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Music and the Mind

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  559 Ratings  ·  33 Reviews
"Writing with grace and clarity...he touches on everything from the evolution of the Western tonal system, to the Freudian theory of music as infantile escapism, to the differing roles o the right and left brain in perceiving music."
Drawing on his own life long passion for music and synthesizing the theories of Plato, Schopenhauer, Stravinsky, Nietzsche
Paperback, 224 pages
Published October 19th 1993 by Ballantine Books (first published 1992)
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Mikael Lind
Feb 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is a splendid book on music! It's not often that I read a non-fiction book from start to finish without reading some good fiction in between, but that was the case with this book; maybe because I am myself a musician and so the topic speaks to me directly, but also because the book is very well written.
True, one can criticize the book on three accounts.
First, the author should have connected the philosophical writings in the latter half of the book more with his knowledge in psychology. The
Arjun Ravichandran
May 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
In our logos-dominated society, music (not possessing any discernible relation to the external world) often seems a meaningless indulgence ('auditory cheesecake', as Steven Pinker once scathingly observed) - but this is profoundly untrue, especially for those love music.

But this latter group of people are often clueless when it comes to describing why music moves them so profoundly - after all, they are just tones, sounds - arranged in a particular sequence and perceived through the hearing app
Aug 06, 2011 rated it liked it
I will review this book in the style that Mr. Storr wrote it. First a quote from the goodreads member, Jigsaw, who recently finished reading the book.

"This book wasn't what I expected; nevertheless, it was good once I understood what the actual point was. I thought at first that it would address psychological aspects of music primarily. Instead, it focuses briefly on physiological aspects of music, and then becomes more of a review of philosophy of music. Once I got used to this, it was decent.
Billy Coupar
Mar 25, 2014 rated it liked it
I would agree with most of the other reviews here in that; if knowledge is power, then you'll certainly be powerful after reading this. Lots of great references and interesting ideas, which lead you to other books and concepts. However it is extremely academic and the other reviewers are right when they tell you that a lot of the book is made from quotations, long and short.
Gary Gress
Jul 18, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: couldn-t-finish
Reading this, I felt like I was on an aimless and wandering journey, with many stops along the way to regard the varied and numerous monuments (quotations).
Aug 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
I've concluded that what Anthony Storr discusses about the psychogenic (psycho-, mental, -genic, coming from - starting from the mind) causes and effects of music has a great deal of merit, even if he may be no better educated about it than I am. (His focus: the human body; mine: making music and understanding language)
I think this is worth pondering, even if you aren't a musician or a neurologist.
(Maybe it is not the most appropriate for my elementary school colleagues, but maybe they could l
Jun 04, 2013 rated it liked it
This book was basically all about the author's opinion on how he feels music effects and impacts people on an everyday basis. Storr believes music plays a significant role in everyone's lives. He talks about how music helps people getting through difficult times, how we are surrounded by it. This book was actually pretty interesting for a non-fiction book. Although it is usually more difficult for me to read non-fiction books quickly, this book was interesting enough to be a quick read. I was ab ...more
Barnaby Thieme
Apr 27, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: music, psychology
Made it about half-way through this book -- it doesn't strike me as worth finishing. It's not bad as far as it goes, but Storr is no authority on this topic. He's a psychologist who has written books about a number of eclectic subjects, and has no specialization in musicology or music psychology.

This book is essentially a long essay by somebody who is generally smart and who has reflected philosophically about music with the resources of a decently-read layperson, but he doesn't seem any more q
Apr 22, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: music, psychology
Storr shares his thoughts on music, philosophy, and psychology in this well-written book. He explores various great philosophers' viewpoints on music from the past, including Nietzsche, Freud, Jung, Schopenhauer, and Plato as well as various composers and musicians. He finds himself especially sympathetic with Schopenhauer and Nietzsche (because he is an atheist) and spends a great deal of time discussing their thoughts on music. Although he is a committed evolutionist, Storr is forced to puzzle ...more
Graeme Quinn
Dec 22, 2016 rated it liked it
What was good about this book:

- Theories on the origin of music
- The function of music in preliterate societies
- The function of music in ancient civilization
- The relationship between music and the mind and body
- The impact of music on people with neurological and physiological health conditions

What wasn't good about this book:

- Disjointed ideas which had no apparent connection with one another, especially in the discussion of "The Solitary Listener"
- Lofty philosophical analysis of music in c
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Anthony Storr was an English psychiatrist and author. He was a child who was to endure the typical trauma of early 20th century UK boarding schools. He was educated at Winchester, Christ's College, the University of Cambridge and Westminster Hospital. He qualified as a doctor in 1944, and subsequently specialized in psychiatry.

Storr grew up to be kind and insightful, yet, as his obituary states, h
More about Anthony Storr...