Eardrum is a book of poems and prose meditations about music. It developed, the author says, out of fascination with an art-form that is both strange and intimate: one, moreover, that poses a parallel set of questions to those raised by poetry – about the nature of the emotion it incorporates, the persistence of its tropes, and the tension between the demands of structure, and the desire to gesture beyond them. Eardrum moves across a wider range of genres than books about music normally do: from Ariana Grande at Manchester to the man who plays Hornsby Fountain in his Wellington boots; from the way music has been used to inspire terror, to the dilemmas around closure in classical form. Together with a substantial body of free-verse poems, there is a section of short pieces – Langford is also an aphorist – and a collection of prose meditations: on broad-ranging aspects of both classical and rock, and on the stubborn differences between ears tuned to rock, and those tuned to jazz. Eardrum should delight anyone who enjoys good writing about an art-form that is proverbially difficult to write about.