Home | About the Book | Buy the Book | Clay Music Resources

"The most exciting pottery book to come along in years." - Sumi von Dassow, Pottery Making Illustrated Magazine

From Mud to Music is the only comprehensive book written on the fascinating topic of ceramic musical instruments. In the book and its companion CD, author Barry Hall explores the astounding array of instruments made from clay, from ancient times through today’s modern innovators. All instrument families are represented - drums, winds, strings, and even unique hybrids – with detailed descriptions of how the instruments work and how to make them. This large hardcover book with over 500 color photographs and a 74-minute audio compact disc features the work of over 100 ceramic artists from around the world spanning the last three millennia, from ancient Peruvian water whistles and Mesopotamian rattles to contemporary seven-chambered ocarinas and globular horns.

Click here to order FROM MUD TO MUSIC
Publisher: The American Ceramic Society
ISBN: 1-57498-139-0


What's New?

  • Check out the photos of the remarkable ceramic instruments from the exhibition "Mud to Music" curated by Barry Hall and Brian Ransom at the Bascom Art Center.
  • From Mud to Music is in its third printing. Thanks to everyone who has made this possible!
  • Check out the reviews at Amazon.com
  • The Bascom Art Center is hosting “Mud to Music, an exhibition of ceramic musical instruments” from May-July 2010, curated by Barry Hall and Brian Ransom. Public concert by the Burnt Earth Ensemble and special guests on June 5.
  • A xun (globular flute) by Barry Hall is featured in the latest issue of Flutist Quarterly Magazine and also on their website (the web feature will probably change in the future)
  • The Burnt Earth Ensemble was featured in two public performances at "All Fired Up!" - a city-wide arts festival in New Rochelle, NY on October 25, 2008. Stay tuned for videos...
  • Barry Hall presented music appreciation seminars and handbuilding workshops on ceramic musical instruments for the students of Fox Chapel High School in Pittsburgh on February 7, 2008.
  • Burnt Earth's music is featured on podcasts from the Gardiner Museum and a green video documentary of the Solar Decathlon.
  • Barry Hall and the Burnt Earth Ensemble provided a talk on ceramic musical instruments and a concert for the Still Mountain Center in Washington, CT on Nov. 3, 2007.
  • From Mud to Music was reviewed in Percussive Notes, the Journal of the Percussive Arts Society, August 2007.
  • The May/June 2007 issue of Clay Times magazine has a review of "From Mud to Music" (see the article here) and also a review/report on the "Sound of Earth" show at the Brookfield Craft Center (read it here).
  • The June 2007 issue of American Style Magazine has a spotlight article about Barry Hall and "From Mud to Music" See the article here.
  • Photos and report from "The Sound of Earth" and curator's talk.
  • Newspaper article about "From Mud to Music" and "The Sound of Earth" exhibit.
  • The Sound of Earth: Ceramic Musical Instruments - curated by Barry Hall - an exhibition at the Brookfield Craft Center in Brookfield CT from February 4 - March 18, 2007. Press release here. Curator's talk on Feb. 4.
  • Musical Mud - an exhibit of ceramic musical instruments inspired by Barry Hall's book, is being presented at the American Museum of Ceramic Art in Pomona, CA from July 8- Sept 2, 2006.
  • Book signing event – May 20, 2006, 1:00-2:00 pm at Tatnuck Booksellers in Westborough, MA – Barry will be signing books and demonstrating ceramic musical instruments with other members of the Burnt Earth Ensemble
  • The Westborough News ran this article about From Mud to Music.
  • Pottery Making Illustrated Magazine’s May/June 2006 issue has two articles excerpted from the book “From Mud to Music” and also this review of the book.
  • The Burnt Earth Ensemble CD “Terra Cotta” is now available for download on iTunes - or on CD here.

Click on an instrument below to hear how it sounds (with a sound exerpt from the CD that comes with the book):
Huaca by Sharon RowellHarp by Brian RansomConundrums by Barry HallDidjeridu by Barry HallMarimba by Ward HartensteinClay pot drums by Barry Hall

For inquiries about From Mud to Music, please contact Barry Hall.

Home | About the Book | Buy the Book | Clay Music Resources