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Download This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession, by Daniel J. Levitin Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (12,870 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Daniel J. Levitin Narrator: Edward Herrmann Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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In this groundbreaking union of art and science, rocker-turned-neuroscientist Daniel J. Levitin explores the connection between music, its performance, its composition, how we listen to it, why we enjoy it, and the human brain. Drawing on the latest research and on musical examples ranging from Mozart to Duke Ellington to Van Halen, Levitin 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

Taking on prominent thinkers who argue music is nothing more than an evolutionary accident, Levitin poses that music is fundamental to our species, perhaps even more so than language.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Endlessly stimulating, a marvelous overview, and one which only a deeply musical neuroscientist could give…An important book.”

    Oliver Sacks, M.D.

  • “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

  • “Levitin engagingly weaves together strands of his own life as a professional musician (who dropped out of college to form a band) with those of his transformation into a neuroscientist.”

    Scientific American

  • “Levitin’s snappy prose and relaxed style quickly win one over and will leave readers thinking about the contents of their iPods in an entirely new way.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • I know Dan to have a deep musical knowledge and strong intellect combined with a warm spirit and a big heart. He has an encyclopedic knowledge of popular music . . . He is a fine writer and has the ability to make difficult concepts very clear. STEVIE WONDER
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A 2006 Los Angeles Times Book Prize Nominee for Science & Technology

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Lorie | 2/14/2014

    " i learned more about the functionality of the brain from this musician / cognitive scientist than i did when i was heartily studying cognition in 2004-2005 with respect to ADHD. good stuff in here. helps me understand why music moves so many of us the way it does. the language of my soul...not sure i buy all of the evolutionary theory levitin holds though, he really goes out on a limb there. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Stew | 1/31/2014

    " If you love music or even are interested in dance, how we communicate, how chuildren respond in the womb, and a myriad of related topics, you will likely be fascinated by this book which (to greatly simplify it) attempts to explain how we respond to music, why it is so important to socities for so long, etc. Levitin relates music to language, movement, opioid rushes, and even sex and "mating displays" . Levitin is brilliant--not only in his knowledge (which stretches over a large number of subjects--which he manages to inter-relate) but also in his ability to make some very complicated concepts accessible (by and large) to the average reader. He discusses music in terms of almost every conceivable type of artist--and seems to know the Stones' stuff as intimately as classical, or Santana. This is a DENSELY packed book--I appreciated it more by reading only a few pages at a time. But it is an absolutely original book, which will open your eyes (and ears) to something so fundamental and critical to our lives (music), but that most of us have never been able to get our arms around, no less put into words. A brilliant work. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Jordan Wood | 1/28/2014

    " So technically, I didn't read this. I opted for the audiobook after nearly picking the paper version for years. The primary reason for doing so was that I saw it included audio samples. Granted, there weren't any original recordings of the songs he wrote about, but it was easier to stay engaged when a watered down musical clip helped serve as a demonstration. To whatever point was being addressed. Good information and entertaining anecdotes. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Stephenstomps | 1/24/2014

    " After a life of teaching and performing music, this book helped me break through to new and deeper understandings. This is such an important book which explain the power of music on the structure of the human brain For instance, the concept of "Chunking" is at the core of they way the brain can store a great deal of information in one plac for instantaneous recall and use.. "Okay, eight bar blues in Eb on Take Me Out to the Ball Game, I'll start, 1234"....will illicit hours of music. That little bit of information calls up a lifetime of knowledge and a musician doesn't even have to deal with each individual component. "

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