painting by Joseph Raffael

“Mathieu has found the words to tell the power of music.”
— Pete Seeger


The Musical Life by W. A. Mathieu

The Musical Life: Reflections on What It Is and How to Live It (1994)

(1994) — Everyone, according to W. A. Mathieu, is musical by nature — it goes right along with being human. And if you don't believe it, this book is all you'll need to be convinced. Mathieu takes us on a journey through everyday experiences to open our ears to the rich variety of music that surrounds us but that we are trained to ignore-such as the variety of pitches produced by different objects, like dishes, furniture, drums, dogs-anything you can tap; or sounds that hover on the borders of music, like laughter, the clinking of glasses in a toast, or the unintentional falsetto produced by yawning. Along the way he teaches aspects of music theory that nonmusicians might ordinarily shy away from. Mathieu reveals how sensitivity to the music that surrounds us can deepen our appreciation for all of life and become a profoundly spiritual path-one that is everyone's birthright. Excerpt: The Mind of Sound.


The Musical Life is available from
Shambhala Publications

Parts of The Musical Life
is also available as an audiobook here