Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Music, Language, and the Brain” as Want to Read:
Music, Language, and the Brain
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Music, Language, and the Brain

4.11  ·  Rating Details ·  530 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
In the first comprehensive study of the relationship between music and language from the standpoint of cognitive neuroscience, Aniruddh D. Patel challenges the widespread belief that music and language are processed independently. Since Plato's time, the relationship between music and language has attracted interest and debate from a wide range of thinkers. Recently, scien ...more
Hardcover, 528 pages
Published December 1st 2007 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published November 5th 2007)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Stuart
Dec 27, 2010 Stuart rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science, music
The most impressive book on the subject I've read. Not an easy read and not for most readers, but the far ranging surveys of scientific studies makes a good case for the linking of music and language. My notes:

Octave & 5th very common
Most scales 5 - 7 notes
Most scale intervals between 1&3 semitones (2 common)
Most scales are asymmetric-exceptions are Whole tone(6) and Slendro(5)
Asymmetric scales help identify relation to tonic though cultural conditioning trumps in pattern recognition

Tabl
...more
Kaitlyn Dennis
My first thought after finishing this: WHEW. What a mental workout. This took about a month and a half to get through, which, for a book that I was reading on a semi-daily basis throughout that, is a hell of a long time. Still, totally worth it.

Although it's not a pop science book, it's still accessible for those not in the field of neuroscience or linguistics. However, I'm not sure how readable or enjoyable this would be for someone without any exposure to general music theory and/or linguistic
...more
Will
Dec 29, 2012 Will rated it really liked it
"Linguistic and musical sound systems illustrate a common theme in the study of music-language relations. On the surface, the two domains are dramatically different. Music uses pitch in ways that speech does not, and speech organizes timbre to a degree seldom seen in music. Yet beneath these differences lie deep connections in terms of cognitive and neural processing. Most notably, in both domains the mind interacts with one particular aspect of sound (pitch in music, and timbre in speech) to cr ...more
Dirk Elzinga
Apr 10, 2013 Dirk Elzinga rated it really liked it
Shelves: linguistics, music
For the most part this book reads like a gigantic lit review. Unavoidable, perhaps, but off-putting at the same time. I found myself marking up the bibliography section much more than the text itself. Still, I can't deny that this book fills a great gaping hole in the presentation of the research connecting music and language, and Patel should be commended for this work. (It should be noted that a great deal of the research summarized here is by Patel and colleagues.)
Brian
May 12, 2013 Brian rated it liked it
An thorough, meticulous, nearly exhaustive review of the research on how the brain processes music and language. It's a tiring read, free of much one might call "style", but the chapter on Meaning masterfully pulls together the loads of information presented in the previous chapters. The book ends up being more suggestive than conclusive, but if you are interested in, for example, how the "music" of poetry is processed by the brain, this is the book for you.
Kalle Oskar
Patel's work is a dense study that musicians might understand, or neurobiologist might understand - at least in part. The Rhetorician doesn't quite get it. I'm working at understanding, but it is a difficult work. The struggle may be repaid sometime.
Scott Miles
Jan 05, 2013 Scott Miles rated it it was amazing
Shelves: neuroscience
What an incredible resource! This book reads like a 520-page "Nature Reviews Neuroscience" paper, and a well-written one at that. Up-to-date, thorough, scientifically balanced, and intellectually bold, this is a volume that I hope will guide my own research for years to come.
Sunlita
Feb 26, 2009 Sunlita marked it as to-read
Shelves: five-stars-books
Tough I really want to read this book, the price is quite expensive for me, so I should wait until I have a chance to buy this book. But from what I've read about this, it seems that this book's price is worthed to buy.
Tim
Sep 08, 2012 Tim rated it really liked it
A scholarly study by a neuroscientist of core aspects of being human. Patel argues that language use arose via natural selection but the evidence on balance indicates that music and musical affinity are side-effects rather than direct effects of selection.
Nguyễn Thanh Tùng
Jan 23, 2016 Nguyễn Thanh Tùng rated it it was amazing
I want to discover more about the link between music and language.This book is really useful and helpful to me.
Everett Charters
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Eng
Eng rated it it was amazing
Apr 19, 2012
Brandon Killen
Brandon Killen rated it really liked it
Feb 11, 2013
Bob
Bob rated it really liked it
Dec 11, 2011
Vipul Bajpai
Vipul Bajpai rated it it was amazing
Jan 08, 2013
Manju
Manju rated it it was amazing
Dec 20, 2014
Ravi
Ravi rated it it was ok
Apr 01, 2013
Jason Stoessel
Jason Stoessel rated it really liked it
Feb 29, 2016
Stevanus Lianto
Stevanus Lianto rated it really liked it
Oct 16, 2014
Oliver Sacks
Oliver Sacks rated it it was amazing
Jul 05, 2012
Princess Geriane
Princess Geriane rated it liked it
Aug 28, 2014
Dawn Sadoway
Dawn Sadoway rated it it was amazing
Jun 12, 2013
Gonzalo Castro
Gonzalo Castro rated it liked it
Oct 18, 2015
Carlo
Carlo rated it liked it
Sep 09, 2015
Joseph Church
Joseph Church rated it really liked it
Dec 05, 2014
AJ Brand
AJ Brand rated it it was amazing
Feb 21, 2015
Renee Valdez
Renee Valdez rated it really liked it
Sep 25, 2016
Bianca
Bianca rated it it was amazing
Mar 03, 2012
Hannah
Hannah rated it liked it
Jun 27, 2016
Grace
Grace rated it it was amazing
Jun 09, 2012
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Music and the Mind
  • Music, the Brain, and Ecstasy: How Music Captures Our Imagination
  • Emotion and Meaning in Music
  • The Music Instinct: How Music Works and Why We Can't Do Without It
  • Sweet Anticipation: Music and the Psychology of Expectation
  • The Singing Neanderthals: The Origins of Music, Language, Mind, and Body
  • The World in Six Songs: How the Musical Brain Created Human Nature
  • The Tao of Music: Sound Psychology - Using Music to Change Your Life
  • The Art of Practicing: A Guide to Making Music from the Heart
  • The Joy of Music
  • Audio Culture: Readings in Modern Music
  • How Music Works: The Science and Psychology of Beautiful Sounds, from Beethoven to the Beatles and Beyond
  • The Lives of the Great Composers
  • Listen to This
  • Beethoven
  • The Study of Counterpoint
  • Poetics of Music in the Form of Six Lessons
  • The Classical Style: Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven

