Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain

Front Cover
Knopf Canada, Sep 23, 2008 - Psychology - 448 pages
1740 Reviews
What goes on in human beings when they make or listen to music? What is it about music, what gives it such peculiar power over us, power delectable and beneficent for the most part, but also capable of uncontrollable and sometimes destructive force? Music has no concepts, it lacks images; it has no power of representation, it has no relation to the world. And yet it is evident in all of us–we tap our feet, we keep time, hum, sing, conduct music, mirror the melodic contours and feelings of what we hear in our movements and expressions.

In this book, Oliver Sacks explores the power music wields over us–a power that sometimes we control and at other times don’t. He explores, in his inimitable fashion, how it can provide access to otherwise unreachable emotional states, how it can revivify neurological avenues that have been frozen, evoke memories of earlier, lost events or states or bring those with neurological disorders back to a time when the world was much richer.
This is a book that explores, like no other, the myriad dimensions of our experience of and with music.


From the Hardcover edition.

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Review: Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain

User Review  - Ian Billick - Goodreads

The book seemed disjointed. Some interesting stories, but largely unconnected. Read full review

Review: Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain

User Review  - Matthew Wlezien - Goodreads

Wonderful exploration of music and its effect on the brain. Very well written. Read full review

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About the author (2008)

Oliver Sacks is the author of Awakenings, The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, and many other books, for which he has received numerous awards, including the Hawthornden Prize, a Polk Award and a Guggenheim Fellowship. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and lives in New York City, where he is a practising neurologist.


From the Hardcover edition.

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