GUITAR ZERO: The New Musician and the Science of Learning

Editorial Review - Kirkus - Jane Doe

To paraphrase Bruce Springsteen, can a 38-year-old tone-deaf professor of cognitive psychology get a guitar and learn how to make it talk?That's the question Marcus (Psychology/New York Univ.; Kluge: The Haphazard Construction of the Human Mind, 2008, etc.) asked himself a few years ago, and this intelligent, educational and exuberant book is his answer. Marcus approached his lifelong dream from ... Read full review

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There are some really important ideas in this book, and some oversimplifications. I found myself very frustrated at times with the reduction of music to the playing of notes, the unconscious bias to a western conception of musical learning, or the reduction of understanding to the operations of the brain, but these are simply paradigm problems - what he says is not wrong it just doesn't show the whole picture. On the other hand his perspective on the evolutionary position of musicality is very interesting and thought-provoking. By presenting his broad literature review drawing on his own formidable research in the context of his personal experience as a musical learner Marcus has done something quite extraordinary here, and for all its flaws this is a fascinating book and invaluable to anyone who is serious about understanding musicality. 

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All reviews - 6

All reviews - 6
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