Share This Book



“Linguistic and musical sound systems illustrate a common theme in the study of music-language relations. On the surface, the two domains are dramatically different. Music uses pitch in ways that speech does not, and speech organizes timbre to a degree seldom seen in music. Yet beneath these differences lie deep connections in terms of cognitive and neural processing. Most notably, in both domains the mind interacts with one particular aspect of sound (pitch in music, and timbre in speech) to create a perceptually discretized system. Importantly, this perceptual discretization is not an automatic byproduct of human auditory perception. For example, linguistic and musical sequences present the ear with continuous variations in amplitude, yet loudness is not perceived in terms of discrete categories. Instead, the perceptual discretization of musical pitch and linguistic timbre reflects the activity of a powerful cognitive system, built to separate within-category sonic variation from differences that indicate a change in sound category. Although music and speech differ in the primary acoustic feature used for sound category formation, it appears that the mechanisms that create and maintain learned sound categories in the two domains may have a substantial degree of overlap. Such overlap has implications for both practical and theoretical issues surrounding human communicative development.

In the 20th century, relations between spoken and musical sound systems were largely explored by artists. For example, the boundary between the domains played an important role in innovative works such as Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire and Reich's Different Trains (cf. Risset, 1991). In the 21st century, science is finally beginning to catch up, as relations between spoken and musical sound systems prove themselves to be a fruitful domain for research in cognitive neuroscience. Such work has already begun to yield new insights into our species' uniquely powerful communicative abilities.”
1 likes
More quotes…