Black Inc. May 2011 – an updated 3rd edition.
First published in 1997 by Hale & Iremonger (with the title Illegal Harmonies: Music in the 20th century)
The 3rd, updated edition of Andrew Ford’s Illegal Harmonies is available via Black Inc. website in ebook format as well as hard copy.
“Listen. What do you hear?”
The original 10-part radio series that has since its completion been broadcast several times on ABC Classic FM and ABC Radio National: Illegal Harmonies is regarded by many as one of the finest programs produced by ABC Radio in the past decade.
Bruce Elder, Sydney Morning Herald
Modern audiences need to learn how to listen and Andrew Ford might be just the man to do the teaching.
Chris Boyd, Australian Financial Review
Andrew Ford’s mastery of that lively, engaging clarity of style which one associates with seasoned radio broadcasters, enables him to perform a service for non-specialists similar to that provided by Paul Davies in connection with the modern revolution in physics.
Joe Rich, Australian Book Review
You could write a review of this book in four words: Buy it and rejoice.
Geoffrey Tozer, 24 Hours
Illegal Harmonies is a book very hard to put down. It brims with useful information, very up-to-date, and it is splendidly researched, above all written in a friendly, even chatty, but never condescending manner. The finely honed style of writing is a pleasure in itself. And if reading it makes me want to argue about some of its mission statements, that is totally to its credit. I wish I could hear all the music it mentions …
Fred Blanks, Quadrant
It’s both highly and deeply illuminating, and is a delight to read since it sounds like Andrew Ford talking: off the cuff, but with a vivacious lucidity that not many professional authors can rival . . . Ford offers a series of ‘moments’ that remind us of the pristine nature of each musical experience, yet at the same time reveal connections between things superficially disparate. Spotting the links is the heart of intelligence, and I’ll hazard that this is the most intelligent book about modern music that, over a long life, has come my way. . . I can’t do better than conclude with the words with which Ford ends this bravely brilliant book:
We all need to engage with music to some degree or other: with minimalist music, hardly at all; with a composer like Schoenberg, rather a lot. But however good our powers of concentration, however acute our critical faculties, if we want music to be strong enough to help, we must begin by listening, and listening hard. So, listen.
What do you hear?
Wilfrid Mellers, The Musical Times