This Is Your Brain on Music
The Science of a Human Obsession
In this groundbreaking union of art and science, rocker-turned-neuroscientist Daniel J. Levitin (The World in Six Songs, The Organized Mind, and Weaponized Lies ) 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 and David Byrne, as it is an unprecedented, eye-opening investigation into an obsession at the heart of human nature.
256 pages; ISBN 9781101218914
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Title: This Is Your Brain on Music
Author: Daniel J. Levitin
I Love Music and I Love ScienceWhy 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
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?
8. My Favorite Things
Why Do We Like the Music We Like?
9. The Music Instinct
Evolution's #1 Hit