Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain

Front Cover
Knopf Canada, Sep 23, 2008 - Psychology - 448 pages
1773 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.


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Review: Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain

User Review  - Lysander Schleh - Goodreads

This is a great read for anyone interested in the modularity of the mind. The chapters tend to be anecdotal, but they do provide some really nice insights. As this book is largely concerned with the inaccessibility of most aspects of the mind, it's an effective approach. Read full review

Review: Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain

User Review  - Sarah Bressers - Goodreads

Fascinating. I've read it intermittently so as not to be overwhelmed by the wealth of information. Great read! 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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