This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession by Daniel J. LevitinWhy do The Beatles make babies smile? A guide to books that explore how music affects our mind, body and spirit. Our contemporaries have struggled with this question too. Here are six who came close to a few answers. Classical music has a bad reputation of being stodgy and difficult, which is why everyone ought to own a copy of this book by the music critic of The New Yorker. The first astonishing thing he does is make sense of why some notes on a page move us the way they do, and why they will do so long after their composers have gone. The second thing he shows is how closely the evolution of music is tied to movements of history.
Music and the Brain
Music and the Brain: Studies in the Neurology of Music is a collaborative work that discusses musical perception in the context of medical science. The book is comprised of 24 chapters that are organized into two parts. The first part of the text details the various aspects of nervous function involved in musical activity, which include neural and mechanicals aspects of singing; neurophysiological interpretation of musical ability; and ecstatic and synesthetic experiences during musical perception. The second part deals with the effects of nervous disease on musical function, such as musicogenic epilepsy, the amusias, and occupational palsies. The book will be of great interest to students, researchers, and practitioners of disciplines that deal with the nervous system, such as psychology, neurology, and psychiatry. We are always looking for ways to improve customer experience on Elsevier.
But perhaps even more fascinating than the subject of how music works is the question of why it makes us feel the way it does. Today, we try to answer it with seven essential books that bridge music, emotion and cognition, peeling away at that tender intersection of where your brain ends and your soul begins. But some of his most compelling work has to do with the neuropscyhology of how music can transform our cognition, our behavior, and our very selves. In Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain, Revised and Expanded Edition , Sacks explores the most extreme of these transformations and how simple harmonies can profoundly change lives. Why music makes us feel the way it does is on par with questions about the nature of divinity or the origin of love.
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Think of a song that resonates deep down in your being. Now imagine sitting down with someone who was there when the song was recorded and can tell you how that series of sounds was committed to tape, and who can also explain why that particular combination of rhythms, timbres and pitches has lodged in your memory, making your pulse race and your heart swell every time you hear it. Remarkably, Levitin does all this and more, interrogating the basic nature of hearing and of music making this is likely the only book whose jacket sports blurbs from both Oliver Sacks and Stevie Wonder , without losing an affectionate appreciation for the songs he's reducing to neural impulses. Levitin is the ideal guide to this material: he enjoyed a successful career as a rock musician and studio producer before turning to cognitive neuroscience, earning a Ph. Though the book starts off a little dryly the first chapter is a crash course in music theory , Levitin's snappy prose and relaxed style quickly win one over and will leave readers thinking about the contents of their iPods in an entirely new way.
Levitin , and first published by Dutton Penguin in the U. It has been translated into 18 languages and spent more than a year on The New York Times , The Globe and Mail , and other bestseller lists, and sold more than one million copies. The aim of This Is Your Brain on Music was to make recent findings in cognitive neuroscience of music accessible to the educated layperson. This Is Your Brain on Music describes the components of music, such as timbre, rhythm, pitch, and harmony  and ties them to neuroanatomy, neurochemistry, cognitive psychology, and evolution,    while also making these topics accessible to nonexpert readers by avoiding the use of scientific jargon. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.