bookreview: This is your Brain on Music

by Hugh

This Is Your Brain on Music

book by daniel levitin

What a fantastic book. Introduced by music theory for dummies (what, exactly, are harmony, pitch, rhythm, timbre, major and minor keys, etc etc … I vaguely knew, but couldn’t have told you. I still don’t quite know, but it was all explained wonderfully well for my music-interested, but music-theory-challeneged mind). Followed by discussions of neuroscience, brain function, evoutionary biology, always circling back to music, and how and why we relate to it.

Written clearly, with entertaining vignettes (Levitin, now a prof of of Cognitive Psychology at McGill University, was a music producer in the 1970s, for bands including the Clash, and Blue Oyster Cult), this is a wonderful exploration of the latest theories how the mind works (both psychology and neurophysics), and why music moves us so. Wonderful wonderful stuff.

My rating: 4.0 stars