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This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession Paperback – Illustrated, August 28, 2007
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“I loved reading that listening to music coordinates more disparate parts of the brain than almost anything else - and playing music uses even more! Despite illuminating a lot of what goes on, this book doesn't 'spoil' enjoyment—it only deepens the beautiful mystery that is music.”—David Byrne, founder of Talking Heads and author of How Music Works
“Levitin is a deft and patient explainer of the basics for the non-scientist as well as the non-musician....By tracing music's deep ties to memory, Levitin helps quantify some of music's magic without breaking its spell.”—Los Angeles Times Book Review
“Why human beings make and enjoy music is, in Levitin's telling, a delicious story.”—Salon.com
“Dr. Levitin is an unusually deft interpreter full of striking scientific trivia.”—The New York Times
“Every musician, at whatever level of skill, should read this book.”—Howie Klein, former president, Sire and Reprise/Warner Brothers Records
“Levitin’s lucid explanation of why music is important to us is essential reading for creative musicians and scholars. I've been waiting for years for a book like this.”—Jon Appleton, composer and professor of Music, Dartmouth College and Stanford University, inventor of the Synclavier synthesizer
About the Author
- ASIN : 0452288525
- Publisher : Plume/Penguin; Illustrated edition (August 28, 2007)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 322 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9780452288522
- ISBN-13 : 978-0452288522
- Item Weight : 9.6 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.3 x 0.72 x 7.98 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #7,824 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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Music therapy gives me new hope that he can still learn and grow even after his academic progress has stalled.
The author has such an interesting background music combined with neuroscience. I loved his other book too entitled "The Organized Mind" ... Dan Levitin has a way of making me feel completely normal that my brain feels often on the verge of exploding as it tries to cope with modern life.... I love how the author EXPLAINS why playing/practicing music/listening to music clapping hands to a good rhythm, singing in unison, watching a familiar old musical or a newer one like La la Land is so helpful
(relaxing, energizing, calming, whatever mood I seek, there's a song for it. this book is full of interesting music trivia and he uses great examples of familiar songs so you immediately get his points on how songs are written and why we like some more than others, get some stuck in our heads and others are nails on chalkboard based on our own tastes/experiences ... so interesting how the "younger generation" has been rebelling against parents but also rediscovering and enjoying prior generations' music as well.
A great read that literally plays music in your head. An Ode to Joy.
This a fantastic book, if for nothing more than it gets you interested in wanting to read more. The author, much like modern astrophysicists like C. Sagan and L. Krauss might describe space ("billions and billions..."), has quite a way with words. He embeds in the reader a sense of wonder, and of amazement, at the magic that happens when you listen to music. If you're an audiophile who does not have an over inflated view of yourself and has a generally open mind about music, then this book is for you. I am not educated in this field whatsoever, and I found the analogies, comparisons, and even the really "dense" material very enticing and interesting.
I cannot vouch for the accuracy of the statements and claims the author makes because I am not educated in this field. He could be completely wrong and pushing his own agenda (although it's a little hard to arrive at that conclusion unless you have some sort of raging superiority complex). But that kind of conversation, which fills many of the lower rated reviews, is missing the point.
The language, the examples, the ranges of simple description to complicated extrapolation, it is all nourishing. These are interesting things to think about. And for a layman like myself, the point is not to be right, but to be interested. After reading this book, I don't care if he's right (although I doubt his inaccuracies, if any, surmount to much). I just care that he made me think about music in a new and interesting way.
And for the average reader like myself, that is all you should want from a book like this.
Top reviews from other countries
I do feel he’s a little off the mark with regard to some of his theories, particularly with regard to music and people with ASD. I have Asperger syndrome, I am perfectly able to detect emotion in music, and to appreciate the aesthetic qualities of art, in fact I’m more able to than most neuro typical people I know.
As a survivor of SIX treatments of Electro-Convulsive Therapy I can tell you that Daniel has given me reason to believe in myself and provided me with the knowledge that confirms me in my belief that I never did have a mental illness, was never "schizoid affective" mad bad, genetically malformed or, indeed have any of the other stigmatising conditions that various doctors, psychiatrists and other well meaning mental health professionals have tried to fob me off with over the past few decades
If you've been through the revolving doors of the NHS or been a client in the psychiatric therapy "system" and if you are like me. a simple soul searching for the TRUTH, then this book will be of real interest to you.