Music, the Brain, and Ecstasy: How Music Captures Our Imagination
My dream is simple: I am cheerfully reading a non-fiction book about the emotional/psychological effect of music.
I keep looking -- and in looking, I have read about the following topics a million FREAKING times, so no: I don't care about layperson sonic physics. I ...more
Robert Jourdain (NOT Robert Jordan), provides an intelligent examination of what music does to our brains, how our brains process and organize music, and why musical prodigies, like Mozar ...more
now that i've got those excuses out of the way, on to the good stuff. so i think this book is wonderful for those who want a general, nontechnical approach to music cognition (including psychoacoustics and neuromusicology). great ...more
This book offers plausible answers for some quest ...more
Jourdain explains how the ear and then the brain processes music and why it is we like and understand some types of music but don't get others.
Unfortunately, he's somewhat of a classical music snob so all his illustrations are in terms of classical music, which would probably be quite off-putting if that wasn't your type of music.
However, for m ...more
It is, however, not entirely without issues. Though Jourdain explains all the necessary music terminology needed to follow along, I still sometimes felt like I was missing something which would have been clear to a more musically inclined mind. Also, he sometimes spends a lot of time to ...more
Robert Jourdain ...more
When I started reading this book (I started in the section explaining the physics behind music) I thought it was excellent.
But then I realized I was essentially reading two different books. All the parts explaining music are incredibly well-researched and helpful (they're a bit clumsily phrased at times, but if you're willing to push on through Jourdain's tortuous wording, it's worth it and you'll learn a lot). I came away with a bette ...more
That sounds counter-intuitive. Surely knowing how the sausage is made kills the mystery? Jourdain manages to break down the biology and psychology of how music works without ruining the listening experience in the process. In fact, once you see all the underpinnings, you're likely to have a far greater appreciation for sound.
Beginning with the structures in the ear and brain that had to evolve before we could perceive anything, then on t ...more
this book is gorgeous. as someone who was previously heavily involved in music, dance and the performance of both, this book is a buffet of mind-candy. I am loving this one so much, I've already marked up the pages with notes, highlights and little tabs despite being about half way through. truly, truly, truly enjoyable even if a dog ate the cover of my copy.
This was a gift from my friends Amy & Keith Wiley, and it turned out to be a wonderful present. Using evolutionary theory, physics, biology, neurology, psychology, and philosophy, Jourdain explores our ability to appreciate and create music. The writing is clean and quickly-paced and each chapter contains several "I didn't know that!" moments. Highly recommended.