by world class musicians, ranging from pianists to violinists, and trumpeters to clarinetists. This audiobook contains over 80 tips for practicing everything from rhythm to intonation to challenging passages. You will learn how to practice effectively and efficiently.

  1. The Talent Code: Unlocking the Secret of Skill in Sports, Art, Music, Math, and Just About Anything, By: Daniel Coyle, Narrated by: John Farrell

The Talent Code: Unlocking the Secret of Skill in Sports, Art, Music, Math, and Just About Anything

Publisher’s Summary: How does a penniless Russian tennis club with one indoor court create more top 20 women players than the entire United States? How did a small town in rural Italy produce the dozens of painters and sculptors who ignited the Italian Renaissance? Why are so many great soccer players from Brazil?

Where does talent come from, and how does it grow?

New research has revealed that myelin, once considered an inert form of insulation for brain cells, may be the holy grail of acquiring skill. Journalist Daniel Coyle spent years investigating talent hotbeds, interviewing world-class practitioners (top soccer players, violinists, fighter, pilots, artists, and bank robbers) and neuroscientists. In clear, accessible language, he presents a solid strategy for skill acquisition – in athletics, fine arts, languages, science or math – that can be successfully applied through a person’s entire lifespan.

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Do you have any favorite audiobooks about music? Did you know there were books about music on Audible? Which flute books do you think should be available on Audible? How do you listen to audiobooks? Do they help you to multitask? Please comment below!

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Happy Fluting!


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