Thursday, September 10, 2009

This is Your Brain on Music

I recently started reading the International bestseller called This is Your Brain on Music. It's by former record producer and sound engineer Daniel J. Levitin, who just so happens to be a neuroscientist these days.

Basically, the book connects music, both in the form of an art and a medium, with science and the human brain. For those of you who, like me, shy away from science-y words like "amygdala" and "neurotransmitters," don't worry! This book is for everyone; it's written in layman's terms. In it, Levitin explains, among many other things, how our brains decode music, why we like the genres of music we do, and the conventions writers and performers use to get songs stuck in our heads.

Although so far this post looks kind of like a book review or recommendation (I think every music lover should read it, regardless of the musical knowledge you possess.), I wanted to write about how present music is in day to day life. The book got me to realize that music truly is everywhere! Even if you claim to not care for music, you can't deny that music is pretty much everywhere you go and in practically everything you watch. TV shows have theme songs, movies have soundtracks, ads have jingles. Stores and restaurants usually play background music and many have open mic or live band nights.

Also, more than any other form of media, I think music is the most personal, and I'll go as far as to say that music is essential to the human species; it's been around since people have been in existence, after all. Most of us would probably have an extremely difficult time going about our day to day life without things like iPods, CDs, Pandora, or the radio.

1 comment:

michael said...

I've read this book and I agree, it's a great read for anyone who loves music and wants to understand it better.