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

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Penguin, 2008 - Music - 354 pages
The author of the New York Times bestseller (six weeks and counting) and Los Angeles Times Book Award Nominee This Is Your Brain on Music (more than 170,000 copies in print) tunes us in to six evolutionary musical forms that provide a window into the human soul. An unprecedented blend of science and art, Daniel Levitinas debut, This Is Your Brain on Music, delighted readers with an exuberant guide to the neural impulses behind those songs that make our heart swell. Now he showcases his daring theory of asix songs, a illuminating how the brain evolved to play and listen to music in six fundamental formsafor knowledge, friendship, ceremony, joy, comfort, and love. Preserving the emotional history of our lives and of our species, from its very beginning music was also allied to dance, as the structure of the brain confirms; developing this neurological observation, Levitin shows how music and dance enabled the social bonding and friendship necessary for human culture and society to evolve. Blending cutting-edge scientific findings with his own sometimes hilarious experiences as a musician and music-industry professional, Levitinas sweeping study also incorporates wisdom gleaned from interviews with icons ranging from Sting and Paul Simon to Joni Mitchell, Willie Nelson, and David Byrne, along with classical musicians and conductors, historians, anthropologists, and evolutionary biologists. The result is a brilliant revelation of the prehistoric yet elegant systems at play when we sing and dance at a wedding or cheer at a concertaor tune out quietly with an iPod.

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THE WORLD IN SIX SONGS: How the Musical Brain Created Human Nature

User Review  - Kirkus

Music played a key role in making societies and civilizations possible.So argues research scientist Levitin (Laboratory for Musical Perception, Cognition, and Expertise/McGill University; This Is Your ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - motjebben - LibraryThing

Enjoyable read! Levitin explores the effect that six categories of "songs" have had on human evolution, communication-to-language, and society. He illustrates his hypotheses with snippets of lyrics ... Read full review


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About the author (2008)

Daniel J. Levitin runs the Laboratory for Musical Perception, Cognition, and Expertise at McGill University. Before becoming a research scientist, he was a record producer and professional musician. As a producer, he has a number of gold records to his credit, and has worked on albums by artists such as Stevie Wonder, Steely Dan, Midnight Oil, and kd lang. He has played professionally with Mel Torme, Blue Oyster Cult, and David Byrne, and has published extensively in scientific journals such as Science and Neuron and audio trade journals such as Grammy, Billboard, and Audio.

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