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Your Brain on Music... a book topic
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (10 votes) 
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ABitRusty
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April 5, 2022 - 9:58 am
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This is Your Brain on Music

 

Im really liking this book.   It has a great section on basic music theory in the beginning ..things like what a major or minor scale is, intervals, tempo, pitch... then moves on.  Ive copied some of the description from amazon.  Very listenable narration if you do audio.   I havent before but saw the option on kindle and said what the heck.   It actually works well...especially being able to continue book while driving.  Welcome to the 21st century i guess huh? 😄

 

 

Taking on prominent thinkers who argue that music is nothing more than an evolutionary accident, Levitin poses that music is fundamental to our species, perhaps even more so than language. Drawing on the latest research and on musical examples ranging from Mozart to Duke Ellington to Van Halen, he reveals:

• How composers produce some of the most pleasurable effects of listening to music by exploiting the way our brains make sense of the world
• Why we are so emotionally attached to the music we listened to as teenagers, whether it was Fleetwood Mac, U2, or Dr. Dre
• That practice, rather than talent, is the driving force behind musical expertise
• How those insidious little jingles (called earworms) get stuck in our head

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stringy
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April 5, 2022 - 4:19 pm
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I saw this book in warterstones in Manchester and was thinking of buying it, once I have got through my backlog:) sounds interesting

Bit more, bit more, snap #*÷?×[email protected]?#[email protected]

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ELCBK
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April 6, 2022 - 2:39 pm
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@ABitRusty -

Like stringy, I also spotted This Your Brain On Music , while checking out books available on the subject, and this was interesting enough to leave an impression! 

AND, much less expensive than the other book you recommended to check out, The Psychology of Music (Cognition & Perception)

I think this is a great topic to explore, but there are a ton of books on the subject & I don't want to spend too much time down this rabbit hole, so "This Is Your Brain On Music" sounds perfect.  

On a different subject related to music/our brains, just read Music Therapy Can Rewire a Broken Brain - an article from "Who, What, Why" from 2018, thought maybe worth following up on for more recent info... hit's home for many of us.

https://i2.wp.com/www.netmarkers.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/music-brain-Netmarkers.jpg?resize=700%2C400&ssl=1

 

THANK YOU, for your recommendations! 

- Emily

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AndrewH
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April 7, 2022 - 4:16 am
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Here's a talk on the neuroscience of music by Elaine Bearer, who teaches both pathology at the University of New Mexico medical school and composition in the UNM music department, and was a professional musician before becoming a scientist.

 

(I have a personal connection here: I got some informal music composition lessons from her when I was in college and she was a visiting neuroscience professor. I was, unofficially, her only music student that year.)

 

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ABitRusty
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April 7, 2022 - 8:45 am
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thanks for the link andrew.  ill be checking that out.  interesting how memory works...or how we categorize stuff..  why we associate rock music with different songs..so to speak. 

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SharonC
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April 7, 2022 - 10:24 pm
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@ABitRusty I read this book a few years ago--a good read smile

Characterize people by their actions and you will never be fooled by their words.

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ABitRusty
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April 7, 2022 - 10:39 pm
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@SharonC im about halfway through.  Theres alot of what seems like laying the groundwork from previous studies to maybe explain why or how we relate to different music.  At least it seems like its headed in that direction.  Im several chapters in.   The one study at Stanford about the owls brain playing back the blue danube was a little freaky but interesting.  The music therory chapter was one of the better ones so far.  Also interesting how differwnt parts of the brain work with different aspects of music...if im understanding correctly.  The last thing i need to be doing here is trying to explain any of it past chapter 3...lol..  I like BBC documentaries on just about anything and this sorta fits into that mold for me.

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Gordon Shumway
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April 8, 2022 - 3:41 am
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Such books can take away precious practice time.devil-violin

And also they may be speculative, so not really informative.

I read a book on memory a while back. What musicians and sportspeople call muscle memory is known as "procedural memory" to psychologists. My book had barely 6 words to say on the subject, which was disappointing.

Also be aware that you should also read books on the anthropology of music (and ethnomusicology) for a balanced view - the Western view of music as entertainment is not universal - in some cultures music is only used in religious ceremony. A Western book on the brain and music may be inadvertently culturally biased.

"ranging from Mozart to Duke Ellington to Van Halen".

A bit of a limited range, then!

Or perhaps the same brain-physiological analysis may explain both - rhythm and chanting being the earliest building blocks, and perhaps entertainment takes over when religion is decadent. But there will always be an intimate melding of physiology and culturally dependent social-psychology. When the Renaissance re-invented opera, they were imagining what ancient Greek drama might have been like and remodelling themselves as the new Classical Civilisation (that's what renaissance/rebirth means).

