About Love Songs: The Hidden History: This book represents the
first comprehensive survey of the music of romance, courtship and sexuality,
and encompasses the complete story of the love song from ancient
Mesopotamia to Miley Cyrus. Scrupulously researched over a period of two
decades, Gioia's work will challenge many of the prevalent views of Western
music history, and unravel the surprising (and previously hidden) story of how
the love songs of our time were shaped by influences from Africa and the
Middle East, as well as by the outcasts and bohemians of European society.
Ted Gioia

Did the Love Song Originate in Africa & the Middle East?
The Rise of the Fragmented Novel
Why are Music Scholars Ignoring the Evidence for Musical Universals?
The Adventurer's Guide to Finnegans Wake
Notes on Conceptual Fiction
Has Music Criticism Turned Into Lifestyle Reporting?
Schopenhauer for Millennials
Where Did Music Come From? (NPR Interview)
Vladimir Nabokov, Sci-Fi Writer
How Sartre Cured Existential Angst with Jazz
Bach the Rebel
If John Coltrane Had Lived
Lectures on Proust in a Soviet Prison Camp
Why Gregory Bateson Matters
The Decline of Satire
Music as Cultural Cloud Storage
My Year of Horrible Reading
The Backlash Against Jazz
The Con Man Who Invented American Popular Music
The Bumbling Shostakovich
The Rise of Artisan Music
The Year American Speech Became Art
What We've Learned About the NSA
The 8 Memes of the Postmodern Mystery
Ted Gioia Interviews Composer Terry Riley
Four Essays on Leo Tolstoy
Why the Fuss About Jonathan Franzen?
Slaves for Love: How Bondage Shaped the Love Song
A Conversation About Jazz with Ted Gioia
The 100 Best Recordings of 2020
The 100 Best Recordings of 2019
The 100 Best Recordings of 2018
The 100 Best Recordings of 2017
The 100 Best Recordings of 2016
The 100 Best Recordings of 2015
The 100 Best Recordings of 2014
The 100 Best Recordings of 2013
The 100 Best Recordings of 2012
The 100 Best Recordings of 2011
Franco: The James Brown of Africa
How Alice Got to Wonderland
Does the Music Industry Need Musicianship?
The King of Western Swing
The Weirdest 1960s Novel of Them All
Post Cool
The New Revolt of the Masses
How to Fix Online Music
The Year of Magical Reading
Why Music Ownership Matters
The Tragic Story of America's First Black Music Star
Frank Sinatra at 100
Ella Fitzgerald at 100
Is There a Biological Link Between Music and Violence (video talk)
What is the Clumsiest Classic Novel?
The Crisis in Music (podcast)
The Best Online Essays of 2015
The Best Online Essays of 2016
The Best Online Essays of 2017
The Best Online Essays of 2018
The Best Online Essays of 2019
The Best Online Essays of 2020
The Weird Tales of H.P. Lovecraft
My 10 Favorite Novels on Music
A Conversation with Ted Gioia about Love Songs
The Music of the Tango
The Letter That Changed the Course of Modern Fiction
The End of the Angry Guitar
Is Miles Davis's 'Kind of Blue' Really the Best Jazz Album Ever?
The War Between Music and Mathematics (Video)
How Joan of Arc Conquered Mark Twain
The West Coast Jazz Revival
The Most Intriguing Musicians of 2017
A Look Back at Doris Lessing's The Golden Notebook
Do Blues Musicians Need to be Really, Really Old?
So it Goes: The Unconventional Sci-Fi of Kurt Vonnegut
Twelve Essential Tango Recordings
Alan Lomax and the FBI
Robert Musil and The Man Without Qualities
A History of Cool Jazz in 100 Tracks (Part 1) (Part 2)
Lecture on the History of Love Songs
Henry James, Horror Writer
Why Only Revolutions Will Not Be Televised
David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest
The Crisis in Music (video lecture)
How Good a Singer Was Dean Martin?
How Music Videos Changed Love Songs
Why Bessie Smith Matters
The Zombificaction of Popular Music
Were Ambrose Bierce's Ghost Stories Inspired by Agoraphobia?
Apple's New Paradigm for Music
Fix-Up Artist: The Chaotic SF of A.E. van Vogt
Jazz Vocals in the New Millennium
A History of New Orleans Music in 100 Tracks
