Tuesday, June 16, 2009

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Monday, June 15, 2009

This is Your Brain on Music

One of my students, an avid thinker and audiophile, gave me This is Your Brain on Music by Daniel J. Levitin a while back. I put it on the proverbial and ever increasing 'stack of stuff' that I try to slog through at any given moment and finally began reading it just a week or so ago.

I was interested to learn that like me, Dan has a history with saxophone, had spent some time at Berklee School of Music in Boston and has an incredibly eclectic history of interests and professions including; automobile mechanic, graphic designer, typographer, chauffeur, product manager, data analyst, dishwasher, computer operator, television repairman, fry cook, door-to-door salesman, camp counselor and wood stove salesman. Now this is a guy that I can relate to!

Dan takes both a scientific and practical look at the mysteries of music so you don't need to have passed Acoustics 101 or an intimate relationship with the complete works of Schumann to enjoy the book. In fact, he asserts 'the average person has more musical ability than is often believed'. This is something my collegues and I agree with wholeheartedly and is hopefully reflected in our work at MusickEd.com.

One of my musical and artistic heroes David Byrne had this to say about Dan's book; 'Despite illuminating alot of what goes on, this book doesn't spoil enjoyment - it only deepens the beautiful mystery that is music.'

There's no need for me to try and sum up the contents here. Instead, I suggest that if the title intrigues you at all....even in the slightest bit...run out and grab your very own copy. I have recommended it to many of my colleagues and students and I highly recommend it to you.