This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession

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Music, Science, and the Brain are more closely related than you think. Daniel J. Levitin, James McGill Professor of Psychology and Music at McGill University, shows you why this is.
In this groundbreaking union of art and science, rocker-turned-neuroscientist Daniel J. Levitin (The World in Six Songs and The Organized Mind) 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 head 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. A Los Angeles Times Book Award finalist, This Is Your Brain on Music will attract readers of Oliver Sacks, as it is an unprecedented, eye-opening investigation into an obsession at the heart of human nature.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 322 pages
  • Publisher: Plume/Penguin; 1 Reprint edition (August 28, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452288525
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452288522
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces

Customer Reviews

Great Discussion of Music and Neurology

 on August 4, 2013
By Larry Andreassen
This books is very well written, and well referenced and footnoted. The author has worked in the music industry and has those chops. In addition, the author is a disciplined author also, as is obvious throughout the book.

Interesting read

 on August 28, 2017
By Tina M.
This book gave a good description of how and why music affects people so much. It helped me understand how the brain functions using examples that were clear.

Very good

 on October 10, 2016
By Reader
Found it interesting and informative, even for a non-musician like myself. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a good read.

Five Stars

 on March 18, 2017
By Amazon Customer
A beautiful and magnificent explanation of the link between brain science and the mystique of music.

Complex ideas put simply!

4 people found this helpful.
 on July 8, 2016
By Shane Marques
This book taught me alot of the fundamentals that I knew, but didn’t understand. As in, i knew what most of the information was in my subconscious, but didn’t know aloy of the terminology! Can easily take you from a novice understanding, to an intermediate level.

Easy to read

 on October 12, 2015
By Annette Morrison
Easy to read, easy to understand. Useful information and suggestions for organizing your personal routine to help get better organized. Helpful information about social interactions.

Bought copies for friends

 on December 28, 2012
By Henry Lay
A fascinating book by an author whose unusual background gave him the unique capacity not only to acquire an extensive knowledge of both music and neuroscience, but also to craft a compelling narrative for the rest of us. His careful exposition of these very complex subjects gives us the ability to comprehend and appreciate their interaction – to see each in a new light.

Your Brain on Music

 on February 7, 2010
By Suresh C. Mathur
This book provides deep insights into the impact of music in humans.

It does change your view about music

 on August 21, 2015
By Legis
It clearly explains the basics, and goes deeper into our neurological basis for music. It does change your view about music as a mere pleasure

Fantastic! Even the more technical sections were not so …

 on November 15, 2015
By Christopher Arnberg
Fantastic! Even the more technical sections were not so esoteric as to take away from this non-expert’s enjoyment.

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