This Is Your Brain on Music


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This is the first book to arrive at a comprehensive scientific understanding of how humans experience music and why it plays such a unique role in our lives. As Oliver Sacks has suggested, Professor Daniel Levitin is one of the very few people in the world who could write it. This Is Your Brain on Music is a meeting of the two magnificent worlds of art and science and is destined to be a landmark in cultural history.
Levitin unravels the mystery of our perennial love affair with music- but should we call it instead a love/hate relationship? Ever have a jingle you couldn’t get out of your head? Throughout history, certain music has been deemed subversive and even outlawed. Where does the power of music come from? This unprecedented investigation of the role of music in human evolution and everyone’s daily lives synthesizes psychology, neuroscience, and musical examples from Mozart to Eminem. Levitin explains the elements of music- pitch, rhythm, tempo, timbre, harmony, and melody. Then, building on his own research as well as that of his colleagues, he explores the perception of music in the human brain. The parade of music continues from Bach to Count Basie to Creedence to Van Halen as Levitin shows that a cascade of activity, from the eardrum to cells deep inside the brain that regulate emotion, is set off whenever we hear music- at weddings, in shopping malls, at dance clubs, at church. He also shows how composers exploit the way our brains make sense of the world, how our musical preferences begin before we are born, and how musical expertise is built.


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Weight 18.4 oz