In this groundbreaking union of art and science, rocker-turned-neuroscientist Daniel J. Levitin explores the connection between music - its performance, its composition, how we listen to it, why we enjoy it - and the human brain. Drawing on the latest research and on musical examples ranging from Mozart to Duke Ellington to Van Halen, Levitin reveals:
How composers produce some of the most pleasurable effects of listening to music by exploiting the way our brains make sense of the world
Why we are so emotionally attached to the music we listened to as teenagers, whether it was Fleetwood Mac, U2, or Dr. Dre
That practice, rather than talent, is the driving force behind musical expertise
How those insidious little jingles (called earworms) get stuck in our heads And, taking on prominent thinkers who argue that music is nothing more than an evolutionary accident, Levitin argues that music is fundamental to our species, perhaps even more so than language. This Is Your Brain on Music is an unprecedented, eye-opening investigation into an obsession at the heart of human nature.
"Levitin's snappy prose and relaxed style quickly win one over and will leave readers thinking about the contents of their iPods in an entirely new way." (Publishers Weekly)
"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)
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- Paul Alexander
Interesting, but Abridged?