Music and the Brain : The Great Courses: Psychology

  • by The Great Courses
  • Narrated by Professor Aniruddh D. Patel
  • Series: The Great Courses: Psychology
  • 9 hrs and 10 mins
  • Lecture

Publisher's Summary

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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Clear intro to the neuroscience of music

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.
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- Jan W. H. Schnupp

Very engaging

If you could sum up Music and the Brain in three words, what would they be?

Intelligent, researched, flowing


What was one of the most memorable moments of Music and the Brain?

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.


Have you listened to any of Professor Aniruddh D. Patel’s other performances? How does this one compare?

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.


Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Probably not, it dealt with a lot of things that need digestion & reflection.


Any additional comments?

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!!!!

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- K. Pallett

Book Details

  • Release Date: 14-09-2015
  • Publisher: The Great Courses