Neuroscientist and professional musician Levitin presents a fascinating exploration of the relationship between music and the mind—and the role of melodies in shaping our lives. Photos throughout.
In this groundbreaking union of art and science, rocker-turned-neuroscientist Daniel J. Levitin explores the connection between music?its performance, its composition, how we listen to it, why we enjoy it?and the human brain. Drawing on the latest research and on musical examples ranging from Mozart to Duke Ellington to Van Halen, Levitin reveals: ? How composers produce some of the most pleasurable effects of listening to music by exploiting the way our brains make sense of the world ? Why we are so emotionally attached to the music we listened to as teenagers, whether it was Fleetwood Mac, U2, or Dr. Dre ? That practice, rather than talent, is the driving force behind musical expertise ? How those insidious little jingles (called "earworms") get stuck in our heads And, taking on prominent thinkers who argue that music is nothing more than an evolutionary accident, Levitin argues that music is fundamental to our species, perhaps even more so than language. "This Is Your Brain on Music" is an unprecedented, eye-opening investigation into an obsession at the heart of human nature.
Daniel J. Levitin is Assistant Professor of Psychology at McGill University, where he holds the Bell Chair in the Psychology of Electronic Communication and the FQRT Strategic Professor Chair in Psychology.
Levitin is a deft and patient explainer of the basics for the non-scientist as well as the non-musician. . . . By tracing musicAEs deep ties to memory, Levitin helps quantify some of musicAEs magic without breaking its spell. ("Los Angeles Times Book Review")
Endlessly stimulating, a marvelous overview, and one which only a deeply musical neuroscientist could give. . . . An important book. (Oliver Sacks, M.D.)
LevitinAEs snappy prose and relaxed style quickly win one over and will leave readers thinking about the contents of their iPods in an entirely new way. ("Publishers Weekly", starred review)
Why human beings make and enjoy music is, in LevitinAEs telling, a delicious story. (Salon.com)
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