Music, the Brain, and Ecstasy: How Music Captures Our Imagination
What makes a distant oboe's wail beautiful? Why do some kinds of music lift us to ecstasy, but not others? How can music make sense to an ear and brain evolved for detecting the approaching lion or tracking the unsuspecting gazelle? Lyrically interweaving discoveries from science, psychology, music theory, paleontology, and philosophy, Robert Jourdian brilliantly examines...more
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
Then doubts started to creep in. When he was talking about the need for temperament and different temperament systems, he jumped almost directly from Just Intonation to modern Equal Temperame ...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
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
This book offers plausible answers for some quest ...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
The book is an in-depth exploration of how music and the mind are connected. It progresses through the sequence starting from tone, moving forward to melody, harmony…..understanding, and finally to ecstasy. I loved the way in each of the section the links between the human mind and music are examined and questioned from different perspectives such as history, psychology, neurology, and sociology. For me, the best discovery was how music’s progress depends much on and ...more
“For a few moments it makes us larger than we really are, and the world more orderly than it rea ...more
It is difficult to explain, but after going through every explanation, I realize that living and appreciating being alive has much in common with music appreciation. Evident psychological aspects of human beings come into play similarly on differen ...more
Never too dry but perhaps slightly long enough to test one’s patience, Jourdain does an expert job in attempting to devise a sort of “unified theory” of music cognition.
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