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The Power of Music: Pioneering Discoveries in the New Science of Song Paperback – January 29, 2013
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"Preliminary but striking investigations into the effects of music on everything from string theory to a baby's cry.... A well-tempered introduction to music's far-reaching influence on man, beast and cosmos."--"Kirkus Reviews"
"This title will be welcomed by those who accept music as a positive force and by readers interested in current scientific trends." --Barry Zaslow, "Library Journal
""""I knew nothing about music--except for knowing what music I like--until I took this journey with Elena Mannes. What a trip! Elena Mannes has always crafted exquisite stories for television, winning all the top awards for excellence over her long career at CBS and PBS. Now she has brought that gift for storytelling to" The Power of Music," laying out even for an untutored layman like me a captivating account of how music connects mind and body. She digs deeply into stunning new research into music's importance in our lives and reveals that science and art are muses that nourish each other and enrich individual lives."--Bill Moyers
"An important book for anyone who loves music, from the professional performer to the young person listening on earbuds. By the end of this fascinating story, Elena Mannes has led us to realize just how much we take music, its mysteries, and power for granted. This is a refreshing and exciting read that makes everything new again. If this book were required reading in every high school, we would start seeing generations of music scientists, and perhaps even better-equipped performers and audience members--which would naturally lead to music becoming a better-funded and respected subject in our schools than it currently is."--Deborah Voigt, internationally acclaimed opera soprano
"We've always known that music is a transformative, spiritual experience--now modern science can explain how and why. Elena Mannes explores this groundbreaking and often poetic new territory."--Bobby McFerrin, vocalist/pianist/conductor
About the Author
Elena Mannes has won six Emmys and many other national awards for her documentaries. She is a member of one of the first families of American music. Her grandparents founded the Mannes College of Music in New York City; her great uncle, Walter Damrosch, conducted the Metropolitan Opera and was the instigator for the building of Carnegie Hall. She lives in New York City.
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Much of the discussion of various effects music has on individuals (and groups) relies on medical and psychological research using fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) which enables us to watch the brain in operation as it receives various kinds of stimulation. These images show, in vivid color and constant motion, various parts of the brain as they become involved in responding to stimuli. The images show that different frequencies, rhythms, and activities involve the brain in ways that could not even be imagined with earlier technology. Combined with more conventional measurements of blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing, a picture emerges of the entire body being effected by listening to and/or making music. The measurments also indicate that groups, listening together, may fall into synchronisity as their breathing and heart rates synchronise with others present. Studies have shown that even fetuses in utero experience the sounds of voices along with the tonalties and rhythms of music they hear. Such studies led to a fad in which mothers fed music by Mozart and others to their systems in order to, supposedly, increase the intelligence of their unborn children. The rest of this review can be found on my blog. If you decide to order it, please consider purchasing it through the Amazon portal there.
read it and learned a lot about how music itself and understanding
more about it was invaluable. Music definitely helps my well-being,
especially classical music.
"The Power of Music" is a continuation of her exploration of the effect of music on human beings and it is a good complement to her documentary The Music Instinct. The foreword was written by Aniruddh D. Patel, one of the leading authorities on language and the brain. The book is written for the "interested but not expert reader." Her main thrust is to present solid scientific evidence on the linkages between music and our human existence and how music transforms us. The book and the documentary bring a large number of examples and testimonies from groundbreaking and visionary researchers, consummate classical and popular musicians, and social scientists about how we listen, why music affects us, how "music plays the body," and how "the brain plays music." The book has a collection of beautiful pictures (particularly brain scans), a good bibliography and numerous references from the Internet.
Elena Mannes finds a good support to her ideas by mentioning advanced research that indicates that music predates agriculture and perhaps even human language, and then she addresses key important questions such as how much our musicality is learned and how much is innate? Why is music virtually universal across cultures and time? How much are the new findings unraveling about our human nature and the role that music plays in it? Can music make people smarter, happier and healthier? Rather than providing complete answers to many of these critical questions, Ms Mannes motivates our curiosity and invites us to explore the vast subject of music. Her report on a new area called "psychoneuroimmunology" and the role of music as a healing strategy is very stimulating. This new interdisciplinary field studies the interaction of thoughts, feelings, moods, and beliefs on our nervous, immune and endocrine systems. She mentions the use of music in treating many neurological disorders; a fascinating topic is the result of research on "binaural beats" which are tones that the brain "hears" and that can be used to induce some states of consciousness, such as meditation. This is a good book to explore also the way chanting and repeating mantras may operate during yoga meditation.
The Music Instinct: Science and Song
Most recent customer reviews
This was a very interesting book. It talks about how music is built into not only humans, but animals as well.Read more