This Is Your Brain On Music: The Science Of A Human Obsession by Daniel J. LevitinThis Is Your Brain On Music: The Science Of A Human Obsession by Daniel J. Levitin

This Is Your Brain On Music: The Science Of A Human Obsession

byDaniel J. Levitin

Paperback | August 28, 2007

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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.

Taking on prominent thinkers who argue that music is nothing more than an evolutionary accident, Levitin poses that music is fundamental to our species, perhaps even more so than language. Drawing on the latest research and on musical examples ranging from Mozart to Duke Ellington to Van Halen, he 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 head

A Los Angeles Times Book Award finalist, This Is Your Brain on Music will attract readers of Oliver Sacks and David Byrne, as it is an unprecedented, eye-opening investigation into an obsession at the heart of human nature.
Daniel J. Levitin, Ph.D., is the New York Times bestselling author of This Is Your Brain on Music, The World in Six Songs, The Organized Mind, and Weaponized Lies. His work has been translated into 21 languages. An award-winning scientist and teacher, he is Founding Dean of Arts & Humanities at the Minerva Schools at KGI, a Distinguish...
Title:This Is Your Brain On Music: The Science Of A Human ObsessionFormat:PaperbackProduct dimensions:352 pages, 8.01 × 5.24 × 0.75 inShipping dimensions:8.01 × 5.24 × 0.75 inPublished:August 28, 2007Publisher:Penguin Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0452288525

ISBN - 13:9780452288522


Rated 4 out of 5 by from Ok read Interesting to read about how music affects us, but I wish there was more of a coherent theme
Date published: 2018-08-10
Rated 3 out of 5 by from It was alright Thought I'd enjoy this book after reading "Musicophilia" by Oliver Sacks, but it wasn't as great as I had expected. I find that the author tries to draw in as much audience as possible by bouncing from one thing to another. It would be interesting for some musicians and / or scientists but not my cup of tea.
Date published: 2018-03-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Only Book of It’s Kind This is a terrific book and very easy to recommend. It will also appeal to a wide variety of readers from the simply curious to the professional musician. People who read it will come out with a new understanding of music and the mechanics of how it effects them. Recommended without question.
Date published: 2008-02-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A fascinating look at the musical brain This book is a great look at the various aspects of music and how the brain processes, remembers, and creates them. The book moves systematically through aspects like pitch, rhythm, etc. The author is very knowledgeable about both music and neurology, and very articulate in explaining some difficult concepts. For a person who knows a fair bit about music, some of the information about the fundamentals of music (definitions of terms, etc.) will be unnecessary, but I can see why these details were included--this book would be of as much interest to a non-musician as it would be to a musician. Definitely worth reading!
Date published: 2008-01-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Music to my eyes... A very interesting explanation on what makes music sooo attractive to the vast majority of us... the first two chapters are in my opinion, heavy to read (I had to go back several times to try and get the idea); actually, in this regard I found the first statements of the author a little bit contradictory, since as he somehow explains, science (technical facts) should be explained "easily"... well, it wasn't in my opinion for the most of the beginning. After that, the book gets much lighter, much friendlier and "simple" to understand. The way -Daniel Levitin explains- how our brain rather than "concentrate" certain functions or types of information in particular parts of our brains (as it was thought), rather "distributes" them in several to be first accumulated and then processed between all of those (and others) I found new and fascinating. Also, the property that our brains have to adapt and learn new things (tricks!) is overwhelming too... (There's hope then!), contrary to the ancient believe that as we grow old, new knowledges are difficult to learn (assimilate). Then he explains how these and other characteristics add to make music sooo enjoyable... (it is possible to live without TV, but not without a radio!). Good book. I'm glad I ordered it!
Date published: 2007-11-10

Table of Contents

This Is Your Brain On MusicIntroduction
I Love Music and I Love Science—Why Would I Want to Mix the Two?

1. What Is Music?
From Pitch to Timbre

2. Foot Tapping
Discerning Rhythm, Loudness, and Harmony

3. Behind the Curtain
Music and the Mind Machine

4. Anticipation
What We Expect from Liszt (and Ludacris)

5. You Know My Name, Look Up the Number
How We Categorize Music

6. After Dessert, Crick Was Still Four Seats Away from Me
Music, Emotion, and the Reptilian Brain

7. What Makes a Musician?
Expertise Dissected

8. My Favorite Things
Why Do We Like the Music We Like?

9. The Music Instinct
Evolution's #1 Hit

Bibliographic Notes

Editorial Reviews

“Endlessly stimulating, a marvelous overview, and one which only a deeply musical neuroscientist could give....An important book.”—Oliver Sacks, M.D. “I loved reading that listening to music coordinates more disparate parts of the brain than almost anything else - and playing music uses even more! Despite illuminating a lot of what goes on, this book doesn't 'spoil' enjoyment—it only deepens the beautiful mystery that is music.”—David Byrne, founder of Talking Heads and author of How Music Works “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“Why human beings make and enjoy music is, in Levitin's telling, a delicious story.”—“Dr. Levitin is an unusually deft interpreter full of striking scientific trivia.”—The New York Times“Every musician, at whatever level of skill, should read this book.”—Howie Klein, former president, Sire and Reprise/Warner Brothers Records“Levitin’s lucid explanation of why music is important to us is essential reading for creative musicians and scholars. I've been waiting for years for a book like this.”—Jon Appleton, composer and professor of Music, Dartmouth College and Stanford University, inventor of the Synclavier synthesizer