Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain

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Picador, 2008 - Music - 425 pages
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‘A humane discourse on the fragility of our minds, of the bodies that give rise to them, and of the world they create for us.’ Daily Telegraph

Oliver Sacks’ compassionate tales of people struggling to adapt to different neurological conditions have fundamentally changed the way we understand our own minds. In Musicophilia, he examines the powers of music through the individual experiences of patients, musicians and everyday people – those struck by affliction, unusual talent and even, in one case, by lightning – to show not only that music occupies more areas of the brain than language does, but also that it can calm and organize, torment and heal. Always wise and compellingly readable, these stories alter our conception of who we are and how we function, and show us an essential part of what it is to be human.

‘Fascinating. Music, as Sacks explains, “can pierce the heart directly”. And this is the truth that he so brilliantly focuses upon – that music saves, consoles and nourishes us’ Daily Mail

‘Irresistible, astonishing and moving’ Spectator

‘Deeply warm and sympathetic’ Guardian

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Musicophilia: tales of music and the brain

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Neurologist Sacks (The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat ) plays piano-e.g., Chopin mazurkas-and has treated musicians with brain and peripheral nerve problems. As always, he writes impeccably here ... Read full review

About the author (2008)

Oliver Sacks was educated in London, Oxford, California and New York. He is a professor of clinical neurology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He is the author of many books, including the bestselling The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Awakenings.

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