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

Front Cover
Penguin, 2006 - Music - 314 pages
62 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
  

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
17
4 stars
19
3 stars
21
2 stars
3
1 star
2

Very good intro book into music and the brain. - Goodreads
Much of the research he cites is very fascinating. - Goodreads
It's also a Scientific American Book Club Selection. - Goodreads

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

User Review  - Michelle Smith - Goodreads

Myeah. Lots of big ideas in this book. Levithan is nothing but excited about music, and his career as a music scientist (my general term) is well suited. His discussion style is easy to read, and he ... Read full review

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

User Review  - Dustin Davis - Goodreads

Very interesting book. Fairly technical at times, so if you do not have any background whatsoever in neurobiology, particularly in brain regions and memory, portions of the book may be tough to ... Read full review

All 14 reviews »

Related books

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

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

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

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (2006)

Daniel J. Levitin runs the Levitin Laboratory for Musical Perception, Cognition, and Expertise at McGill University, where he holds the Bell Chair in the Psychology of Electronic Communications. Before becoming a neuroscientist, he was a record producer with gold records to his credit and professional musician. He has published extensively in scientific journals and music trade magazines such as Grammy and Billboard.

Bibliographic information