I was attracted to The Hum and the Shiver because I seek out books where music = magic. Unfortunately, the tempo of The Hum and the Shiver was just a bit odd, and while individual verses were attractive, in the end the book was dischordant. In the end the book didn't quite blend into a symphony for me, with the statement of too many themes and not enough development.
Comparisons to the "Ballad Series" by Sharyn McCrumb are somewhat inevitable since The Hum and the Shive cultivates the same Appalachian culture and song base. In general, I found the Ballad Series more appealing.