This is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession

Front Cover
Penguin, 2006 - Music - 314 pages
50 Reviews
A fascinating exploration of the relationship between music and the mind ;and the role of melodies in shaping our lives Whether you load your iPod with Bach or Bono, music has a significant role in your life ;even if you never realized it. Why does music evoke such powerful moods? The answers are at last be- coming clear, thanks to revolutionary neuroscience and the emerging field of evolutionary psychology. Both a cutting-edge study and a tribute to the beauty of music itself, This Is Your Brain on Musicunravels a host of mysteries that affect everything from pop culture to our understanding of human nature, including: " Are our musical preferences shaped in utero? " Is there a cutoff point for acquiring new tastes in music? " What do PET scans and MRIs reveal about the brain's response to music? " Is musical pleasure different from other kinds of pleasure? This Is Your Brain on Musicexplores cultures in which singing is considered an essential human function, patients who have a rare disorder that prevents them from making sense of music, and scientists studying why two people may not have the same definition of pitch. At every turn, this provocative work unlocks deep secrets about how nature and nurture forge a uniquely human obsession. BACKCOVER: ;I know Dan to have a deep musical knowledge and strong intellect combined with a warm spirit and a big heart. He has an encyclopedic knowledge of popular music . . . He is a fine writer and has the ability to make difficult concepts very clear. ; ;STEVIE WONDER
  

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Review: This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession

User Review  - Orsolya - Goodreads

We tend to make music for as much granted as we do breathing. Music is EVERYWHERE. The same way that you encounter hundreds of advertisements in a day: you also encounter music in various forms.This ... Read full review

Review: This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession

User Review  - Loring Wirbel - Goodreads

Two friends called this book the perfect companion to David Byrne's "How Music Works," and I heartily agree. Where Byrne covers issues of cultural cues and personal responses to music in a broad sense ... Read full review

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Contents

Introduction
1
Foot Tapping
55
Behind the Curtain
81
Anticipation
109
You Know My Name Look Up the Number
129
After Dessert Crick Was Still Four Seats Away from
165
What Makes a Musician?
189
My Favorite Things
217
The Music Instinct
241
Appendices
263
Acknowledgments
301
Copyright

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Page 273 - If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?

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About the author (2006)

Daniel J. Levitin is the James McGill Professor of Psychology and Music at McGill University, Montreal, where he also holds appointments in the Program in Behavioural Neuroscience, The School of Computer Science, and the Faculty of Education. He is the author of This is Your Brain on Music and The World in Six Songs, which were New York Times bestsellers and have been translated into 16 languages, and the upcoming book The Organized Mind. Before becoming a neuroscientist, he worked as a session musician, sound engineer, and record producer working with artists such as Stevie Wonder and Blue Oyster Cult. He has published extensively in scientific journals as well as music magazines such as Grammy and Billboard. Recent musical performances include playing guitar and saxophone with Sting, Bobby McFerrin, Rosanne Cash, David Byrne, and Rodney Crowell.

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