This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession

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9780143142324: This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession

This is the first book to offer a comprehensive explanation of how humans experience music and to unravel the mystery of our perennial love affair with it. Using musical examples from Bach to The Beatles, he reveals the role of music in human evolution, shows how our musical preferences begin to form even before we are born and explains why music can offer such an emotional experience. Levitin demonstrates how composers exploit the way our brains make sense of the world in order to manipulate our reactions to their music and insists that despite our cultural distinction between an expert class of performers and everyone else, that we are more musically equipped than we think: we are in fact hardwired for music. Music is an obsession at the heart of human nature, even more fundamental to our species than language. In "This is Your Brain on Music Levitin" offers nothing less than a new way to unlock the mysteries of the human brain.

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Product Description:

This is the first book to offer a comprehensive explanation of how humans experience music and to unravel the mystery of our perennial love affair with it. Using musical examples from Bach to the Beatles, Levitin reveals the role of music in human evolution, shows how our musical preferences begin to form even before we are born and explains why music can offer such an emotional experience.

Music is an obsession at the heart of human nature, even more fundamental to our species than language. In This Is Your Brain On Music Levitin offers nothing less than a new way to understand it, and its role in human life.

Review:

"'Music seems to have an almost willful, evasive quality, defying simple explanation, so that the more we find out, the more there is to know... Daniel Levitin's book is an eloquent and poetic exploration of this paradox. There may be no simple answer or end in sight, but the ride is nonetheless a thrilling one, especially in the company of a writer who is both an accomplished musician, a hard-nosed scientist, and someone who can still look upon the universe with a sense of wonder.' Sting * Fascinating... Levitin's extremely skilled at laying out complex concepts in understandable terms... an absorbing explanation of the mechanics of why music affects us the way it does. - Jonathan O'Brien, Sunday Business Post * Endlessly stimulating. - Oliver Sacks * Despite illuminating a lot of what goes on with music this book doesn't "spoil" enjoyment - it only deepens the beautiful mystery that is music. - David Byrne, Talking Heads"

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