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This Is Your Brain on Music

This is the first book to offer a comprehensive explanation of how humans experience music and to unravel the mystery of our perennial love affair with it. Using musical examples from Bach to the Beatles, Levitin reveals the role of music in human evolution, shows how our musical preferences begin to form even before we are born and explains why music can offer such an emotional experience. Music is an obsession at the heart of human nature, even more fundamental to our species than language. In This Is Your Brain On Music Levitin offers nothing less than a new way to understand it, and its role in human life.
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Ever wondered why you can identify your favourite song from hearing only the first two notes? Or why you can't get that annoying jingle out of your head? Daniel Levitin's breathtaking - and wholly accessible - book, now published in paperback, explains why. 'You'll never hear music in the same way again.' Classic FM Magazine

About the Author

Daniel Levitin runs the Laboratory for Musical Perception, Cognition, and Expertise at McGill University, where he holds the James McGill Chair in Psychology. Before becoming a neuroscientist, he was a session musician, sound engineer and record producer. He has written extensively for scientific journals and music trade magazines. He lives in Montreal, Canada.


Fluent and readable... [Levitin] rightly insists that we are all better equipped to perform and appreciate music than we think... We are, he says, hard-wired for music. * Observer * Fascinating... Levitin's extremely skilled at laying out complex concepts in understandable terms... an absorbing explanation of the mechanics of music. * Sunday Business Post * Consistently interesting... Music, Levitin argues, is not a decadent modern diversion but something of fundamental importance to the history of human development. * Literary Review * Endlessly stimulating. -- Oliver Sacks Music seems to have an almost willful, evasive quality, defying simple explanation, so that the more we find out, the more there is to know... Daniel Levitin's book is an eloquent and poetic exploration of this paradox. * Sting *

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