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Musicophilia

Tales of Music and the Brain
Sacks, Oliver W. (Book - 2007 )
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Musicophilia
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Random House, Inc.
Music can move us to the heights or depths of emotion. It can persuade us to buy something, or remind us of our first date. It can lift us out of depression when nothing else can. It can get us dancing to its beat. But the power of music goes much, much further. Indeed, music occupies more areas of our brain than language does—humans are a musical species.

Oliver Sacks’s compassionate, compelling tales of people struggling to adapt to different neurological conditions have fundamentally changed the way we think of our own brains, and of the human experience. In Musicophilia, he examines the powers of music through the individual experiences of patients, musicians, and everyday people—from a man who is struck by lightning and suddenly inspired to become a pianist at the age of forty-two, to an entire group of children with Williams syndrome, who are hypermusical from birth; from people with “amusia,” to whom a symphony sounds like the clattering of pots and pans, to a man whose memory spans only seven seconds—for everything but music.

Our exquisite sensitivity to music can sometimes go wrong: Sacks explores how catchy tunes can subject us to hours of mental replay, and how a surprising number of people acquire nonstop musical hallucinations that assault them night and day. Yet far more frequently, music goes right: Sacks describes how music can animate people with Parkinson’s disease who cannot otherwise move, give words to stroke patients who cannot otherwise speak, and calm and organize people whose memories are ravaged by Alzheimer’s or amnesia.

Music is irresistible, haunting, and unforgettable, and in Musicophilia, Oliver Sacks tells us why.

Baker & Taylor
Drawing on the individual experiences of patients, musicians, composers, and everyday people, the author of Awakenings explores the complex human response to music, detailing the full range of human reactions to music, what goes on and can go wrong when we listen to music, and how music can affect those suffering from a variety of ailments. 100,000 first printing.

Book News
Sacks's own enthusiasm about the complex workings of the human mind (he teaches clinical neurology and psychiatry at Columbia U.) becomes infectious in his writings. In this volume, he turns his attention to the many phenomena concerning music and the brain, relating the scientific explanations alongside numerous and compelling case studies. Sacks describes the effects of music--and different aspects of music--on ordinary individuals, musicians, and people who have had accidents or disabilities, in chapters on music and memory, musical hallucinations, music therapy, and perfect pitch, among other topics. Annotation ©2008 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Baker
& Taylor

Drawing on the individual experiences of patients, musicians, composers, and ordinary people, the author explores the complex human response to music, and how music can affect those suffering from a variety of ailments.

Authors: Sacks, Oliver W.
Statement of Responsibility: Oliver Sacks
Title: Musicophilia
tales of music and the brain
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2007
Edition: 1st ed
Characteristics: xiv, 381 p. ; 22 cm.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (p. 353-367) and index
Contents: Haunted by music. A bolt from the blue : sudden musicophilia ; A strangely familiar feeling : musical seizures ; Fear of music : musicogenic epilepsy ; Music on the brain : imagery and imagination ; Brainworms, sticky music and catchy tunes ; Musical hallucinations
A range of musicality. Sense and sensibility : a range of musicality ; Things fall apart : amusia and dysharmonia ; Papa blows his nose in G : absolute pitch ; Pitch imperfect : cochlear amusia ; In living stereo : why we have two ears ; Two thousand operas : musical savants ; An auditory world : music and blindness ; The key of clear green : synesthesia and music
Memory, movement, and music. In the moment : music and amnesia ; Speech and song : aphasia and music therapy ; Accidental davening : dyskinesia and cantillation ; Come together : music and Tourette's Syndrome ; Keeping time : rhythm and movement ; Kinetic melody: Parkinson's disease and music therapy
Phantom fingers: the case of the one-armed pianist ; Athletes of the small muscles : musician's dystonia
Emotion, identity, and music. Awake and asleep : musical dreams ; Seduction and indifference ; Lamentations : music and depression ; The case of Harry S. : music and emotion ; Irrepressible : music and the temporal lobes ; A hypermusical species : Williams Syndrome ; Music and identity : dementia and music therapy
Subject Headings: Music Psychological aspects Music Physiological aspects
Topical Term: Music
Music
LCCN: 2007006810
ISBN: 9781400040810
1400040817
Branch Call Number: 781.15 S
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Sep 24, 2014
  • PatrickLongworth1969 rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

I've read the book to a certain point. It's fairly interesting but not riveting and one of the key problems I have with his writing is his belief/support of evolutionary theory. That's how I see it anyway. I didn't finish the book as I lost interest in the subject and his writing style is part of the reason why I stopped.

Nov 21, 2013
  • jonesisinger rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

I found the book very interesting. It validates the use of music when used therapeutically. I found the section about music and dementia very helpful and applicable.

Dec 27, 2010
  • Sunny222 rated this: 1 stars out of 5.

This book did not hold my interest. It would be more interesting to someone who loves classical music, or someone who plays music or who is fascinated by how the brain processes sound and music.

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Nov 21, 2013
  • jonesisinger rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Musical perception, musical sensibility, musical emotion and musical memory can survive long after other forms of memory have disappeared. Music of the right kind can serve to orient and anchor a patient when almost nothing else can. Page 337

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