My editor, the composer Stuart Saunders Smith, started me on my way through this book with the concept of "a biography of a music." As he explained it, this would be distinct from a biography of the musician, in its relative unconcern with details of Anthony Braxton's personal and professional history. It would rather lie somewhere between a musicological treatise on and a journalistic portrait of the music. "Think of the music as a living entity," he said, "with its own messages and role to play in the history of ideas and culture."