• Musicophilia

  • Tales of Music and the Brain
  • By: Oliver Sacks
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 11 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 09-28-07
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Books on Tape
  • 4 out of 5 stars 4.0 (803 ratings)

Regular price: $35.93

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Publisher's Summary

Music can move us to the heights or depths of emotion. It can persuade us to buy something, or remind us of our first date. It can lift us out of depression when nothing else can. It can get us dancing to its beat. But the power of music goes much, much further. Indeed, music occupies more areas of our brain than language does - humans are a musical species. Oliver Sacks' compassionate, compelling tales of people struggling to adapt to different neurological conditions have fundamentally changed the way we think of our own brains, and of the human experience. In Musicophilia, he examines the powers of music through the individual experiences of patients, musicians, and everyday people. He explores how catchy tunes can subject us to hours of mental replay, and how a surprising number of people acquire nonstop musical hallucinations that assault them night and day.
Yet far more frequently, music goes right: Sacks describes how music can animate people with Parkinson's disease who cannot otherwise move, give words to stroke patients who cannot otherwise speak, and calm and organize people whose memories are ravaged by Alzheimer's or amnesia.
Music is irresistible, haunting, and unforgettable, and in Musicophilia, Oliver Sacks tells us why.
©2007 Oliver Sacks (P)2007 Books on Tape
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Critic Reviews

"[Sacks'] customary erudition and fellow-feeling ensure that, no matter how clinical the discussion becomes, it remains, like the music of Mozart, accessible and congenial." ( Booklist)
"Sacks is an unparalleled chronicler of modern medicine, and fans of his work will find much to enjoy when he turns his prodigious talent for observation to music and its relationship to the brain." ( Publishers Weekly)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Shimon on 11-19-07

A must for music lovers

This book is a must for all music lovers. Readers of Sacks' previous works will recognize his wonderful style that has managed to popularize neurology. This book covers both normal and pathological reactions to music.

My only grumble is that he provides far too many examples of musical hallucinations which caused the book to drag a little. The other topics (and there are many of them) are covered in just the right detail.

The narrator is superb and does justice to this marvelous work.

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18 of 18 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Douglas on 11-23-12

The Best Of Sacks...

is when he removes himself (and his ego) from the narratives and simply brings neurological science to the laymen in clear, easy-to-understand terms and still does not dumb things down or oversimplify. This book is the best of Sacks. He explores all the things that can go right, and wrong, in the brain in regard to music, demonstrating that there are numerous areas of the brain dedicated to understanding and processing music, and thus, I believe, shows Pinker to be wrong when he said, "music is simply 'cheesecake for the brain' and has no evolutionary value..." He does this latter best when he demonstrates the direct link between language and music and how one probably evolved from the other--that is, that music serves as a very real form of communication, even without words.

I almost never comment on narrators--but this one was very good!

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16 of 16 people found this review helpful

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