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The Music Instinct

The Music Instinct
Philip Ball
Oxford University Press, 2010
ML3800.B2085 2010

From Bach fugues to Indonesian gamelan, nursery rhymes to hip-hop, music has permeated every corner of human culture. But why music excites such deep passions, and how we make sense of musical sound at all, has remained mysterious.

In The Music Instict, Philip Ball shows that a capacity for (and enjoyment in) music-making is an inevitable consequence of the way our brain works. Natural-born pattern seekers, we always look for ways to organize what we hear, and get an emotional charge from patterns we find. Even while listening to the simplest of tunes, the brain is performing some astonishing gymnastics: discerning structure and regularities, forming interpretations, and setting up expectations to create a sense of aesthetic pleasure. Though he challenges such simplistic theories as the Mozart effect and right-brain, left-brain classification, Ball insists that music should form an indispensable part of education. with wit and affection, the author leads us on a wide-ranging tour of science and music, unraveling the latest research in music psychology and brain science, humming all the while.

A captivating account of the importance of music in our lives, The Music Instinct will broaden your horizons while deepening your appreciation of the music you love.

Quoted from dustjacket.