Musicophilia (Google eBook)

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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Sep 23, 2008 - Psychology - 425 pages
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With the same trademark compassion and erudition he brought to The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, Oliver Sacks explores the place music occupies in the brain and how it affects the human condition. In Musicophilia, he shows us a variety of what he calls “musical misalignments.” Among them: a man struck by lightning who suddenly desires to become a pianist at the age of forty-two; an entire group of children with Williams syndrome, who are hypermusical from birth; people with “amusia,” to whom a symphony sounds like the clattering of pots and pans; and a man whose memory spans only seven seconds-for everything but music. Illuminating, inspiring, and utterly unforgettable, Musicophilia is Oliver Sacks' latest masterpiece.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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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

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This is a book about the music and its relationship with our brains: why sometimes a melody plays again an again into our minds till drive us near crazy? How does musical inspiration happens? It has some quite interesting stories about people that became more music aware and even music talented after having some kind of neurological accident. It talks about a 90 year-old lady that suddenly started to hear the radio music she was exposed to when she was 6 years old. It tells a lot of interesting stories of funny tricks that the brain plays to these people. 

Selected pages


Music and Amnesia
Aphasia and Music Therapy
Dyskinesia and Cantillation
Music and Tourettes Syndrome
Rhythm and Movement
Parkinsons Disease and Music Therapy
The Case of the OneArmed Pianist
Musicians Dystonia

A Range of Musicality
A Range of Musicality
Amusia and Dysharmonia
Absolute Pitch
Cochlear Amusia
Why We Have Two Ears
Musical Savants
Music and Blindness
Synesthesia and Music
Memory Movement and Music
Emotion Identity and Music
Musical Dreams
Seduction and Indifference
Music Madness and Melancholia
Music and Emotion
Music and the Temporal Lobes
Williams Syndrome
Dementia and Music Therapy

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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 practicing neurologist. He recently accepted a new position at Columbia University.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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