This Is Your Brain On Music: Understanding A Human Obsession – Daniel J. Levitin

Review From User :

We tend to make music for as much granted as we do breathing. Music is EVERYWHERE. The same way that you encounter hundreds of advertisements in a day: you also encounter music in various forms.This is Your Brain on Music (yes, based on the popular egg-drug PSA, explores how music is processed within your brain and why we react the way we do.

This journey within the musical brain begins with a brief description of music in terms of notes, patterns, tempo, etc. One can skip this section if already familiar or simply not interested. It won't hinder your understanding of the subsequent chapters. Levitin then dives into explaining such noteworthy topics as why we get songs stuck in our heads, why certain songs are equated with memories throughout our lives, and how our brain tends to know the next couple notes in a song even if we've never heard it before. All of these topics are augmented with thorough research and scientific explanations; yet, in a lamen's terms.

You don't have to be a musician to be interested in this read, you merely have to an inquiring person. If nothing else, you will learn facts which will impress your friends and perhaps win you that spot on your favorite trivia game show. One thing is for certain: you will never look at music the same way again.


Category: Science | Neuroscience | Psychology

A fascinating exploration of the relationship between music and the mind?and the role of melodies in shaping our lives
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Whether you load your iPod with Bach or Bono, music has a significant role in your life?even if you never realized it. Why does music evoke such powerful moods? The answers are at last be- coming clear, thanks to revolutionary neuroscience and the emerging field of evolutionary psychology. Both a cutting-edge study and a tribute to the beauty of music itself, This Is Your Brain on Music unravels a host of mysteries that affect everything from pop culture to our understanding of human nature, including:
– Are our musical preferences shaped in utero?
– Is there a cutoff point for acquiring new tastes in music?
– What do PET scans and MRIs reveal about the brain’s response to music?
– Is musical pleasure different from other kinds of pleasure?

This Is Your Brain on Music explores cultures in which singing is considered an essential human function, patients who have a rare disorder that prevents them from making sense of music, and scientists studying why two people may not have the same definition of pitch. At every turn, this provocative work unlocks deep secrets about how nature and nurture forge a uniquely human obsession.

This is Your Brain on Music (abridged)