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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Crying Uncle On The Science Of Music

After finishing "Guitar Zero" by Gary Marcus, I've concluded no book is ever going to supply me with a satisfactory answer why music has always had such a hold on me.

Marcus' book is the 4th I've now read about the spell music casts. Each was a Christmas gift given to me by either my wife or one of my sisters; all 3 know how central music is to my life. I'm sure that's why these people who love me picked these books. All are well researched; the four authors are highly accomplished in their respective fields; each book uses the most up-to-date findings in neuroscience.

But how can words and science hope to explain such a magical mystery? The authors all deserve credit for trying and they obviously love music as much or more than I. Daniel Levitin, author of "This is Your Brain On Music" (2006) was a studio musician before becoming a neuroscientist. In my mind, this gives him a slight leg up on Marcus, Daniel Storr ("Music and the Mind" - 1992 ) & Oliver Sacks ("Musicophilia" - 2007). But in the end, even Levitin's musical bona fides are not enough. I'll never give up reading about music but I'm pretty sure I've given up on the "science of music" sub-genre. That is, unless one of you has read something you think is worth the effort.         

1 comment:

  1. Pat, Perhaps it's not necessary to understand from an intellectual standpoint why music has such a hold on you. Just enjoy it!Think of the playing and listening time that's lost while reading opinions on why you enjoy music.