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Music and the Mind Paperback – October 19, 1993
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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WALL STREET JOURNAL
Drawing on his own life long passion for music and synthesizing the theories of Plato, Schopenhauer, Stravinsky, Nietzsche, Bartok, and others, distinguished author and psychologist Anthony Storr illuminates music's deep beauty and timeless truth and why and how music is one of the fundamental activities of mankind.
Top Customer Reviews
Storr sees music as subjective, emotional need for communication with other human beings; it structures time and brings order out of chaos, and it has a positive effect upon patients with neurological diseases. Physiologically, the emotional response is centered in the right hemisphere whilst the ability to appreciate structure and make critical judgments is located on the left side of the brain. He is of the opinion that music originates from the human brain rather than from the natural world and its universality depends on the urge to impose order upon our experience. He criticizes the dispute between formalists and expressionists since for him it is obvious that appreciation of both form and emotional significance enter into the experience of every listener and cannot be separated. Contrary to Freud's opinion, Storr holds that music is not an escape from reality but a means to structure our auditory perceptions and can also serve as a precursor to creative discovery.
The last few chapters are dedicated to a philosophical analysis of the views held mainly by Schopenhauer, Jung, Nietszche with respect to music.Read more ›
There are however some minor flaws. The connection between the biological foundations of music and western philosophy is a difficult and dubious one and Storr does not really manage to fuse them in a smooth and comprehensive way. They stand aloof and strange to each other. Another flaw is the fact that the book heavily, though not exclusively, draws on classical western music: an admitedly very peculiar and eurocentric kind of music. This leaves out much of the richness of other kinds of music e.x. jazz, folk music, religious music. It also makes his principal endeauvour, to connect music to the mind/body, more difficult. Classical music after all epitomizes the cerebral, distanced and controlled sort of musical apprehension in contrast to folk and popular music which is more expressive and ecstatic. Had he made the opposite methodological choice, folk before classical, he might have had more succes in making the connection between music to the mind/body.
Still the book is an excellent introduction to the topic.
In Ch 2 Storr begins to unpack his central theme - we can all have physical and emotional responses to music and while we may share similar responses, one person may not necessarily respond to a piece of music exactly the same as another or indeed respond to the same piece in the same way at different times in life. Our methods of perception (left/right brain alone) may mean that we take from music something that another does not. He also notes the capacity for some to empathise with a piece music while others focus on its structure and form. Similarly, a capacity to appreciate music doesn't necessarily translate into a talent for performing music.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
So disappointed in this one. I read Anthony Storr's SOLITUDE: A RETURN TO THE SELF years ago, and found it very engaging and persuasive. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Maxie
This book was sod as exceptionally good condition. It is yellowed, dog eared with copious notes written in the margins. Very disappointingPublished 10 months ago by Amazon Customer
The second of the 2 best books on music and learning. "The gift of music is the most enlarging development of the mind since the beginning of learning. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Harold Seckinger
I have not had a chance to actually read it yet but it looks very promising. I really have nothing else to say at this time.Published on November 10, 2013 by Carol
IT WAS IN VERY GOOD CONDITION! HE COULD OF LISTED IT AS BRAND NEW, THERE WAS SO WEARS OR TEARS. I AM VERY SATISFIED WITH MY PURCHASE !Published on October 28, 2013 by jamie
My husband is a music freak! I bought him this book and he couldn't put it down. I read several chapters myself and liked it very much although it was little too technical and... Read morePublished on October 11, 2011 by M. Craig