This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession (Google eBook)

Front Cover
Penguin, Aug 3, 2006 - Science - 336 pages
47 Reviews
What can music teach us about the brain? What can the brain teach us about music? And what can both teach us about ourselves?

In this groundbreaking union of art and science, rocker-turned-neuroscientist Daniel J. Levitin (The World in Six Songs and The Organized Mind) explores the connection between music - its performance, its composition, how we listen to it, why we enjoy it - and the human brain. Drawing on the latest research and on musical examples ranging from Mozart to Duke Ellington to Van Halen, Levitin reveals:

How composers produce some of the most pleasurable effects of listening to music by exploiting the way our brains make sense of the world Why we are so emotionally attached to the music we listened to as teenagers, whether it was Fleetwood Mac, U2, or Dr. Dre That practice, rather than talent, is the driving force behind musical expertise How those insidious little jingles (called earworms) get stuck in our head Taking on prominent thinkers who argue that music is nothing more than an evolutionary accident, Levitin poses that music is fundamental to our species, perhaps even more so than language. A Los Angeles Times Book Award finalist, This Is Your Brain on Music will attract readers of Oliver Sacks and David Byrne, as it is an unprecedented, eye-opening investigation into an obsession at the heart of human nature.


  

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
14
4 stars
14
3 stars
15
2 stars
2
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 15 reviews »

Related books

Contents

Introduction
Foot Tapping
Music and the Mind Machine
Anticipation
You Know My Name Look Up the Number
After Dessert Crick was Still Four Seats Away from
what Makes a Musician?
My Favorite Things
The Music Instinct
APPENDIX
ACKNO wLEDGMENTS
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

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.

Bibliographic information