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

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Penguin, 2006 - Psychology - 314 pages
1163 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  - Sunny - Goodreads

I have to admit that this took me a while to read because it got a bit too technical for me in the middle but the beginning and the ending were very very good. The book is about, as it says on the tin ... Read full review

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

User Review  - Wanda - Goodreads

Oftentimes it would be better to see what the author describes rather than read it, particularly when one's own background in music is limited or training was a while back. Other than that the writing is amusing, packed with anecdotes and examples, which I'm always appreciative of. Read full review

Contents

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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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