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

This Is Your Brain on Music - The Science of a Human Obsession by Daniel J. Levitin
Publisher : Dutton 2006 | ISBN 0786584041 | File type: PDF | 316 pages | 1.5 mb

Think of a song that resonates deep down in your being. Now imagine sitting down with someone who was there when the song was recorded and can tell you how that series of sounds was committed to tape, and who can also explain why that particular combination of rhythms, timbres and pitches has lodged in your memory, making your pulse race and your heart swell every time you hear it. Remarkably, Levitin does all this and more, interrogating the basic nature of hearing and of music making (this is likely the only book whose jacket sports blurbs from both Oliver Sacks and Stevie Wonder), without losing an affectionate appreciation for the songs he's reducing to neural impulses. Levitin is the ideal guide to this material: he enjoyed a successful career as a rock musician and studio producer before turning to cognitive neuroscience, earning a Ph.D. and becoming a top researcher into how our brains interpret music. Though the book starts off a little dryly (the first chapter is a crash course in music theory), Levitin's snappy prose and relaxed style quickly win one over and will leave readers thinking about the contents of their iPods in an entirely new way.

0. Introduction - I Love Music and I Love Science¡ªWhy 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

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