The Making of Ulysses
The Great American Novel That Wasn't
In Search of Dupree Bolton
Gulliver's Travels and the Birth of Genre Fiction
Five Essays on Novelist John Fowles
Where Did Our Revolution Go?
How Lester Young Changed the English Language
The Reinvention of the Cowboy Novel
The Many Lives of James Joyce
The Complex Gender History of the Love Song
William Gaddis's The Recognitions
5 Lessons the Music Biz Should Learn from TV
Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch
When Science Fiction Grew Up
The Most Influential Film of the 20th Century Lasts Just 27 Seconds
Whitney Balliett: The Poet of Jazz Writing
12 Memorable Works of Hispanic Fiction
Thomas Pynchon's Inherent Vice
Fear and Self-Loathing in Scandinavia
The Alt Reality Nobel Prize
The Decline of a Great Jazz Record Label
Don DeLillo's Underworld
How NY Became the Center of the Jazz World
Milton Nascimento: 12 Essential Tracks
Is Sleep Music a Real Genre?
Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections
Curse You, Neil Armstrong!
Bill Evans: 12 Essential Tracks
Early Vintage Wynton Marsalis
Remembering Cordwainer Smith
My Favorite American Novel
Q&A with Ted Gioia
The Jazz Pianist JFK Saved
Martin Gardner: The Most Interesting Man in the World
Robert Heinlein at One Hundred
The Fourteen Skies of Michael Chabon
Is Bird Dead?
Philip K. Dick's VALIS
Why Lester Young Matters
Vladimir Nabokov's Pale Fire
Making a Case for Clark Ashton Smith
Italo Calvino's Winter's NIght
Hipsters: The New Scapegoats
B.B. King's Best Performances
The Most Mysterious Woman in Science Fiction
Jonathan Lethem's The Fortress of Solitude
Could Chet Baker Play Jazz?
Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow
The Jazzy Side of Frank Zappa
Fritz Leiber at 100
Günter Grass's The Tin Drum
John Coltrane: Prophet and Seer (video)
David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas
Harlem Jazz: 12 Essential Tracks
Mark Z. Danielweski's House of Leaves
The Postmodern Mystery: 50 Essential Works
Art Tatum at 100: 12 Essential Tracks
Fringe Guitar
J.G. Ballard's Crash
Interview with Dana and Ted Gioia
Robert Johnson and the Devil
Herbie Hancock: 12 Essential Tracks
Remembering Drums of Passion
Three Existential Horror Novels
Keith Jarrett: 12 Essential Tracks
In Defense of The Hobbit
Brad Mehldau: 12 Essential Tracks
David Foster Wallace's The Pale King
The South Asian Tinge in Jazz
The Puzzling Case of Robert Sheckley
Assessing Brad Mehldau at Mid-Career
Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian
Can Clubs Legally Ask Musicians to Play for Free?
Jonathan Littell's The Kindly Ones
Lennie Tristano: 12 Essential Tracks
Virginia Woolf's Orlando
Why Cool is Dead
A Tribute to Richard Matheson
The Pianism of Denny Zeitlin
The Chronicles of Narnia
David Bowie's Jazz-Oriented Valedictory
Tito Puente: The Complete 78s (1949-1955)
Toni Morrison's Beloved
The Tragedy of Richard Twardzik
Michael Chabon's Telegraph Avenue
The Science Fiction of Samuel Delany
Can Tarzan Survive in a Post-Colonial World?
Duke Ellington's Sacred Music
Ian McEwan's Atonement
Can a Dictionary be a Novel?
New Details About the Young William Gaddis
Interview with Ted Gioia (on Delta Blues)
William Gaddis's JR
Roberto Bolaño's 2666
Talking to Myself About the State of Jazz
Harper Lee and Her Great Southern Novel
Thomas Mann's The Magic Mountain
Philip Roth's American Pastoral
Italo Calvino's Neglected Sci-Fi Masterpiece
Ken Kesey's Novel-in-a-Box
How I Learned I Was a Jazz Fan

The Jazz Standards: A Guide to the Repertoire

by Ted Gioia

"If you look up just one title in The Jazz Standards, before you
realize it you will have spent an intriguing hour or two learning
fascinating and new things about old songs that you have
known most of your life."  
Dave Brubeck

"Which is best: interpretation or song? In any case, jazz
and standards are forever locked in loving embrace.  A
finely researched work."
Sonny Rollins

