• Are our musical preferences shaped in utero?
• Is there a cutoff point for acquiring new tastes in music?
• What do PET scans and MRIs reveal about the brain’s response to music?
• Is musical pleasure different from other kinds of pleasure?
This Is Your Brain on Music explores cultures in which singing is considered an essential human function, patients who have a rare disorder that prevents them from making sense of music, and scientists studying why two people may not have the same definition of pitch. At every turn, this provocative work unlocks deep secrets about how nature and nurture forge a uniquely human obsession.
“I loved reading that listening to music coordinates more disparate parts of the brain than almost anything else - and playing music uses even more! Despite illuminating a lot of what goes on, this book doesn't 'spoil' enjoyment—it only deepens the beautiful mystery that is music.”—David Byrne, founder of Talking Heads and author of How Music Works
“Levitin is a deft and patient explainer of the basics for the non-scientist as well as the non-musician....By tracing music's deep ties to memory, Levitin helps quantify some of music's magic without breaking its spell.”—Los Angeles Times Book Review
“Why human beings make and enjoy music is, in Levitin's telling, a delicious story.”—Salon.com
“Dr. Levitin is an unusually deft interpreter full of striking scientific trivia.”—The New York Times
“Every musician, at whatever level of skill, should read this book.”—Howie Klein, former president, Sire and Reprise/Warner Brothers Records
“Levitin’s lucid explanation of why music is important to us is essential reading for creative musicians and scholars. I've been waiting for years for a book like this.”—Jon Appleton, composer and professor of Music, Dartmouth College and Stanford University, inventor of the Synclavier synthesizer