Andrew

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ABitRusty
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April 8, 2022 - 8:40 am
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Gordon Shumway said
Such books can take away precious practice time.devil-violin

rofl...yes please dont Not play or practice to read a book thinking its just as good.. 

Gordon Shumway said
 

".......

And also they may be speculative, so not really informative.

I read a book on memory a while back. What musicians and sportspeople call muscle memory is known as "procedural memory" to psychologists. My book had barely 6 words to say on the subject, which was disappointing."

i was beginning to get the same feeling with this one but I think he was laying some groundwork to show what he is basing some things on.  What i listened to on the morning drive today Im especially interested in hearing more about.

Nothing so far other than the theory section is practical.  but may, depending on the rest of it give some ideas on where the biggest bang for buck practice is or things that can help retain tunes better.  idk yet..still reading.

 

  

 

 

Gordon Shumway said
".........

Also be aware that you should also read books on the anthropology of music (and ethnomusicology) for a balanced view - the Western view of music as entertainment is not universal - in some cultures music is only used in religious ceremony. A Western book on the brain and music may be inadvertently culturally biased.

"ranging from Mozart to Duke Ellington to Van Halen".

A bit of a limited range, then!

Or perhaps the same brain-physiological analysis may explain both - rhythm and chanting being the earliest building blocks, and perhaps entertainment takes over when religion is decadent. But there will always be an intimate melding of physiology and culturally dependent social-psychology. When the Renaissance re-invented opera, they were imagining what ancient Greek drama might have been like and remodelling themselves as the new Classical Civilisation (that's what renaissance/rebirth means).

 

Ill keep that in mind and tha thanks for the suggestion.  This author did hit on the point that historically people participated in music more than now.  People have become very good music critics from years of hearing and listening to what we like...even without playing an instrument.  Which brought up further in reading.. How does a person know that a note was off key without knowing what a key or scale is and whats that mean?  🤔🙂

Im not expecting any deep hidden secret that will help progeress..but its a good listen so far. 
  

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Gordon Shumway
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April 12, 2022 - 3:57 pm
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ABitRusty said

...This author did hit on the point that historically people participated in music more than now.  People have become very good music critics from years of hearing and listening to what we like...even without playing an instrument.  Which brought up further in reading..

Yes, I was watching something historical (18th century? I've forgotten what it was) where someone was painting recreationally and thinking that I'd have spent far more time making music in those days than I have in this life.

How does a person know that a note was off key without knowing what a key or scale is...

This is a question I often ask myself of those who have perfect pitch - it must be some kind of "photographic" memory at work - something they have been told, and why would the pitch be A=440, unless it was culturally determined?

Andrew

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ELCBK
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April 12, 2022 - 10:17 pm
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@AndrewH -

I finally got a chance to watch the video you posted about Elaine Bearer's work. 

Found it very interesting,THANK YOU! 

Not really sure how much closer she got to answering her original question, about where musical creativity comes from, though. 

 

@ABitRusty -

Ran across these from Daniel Levitin - didn't really find overlapping info between these videos, so all worth watching! 

"This is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession" - Microsoft Visiting Speaker Series with Daniel Levitin.  The question/answer period, starting approx at 41 minutes into the video, make this worth watching.

 

"Music and The Mind: How They Co-Evolved" - Daniel Levitin.  LOVE his definition of "Art" and some great questions answered!

 

"Daniel Levitin, in musical conversation with Alex de Grassi", Grammy Award-nominated Fingerstyle Guitarist. 

 

"The World in Six Songs: Dr. Daniel Levitin" - don't think this one got posted anywhere (let me know if it did) - VERY entertaining - TEDx TALKS! 

https://i.pinimg.com/736x/9f/b4/0c/9fb40cd982c6f758dd83a4c36c40f207.jpg

 

 

...know you are reading the book, but the question/answer periods in these videos may contain additional, or interesting info for you. 

- Emily

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ABitRusty
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April 12, 2022 - 11:21 pm
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thanks @elcbk ill be sure to watch these.  There were a few chapters that covered alot of groumd on previous studies.  alot about different brain areas and what studies have shown stimulates or uses those areas.  different aspects of music use different areas.  Those chapters were interesting but im later in the book now.  its a little more specific to music now.  still isnt so much a how to book but more of a why to and why music can be so important.  Why practice is so important.  practicing what we like seems like a point he was making...i hate to misquote anything.  but thats the impression i got on first read.  theres a section where he talks about joni mitchell and her guitar tunings and chord choices you would probably like.  reminded me of some of the topics started here.

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