August 17, 2008

This Is Your Brain On Music

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

My review

rating: 4 of 5 stars
Great book on the cognitive aspects of music.

There's a music theory section at the beginning which the author says will mostly be review for folks who are already musicians; I found that section to be one of the most fascinating parts of the book. Maybe I simply need to review music theory, but I thought he did a good job framing that section in an interesting way, adding some links to recent research and giving popular examples of certain musical structures.

Because he gives many examples in the book, you might want to read this book near your extensive CD collection, or simply near a computer where you can use Project Playlist to hear some of the songs he uses to supplement the text.

I started to build such a playlist on Project Playlist, but stopped somewhere along the way. In case it's helpful to you, here are 18 songs which are mentioned in the book.

I was less interested in the end of the book, which is concerned with justifying music as an endeavor, but the book was never boring.

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Posted by James at August 17, 2008 7:52 PM
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GREAT book I started based on your recommendation, JP...I got it from the library and decided I really need my own copy.

The theory section was fascinating - I majored in music and still found it wonderful to review.

Again, thanks for the recommendation - I'm still working my way through it!

Posted by: Lynn at August 18, 2008 9:34 AM

Thanks for the review, James. For the last 10 years or so, I've "consumed" far more music than any other media.

As I just spent hours last night ripping songs from my CD collection to iTunes (and still have hundreds more CD's to go through) this book will be an interesting companion to an endeavor that will take weeks, I'm sure.

Posted by: Bull at August 18, 2008 1:32 PM

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