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Sunday, August 20, 2006

Neuroscience of Music and the Brain

The Sunday Globe had a good article that peaked my interest today.

He's rocking the world of neuroscience

Author explores how the brain processes music

The article is about a new book by Daniel J. Levitin 
who now runs the Laboratory for Musical Perception, Cognition and Expertise at McGill University in Montreal, has immersed himself in music about as deeply as is humanly possible. He began asking scientific questions about the nature of his beloved obsession -- Where does creativity come from? What goes into making a song memorable? -- in the late 1980s. He began asking his peers and role models in the music business and publishing those conversations in magazines such as Billboard and Mix.

It wasn't long before Levitin realized that even the most musically inclined among us are often incapable of explaining precisely how music affects our emotions, and why. That lack of articulation isn't unique to music, Levitin says: ``If you asked Michael Jordan how he shoots a lay up, I don't know if you'd get a coherent answer."

The book is titled: This Is Your Brain on Music which is now on my wish list.
The book reportedly
... segues deftly from a crash course in pitch, timbre, tempo, melody , and other music characteristics to the electrochemical processes of the brain and the elucidation of such topics as ``ear worms," those insipid jingles and pop songs that get infuriatingly stuck in our heads.
Sounds good to me.
The music in words, the sounds of our language, the music created by a multitude of instruments, are all near and dear to me. Looks like I can learn some more by reading Daniel's book.
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