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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. Taking on prominent thinkers who argue that music is nothing more than an evolutionary accident, Levitin poses that music is fundamental to our species, perhaps even more so than language. Drawing on the latest research and on musical examples ranging from Mozart to Duke Ellington to Van Halen, he 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 A Los Angeles Times Book Award finalist, This Is Your Brain on Music will attract readers of Oliver Sacks and David Byrne, as it is an unprecedented, eye-opening investigation into an obsession at the heart of human nature.
An anthology of core readings on cognitive psychology.
The Musical Ear: Oral Tradition in the USA provides a wide-ranging look at the role played by music that is passed on orally without the use of notation, in the folk, popular and art musics of North America. In order to study the process and to find the common elements, McLucas provides an overview of recent research on the brain and memory in order to help the reader understand the inner workings of oral tradition.
In Landscape of the Mind, John F. Hoffecker explores the origin and growth of the human mind, drawing on archaeology, history, and the fossil record. He suggests that, as an indirect result of bipedal locomotion, early humans developed a feedback relationship among their hands, brains, and tools that evolved into the capacity to externalize thoughts in the form of shaped stone objects. When anatomically modern humans evolved a parallel capacity to externalize thoughts as symbolic language, individual brains within social groups became integrated into a "neocortical Internet," or super-brain, giving birth to the mind. Noting that archaeological traces of symbolism coincide with evidence of the ability to generate novel technology, Hoffecker contends that human creativity, as well as higher order consciousness, is a product of the superbrain. He equates the subsequent growth of the mind with human history, which began in Africa more than 50,000 years ago. As anatomically modern humans spread across the globe, adapting to a variety of climates and habitats, they redesigned themselves technologically and created alternative realities through tools, language, and art. Hoffecker connects the rise of civilization to a hierarchical reorganization of the super-brain, triggered by explosive population growth. Subsequent human history reflects to varying degrees the suppression of the mind's creative powers by the rigid hierarchies of nationstates and empires, constraining the further accumulation of knowledge. The modern world emerged after 1200 from the fragments of the Roman Empire, whose collapse had eliminated a central authority that could thwart innovation. Hoffecker concludes with speculation about the possibility of artificial intelligence and the consequences of a mind liberated from its organic antecedents to exist in an independent, nonbiological form.
Winner of the Wallace Berry Award, Society for Music Theory Winner of the Deems Taylor/Virgil Thomson Award, ASCAP What is it about the music you love that makes you want to hear it again? Why do we crave a "hook" that returns, again and again, within the same piece? And how does a song end up getting stuck in your head? Whether it's a motif repeated throughout a composition, a sample looped under an electronic dance beat, a passage replayed incessantly by a musician in a practice room-or an "earworm" burrowing through your mind like a broken record-repetition is nearly as integral to music as the notes themselves. Its centrality has been acknowledged by everyone from evolutionary biologist W. Tecumseh Fitch, who has called it a "design feature" of music, to the composer Arnold Schoenberg who admitted that "intelligibility in music seems to be impossible without repetition." And yet, stunningly little is actually understood about repetition and its role in music. On Repeat offers the first in-depth inquiry into music's repetitive nature, focusing not on a particular style, or body of work, but on repertoire from across time periods and cultures. Author Elizabeth Hellmuth Margulis draws on a diverse array of fields including music theory, psycholinguistics, neuroscience, and cognitive psychology, to look head-on at the underlying perceptual mechanisms associated with repetition. Her work sheds light on a range of issues from repetition's use as a compositional tool to its role in characterizing our behavior as listeners, and then moves beyond music to consider related implications for repetition in language, learning, and communication. Written in engaging prose, and enlivening otherwise complex concepts for the specialist and non-specialist alike, On Repeat will captivate scholars and students across numerous disciplines from music theory and history, to psychology and neuroscience-and anyone fascinated by the puzzle of repetition in music.
In teaching one the art of singing, the constant emphasis on good breath, phrasing and enunciation, tone and poise, text and character becomes, although probably not intended, a rigid mental processing for both student and mentor. Studies autonomously without filtering through the emotional self, the mental act will not rise to true feeling and original art. The mental component fits into a greater dynamic configuration in order to define interpretation, communication, and artistic beauty in singing. The Art of Singing. The Science of Emotions is a voyage still in progress. Tentatively engraved in this volume, the first impressions after eighteen-year search of artistic truth are collected as a compendium of thoughts and excitements with elucidations on both rational and emotional landscapes. The book traces concepts of science, art, spirituality, and philosophy mirrored in the ideal performing the self through singing.
"Provides a unique perspective. I am particularly impressed with the sections on innovative design and methods to investigate cognitive aging and the integrative perspectives. None of the existing texts covers this material to the same level." —Donna J. La Voie, Saint Louis University "The emphasis on integrating the literature with theoretical and methodological innovations could have a far-reaching impact on the field." —Deb McGinnis, Oakland University The Handbook of Cognitive Aging: Interdisciplinary Perspectives clarifies the differences in patterns and processes of cognitive aging. Along with a comprehensive review of current research, editors Scott M. Hofer and Duane F. Alwin provide a solid foundation for building a multidisciplinary agenda that will stimulate further rigorous research into these complex factors. Key Features Gathers the widest possible range of perspectives by including cognitive aging experts in various disciplines while maintaining a degree of unity across chapters Examines the limitations of the extant literature, particularly in research design and measurement, and offers new suggestions to guide future research Highlights the broad scope of the field with topics ranging from demography to development to neuroscience, offering the most complete coverage available on cognitive aging

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