The World in Six Songs: How the Musical Brain Created Human Nature

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Penguin, Aug 19, 2008 - Music - 368 pages
10 Reviews
The author of the New York Times bestseller This Is Your Brain on Music reveals music's role in the evolution of human culture-and "will leave you awestruck" (The New York Times)

Daniel J. Levitin's astounding debut bestseller, This Is Your Brain on Music, enthralled and delighted readers as it transformed our understanding of how music gets in our heads and stays there. Now in his second New York Times bestseller, his genius for combining science and art reveals how music shaped humanity across cultures and throughout history.

Dr. Levitin identifies six fundamental song functions or types-friendship, joy, comfort, religion, knowledge, and love-then shows how each in its own way has enabled the social bonding necessary for human culture and society to evolve. He shows, in effect, how these "six songs" work in our brains to preserve the emotional history of our lives and species.

Dr. Levitin combines cutting-edge scientific research from his music cognition lab at McGill University and work in an array of related fields; his own sometimes hilarious experiences in the music business; and illuminating interviews with musicians such as Sting and David Byrne, as well as conductors, anthropologists, and evolutionary biologists. The World in Six Songs is, ultimately, a revolution in our understanding of how human nature evolved-right up to the iPod.

Read Daniel Levitin's posts on the Penguin Blog.

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Review: The World in Six Songs: How the Musical Brain Created Human Nature

User Review  - Steven - Goodreads

If you're a music fan and fascinated by the miraculous organ that is our brain, this book is an interesting read. Levitin is a competent writer and smart enough not to bog down the book with too much ... Read full review

Review: The World in Six Songs: How the Musical Brain Created Human Nature

User Review  - Goodreads

This was a fascinating book on the nature of music and the development of the human brain. In this book Levitin shows how music and dance enabled the bonding and friendship necessary for society ... Read full review

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About the author (2008)

Daniel J. Levitin is Assistant Professor of Psychology at McGill University, where he holds the Bell Chair in the Psychology of Electronic Communication and the FQRT Strategic Professor Chair in Psychology.

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