Ted Gioia on his love songs project:

I began research and conceptual work on an alternative approach to music
history more than twenty years ago. I can see, from handwritten notes in my
journals, that the first stirrings of this project date back to 1991. The initial
core idea arose from my growing interest in the role of music as a change
agent and source of enchantment in day-to-day life.  As my mission became
clearer, I realized that I wanted to tell the hidden history of music, not the
familiar and hyped accounts of a few famous artists strutting on the concert
hall stage or working in a recording studio, but the real story of song as it
has transformed the intimate lives of millions of people.

This project to “tell the hidden history of music” has taken two decades to
complete.  The first two books in my survey of the music of everyday life
were published in 2006—
Work Songs and Healing Songs, both honored
with an ASCAP Deems Taylor Award.  I have now completed the final work
in this trilogy:  
Love Songs: The Hidden History. This book represents the first
complete survey of the music of romance, courtship and sexuality, and
challenges many of the most basic preconceptions and long-held views on
the nature and evolution of Western music.


Love Songs: The Hidden History was published by Oxford University
Press on  February 10, 2015. You can purchase
Love Songs: The
Hidden History
at this link.  A Spanish translation is forthcoming from Turner

A new book 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 imagination."
                                                  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love songs, like hearts full of passion, jealousy and hate, are never out of date.”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 London Times
Ted Gioia summarizes some of the exciting findings from
his love songs research in these articles:

Did the Love Song Originate in Africa & the Middle East? (The Daily Beast)
The Roots of the Bondage Theme in Love Songs (Wall Street Journal)
A Conversation with Ted Gioia about Love Songs (Barnes & Noble)
The Complex Gender History of the Love Song (Oxford University Press blog)
Love Songs and the Case for Musical Universals (The Smart Set)
How MTV and YouTube Changed the Music of Romance (Salon)
Ted Gioia's Lecture on the History of Love Songs (Vimeo)