"Mr. Gioia's is the first general-interest, wide-ranging and
authoritative guide to the basic contemporary jazz canon."
Wall Street Journal

"What makes The Jazz Standards so engaging is just this sort
of anecdotal texture, Gioia's ability to write as an inhabitant of
both the tradition and the songs…To read
The Jazz Standards,
then, is not unlike listening to Gioia play his way through this
music, sharing not just what he likes (and dislikes) but also
what he knows."
Los Angeles Times

“Richly informative…Gioia delivers this kind of in-depth notation
(and correction of the record) again and again. Calling them
'the soundtrack of my own life,' he takes the reader through
hundreds of songs….
The Jazz Standards itself is awfully nice
to dip into.”
Washington Post

"In virtually every instance, Gioia delivers."
The Atlantic Monthly

"One man’s repertoire may be another man’s B-list, but when
the man is Ted Gioia, one tends to listen – in both senses.
Gioia, among the most lauded of jazz writers, has chosen more
than 250 songs. He tells the story behind each….Compulsively
readable, and belongs on the shelves of every jazz lover, or jazz-
lover wannabe."
Toronto Globe and Mail

"What a useful and informative book The Jazz Standards is!  
Explaining the jazz repertory in a way that is accessible for
the jazz beginner yet stimulating for the aficionado, Ted
Gioia shows once again why he is one the best jazz
writers around today."  
Gerald Early

"Warning: This book is addictive."
Dallas Morning News

"Gioia is arguably the must lucid writer-historian on jazz...For
browsing, or for remarkably intimate histories of songs and
tunes many know by heart,
The Jazz Standards can’t be beat."
Montreal Gazette

“Gioia writes with an endearing blend of erudition and
opinionating…that makes the book both a delightful browse
and a handy reference and roadmap for jazzophiles.”

"This book should be in the library of every gigging jazz
musician and every serious jazz fan."  
Library Journal
comprehensive guide to the
jazz repertoire, and the latest work
from critic and scholar Ted Gioia.  
The Jazz Standards is a unique
resource, a browser's companion,
and an invaluable introduction
to the art form. This essential book
for music lovers tells the story of
more than 250 key jazz songs,
and includes a listening guide to
more than 2,000 recordings.
Ted Gioia can be contacted at

For promotional photos, click here

Also visit
Great Books Guide
The New Canon
Conceptual Fiction
Postmodern Mystery
Fractious Fiction
Ted's Twitter Feed
A Spotify Playlist of 2,000 tracks
recommended in The Jazz Standards
(courtesy of Jim Higgins of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
For publicity photos click here

These photos can be used for publicity and all other

by Ted Gioia
What critics are saying about
Love Songs: The Hidden History


"Gioia’s book covers a tremendous amount of ground
and gives you something to remember on almost every
page. ....He invites the critic’s cliché 'wonderfully erudite',
and earns it, not to mention the even cheaper critical
term 'provocative', though he earns that, too."
The New Yorker

"Gioia has constructed a mind-expanding, deep-focus
piece of scholarship here, certainly the first book to
relate, longitudinally as it were...Gioia’s book achieves
intellectual liftoff, high learning combining with high
The Atlantic Monthly

“[A] richly researched and heartfelt song book of the
ages… Gioia boldly and brilliantly enters the space
between the noises of ancient fertility rites and the
sexualised music videos of YouTube to discover how
melody and love songs, like hearts full of passion,
jealousy and hate, are never out of date.”
The Times
Selected articles by Ted Gioia available on the web
Paperback Edition Published by Basic Books on April 20, 2021

Music: A Subversive History
by Ted Gioia

“In virtually every instance, Gioia delivers.”
The Atlantic Monthly

"A radiantly accomplished writer."
Wall Street Journal

“He invites the critic’s cliché 'wonderfully erudite', and earns it, not to mention the even
cheaper critical term 'provocative', though he earns that, too."
The New Yorker

"[Gioia] is one of the outstanding music historians in America."
Dallas Morning News

“Thoughtful and thought-provoking.”
New York Times

"[Gioia's] prose moves with enough velocity and packs enough insight to keep even
jaded readers interested.”

“Gioia writes with the musical knowledge of a jazzman and the immediacy of a reporter,
in language that has a casual grace.”
San Francisco Chronicle