Music is an integral part of humanity. Every culture has music, from the largest society to the smallest tribe. Its marvelous range of melodies, themes, and rhythms taps in to something universal. Babies are soothed by it. Young adults dance for hours to it. Older adults can relive their youth with the vivid memories it evokes. Music is part of our most important rituals, and it has been the medium of some of our greatest works of art.
Yet even though music is intimately woven into the fabric of our lives, it remains deeply puzzling, provoking questions such as: How and why did musical behavior originate? What gives mere tones such a powerful effect on our emotions? Are we born with our sense of music, or do we acquire it?
In the last 20 years, researchers have come closer to solving these riddles thanks to cognitive neuroscience, which integrates the study of human mental processes with the study of the brain. This exciting field has not only helped us address age-old questions about music; it also allows us to ask new ones, like: Do the brains of musicians differ from nonmusicians? Can musical training promote cognitive development? Is there a deep connection between music and language?
Join neuroscientist and professor of psychology Dr. Aniruddh Patel to probe one of the mind's most profound mysteries. Covering the latest research findings - from the origins of music's emotional powers to the deficits involved in amusia, or the inability to hear music - these 18 enthralling lectures will make you think about music and your brain in a new way.
Designed for music lovers and brain enthusiasts at all levels, Music and the Brain is truly interdisciplinary and assumes no prior background in neuroscience or music theory. Here is your unrivaled explanation of this marvelous gift.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.
©2015 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2015 The Great Courses
Intelligent, researched, flowing
I was particularly engaged by the lecture concerning music & its effects on Alzheimer's & Parkinson's diseases. It is a line of research worth continuing.
No, but I particularly enjoyed his enthusiasm for the topic and the fact that he explained quite complex theories about neurological pathways in a way that a complete novice (me) can understand and appreciate.
Probably not, it dealt with a lot of things that need digestion & reflection.
I not only love listening to music of all kinds, but now understand why it affects me on such an emotional level. Even now know why I get goosebumps!!!!
Another reviewer described this audiobook as "passionless". To me that criticisms seems rather unfair, a bit like describing a nice juicy watermelon as not tasting meaty enough. I can imagine that if you turn to this audiobook looking for gripping musical entertainment then you might perhaps be a bit disappointed, but I don't think that is what the author was aiming to provide. If you are after a beautifully clear, accessible and quite comprehensive overview of the state of the art of brain research relating to music perception, then this among the best introductions you are likely to find. There are a number of other popular science titles relating to music on the market, e.g. Oliver Sacks' "musicophilia" or Levitin's "this is your brain on music", which might, for some, score higher on entertainment value, but the material covered in those books is very anecdotal and light-weight in comparison. Prof Patel's course, in contrast, is throughout firmly grounded in proper, quantitative and peer reviewed scientific research. If you want proper science, then this is the good stuff.
Thorough, interesting, accurate
It goes along with Pinker, and all credible authors and academics who have explored the function of music in relation to human development
No, the bite size 30 minute lectures are perfect as time is needed to mull over the ideas and concepts taught
"New Interesting Science"
Yes. There were many fascinating facts, and I don't remember them all. I love music, and want to understand it on every level.
Humans have relative pitch perception, while most species have absolute pitch perception. That is why few people have perfect pitch, not just regular relative pitch perception. We perceive the octave, the fifth and other intervals because of that.
Music must be heard. I have a thorough enough understanding of music, I may have understood by reading, but I greatly appreciated the auditory examples, especially the illusions.
I would say fascinated and amazed.
"Great content, awful editing"
I really loved every bit of the content. The lectures are well prepared and careful designed so that the information is contextualized, arriving at the right time. However, I can't forgive the fact that the editing is just terrible. I know that people will make mistakes while reading, and that's where the editor comes in and fixes the audio. There are too many times where there are hiccups, words mispronounced and the flow stops; which could have been fixed beforehand. I hope the they receive enough complaints to make it right.
Deathly dry delivery. Too much statistical information. Zero joy and power of music. Even the in-house compositions were expressionless. Mechanical delivery. Mechanical focus. Felt obliged to listen as is my career. Going to spend some sexy time with a Great Course Astrophysicist now and recuperate my joie-de-vivre!
Entertaining. Speakers tone detracts a bit from the experience, but the content makes up for it.
"Music and the brain were meant for each other"
I am endlessly fascinated with the human brain. The more I lean about this mysterious mass of gray matter the more I find myself drawn to music. These 18 lectures helped me approach music and cognition in a new way. They left me wanting to learn, listen too, write, read and immerse myself in music. Through learning the affects music can have on the brain it has made me a more active listener and given me a new level of appreciation. I have yet to take a course from "The Great Course" that wasn't worth every minute and "Music and The Brain" is no exception.
"Not as good as I thought it would be"
I would try another book by the Great Courses.
It droned on and all the music seemed to be discordant
I couldn't finish this lecture series. It was neat, but just not interesting enough to pull me to the finish line. I made it about 3/4 through and just gave up. I was waiting for it to get really good and it never did. I wouldn't recommend it, but I can't say it was awful. It was just not good enough.
a little dry sometimes, but over all very fascinating. worth a bit of your time.
"Music is so much more that its sounds"
What we so simply take for granted has so much more propose ,meaning and potential
This book is timely. I'm pleased to know about the research that is underway. The reader has a few missteps, but overall it is easy to listen to.
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