Music and the Brain : The Great Courses: Psychology

  • by The Great Courses
  • Narrated by Professor Aniruddh D. Patel
  • Series: The Great Courses: Psychology
  • 9 hrs and 10 mins
  • Lecture

Publisher's Summary

Music is an integral part of humanity. Every culture has music, from the largest society to the smallest tribe. Its marvelous range of melodies, themes, and rhythms taps in to something universal. Babies are soothed by it. Young adults dance for hours to it. Older adults can relive their youth with the vivid memories it evokes. Music is part of our most important rituals, and it has been the medium of some of our greatest works of art.
Yet even though music is intimately woven into the fabric of our lives, it remains deeply puzzling, provoking questions such as: How and why did musical behavior originate? What gives mere tones such a powerful effect on our emotions? Are we born with our sense of music, or do we acquire it?
In the last 20 years, researchers have come closer to solving these riddles thanks to cognitive neuroscience, which integrates the study of human mental processes with the study of the brain. This exciting field has not only helped us address age-old questions about music; it also allows us to ask new ones, like: Do the brains of musicians differ from nonmusicians? Can musical training promote cognitive development? Is there a deep connection between music and language?
Join neuroscientist and professor of psychology Dr. Aniruddh Patel to probe one of the mind's most profound mysteries. Covering the latest research findings - from the origins of music's emotional powers to the deficits involved in amusia, or the inability to hear music - these 18 enthralling lectures will make you think about music and your brain in a new way.
Designed for music lovers and brain enthusiasts at all levels, Music and the Brain is truly interdisciplinary and assumes no prior background in neuroscience or music theory. Here is your unrivaled explanation of this marvelous gift.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Dry, passionless

Deathly dry delivery. Too much statistical information. Zero joy and power of music. Even the in-house compositions were expressionless. Mechanical delivery. Mechanical focus. Felt obliged to listen as is my career. Going to spend some sexy time with a Great Course Astrophysicist now and recuperate my joie-de-vivre!
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- Shan "Sing and Play"

New Interesting Science

Would you listen to Music and the Brain again? Why?

Yes. There were many fascinating facts, and I don't remember them all. I love music, and want to understand it on every level.


What was one of the most memorable moments of Music and the Brain?

Humans have relative pitch perception, while most species have absolute pitch perception. That is why few people have perfect pitch, not just regular relative pitch perception. We perceive the octave, the fifth and other intervals because of that.


What does Professor Aniruddh D. Patel bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Music must be heard. I have a thorough enough understanding of music, I may have understood by reading, but I greatly appreciated the auditory examples, especially the illusions.


Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I would say fascinated and amazed.


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- Steven

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-14-2015
  • Publisher: The Great Courses