Music, the Brain, and Ecstasy: How Music Captures Our Imagination

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W. Morrow, 1997 - Music - 377 pages
Music, the Brain, and Ecstasy is a far-reaching study of how music captivates us so completely and why we form such powerful connections to it. Leading us to an understanding of the pleasures of sound, Robert Jourdain draws on a variety of fields including science, psychology, and philosophy. He uses music from around the world to show how melodies work, how rhythm differs from beat, and why some sounds are beautiful and others ugly. Music, the Brain, and Ecstasy looks at the evolution of music and introduces surprising new concepts of memory and perception, knowledge and attention, motion and emotion, all at work as music takes hold of us. Along the way, a fascinating cast of characters brings Jourdain's narrative to vivid life: "idiots savants" who absorb whole pieces on a single hearing, composers who hallucinate entire compositions, a psychic who claimed to take dictation from long-dead composers, and victims of brain damage who can move only when they hear music. In each of these, Jourdain assures us, we will see parts of ourselves. Using such examples, he helps explain the parallels between music and language, and asks how the brain reacts to each.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ajlewis2 - LibraryThing

I read the first 3 chapters, but got lost in the depths of information about music. I then read the last chapter. The book explains in great detail how very complex our ability to appreciate music ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - viking2917 - LibraryThing

Interesting read on the pyscho-acoustics of how the brain hears and reacts to music. Interesting theories, but many of them are ultimately unconvincing to me. Interestingly mentions a study that ... Read full review


to tone
to melody
to harmony

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About the author (1997)

Robert Jourdain ist Wissenschaftler, Wissenschaftsjournalist, Pianist und Komponist. Er lebt in Kalifornien und hat bereits sechs BA1/4cher geschrieben.

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