The Info List - This Is Your Brain On Music

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THIS IS YOUR BRAIN ON MUSIC: THE SCIENCE OF A HUMAN OBSESSION is a popular science book written by the McGill University
McGill University
neuroscientist Daniel J. Levitin , and first published by Dutton Penguin in the U.S. and Canada in 2006, and updated and released in paperback by Plume/Penguin in 2007. It has been translated into 18 languages and spent more than a year on The New York Times
The New York Times
, The Globe and Mail
The Globe and Mail
, and other bestseller lists, and sold more than one million copies.

The aim of This Is Your Brain on Music
This Is Your Brain on Music
was to make recent findings in cognitive neuroscience of music accessible to the educated layperson. Characteristics and theoretical parameters of music are explained alongside scientific findings about how the brain interprets and processes these characteristics. The neuroanatomy of musical expectation, emotion, listening and performance is discussed.

This Is Your Brain on Music
This Is Your Brain on Music
describes the components of music, such as timbre, rhythm, pitch, and harmony and ties them to neuroanatomy, neurochemistry, cognitive psychology, and evolution, while also making these topics accessible to nonexpert readers by avoiding the use of scientific jargon. One particular focus of the book is on cognitive models of categorization and expectation, and how music exploits these cognitive processes. The book challenges Steven Pinker 's "auditory cheesecake" assertion that music was an incidental by-product of evolution, arguing instead that music served as an indicator of cognitive, emotional and physical health, and was evolutionarily advantageous as a force that led to social bonding and increased fitness, citing the arguments of Charles Darwin
Charles Darwin
, Geoffrey Miller and others.

This Is Your Brain on Music
This Is Your Brain on Music
was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award in 2006-2007 for best in the Science and Engineering category, and a Quill Award for best debut author of 2006-2007. It was named one of the best books of the year by The Globe and Mail
The Globe and Mail
, The Independent and The Guardian
The Guardian
. A long list of prominent scientists and musicians have praised it, including Oliver Sacks
Oliver Sacks
, Francis Crick , Brian Greene
Brian Greene
, David Byrne
David Byrne
, George Martin
George Martin
, Yoko Ono
Yoko Ono
, Neil Peart , Victor Wooten
Victor Wooten
, Pete Townshend
Pete Townshend
and Keith Lockhart , and it has been adopted for course use in both science and literature classes at dozens of universities including MIT
, Dartmouth College
Dartmouth College
, UC Berkeley , Stanford
, Kenyon College
Kenyon College
, the University of Wisconsin
University of Wisconsin
. Two documentary films were based on the book: The Musical Brain (2009) featuring Levitin as host, along with appearances by Sting , Michael Bublé , Feist , and former Fugees leader Wyclef Jean
Wyclef Jean
; and The Music Instinct (2009) with Levitin and Bobby McFerrin
Bobby McFerrin
as co-hosts, with appearances by Yo Yo Ma , Jarvis Cocker
Jarvis Cocker
, Daniel Barenboim
Daniel Barenboim
, Oliver Sacks and others. In 2009, Harvard University
Harvard University
announced This Is Your Brain on Music would be required reading in its Freshman Core Program in General Education. In 2011-2012, the Physics Department at the California Institute of Technology
California Institute of Technology
adopted it as a textbook.


* 1 Current editions

* 1.1 English * 1.2 Other languages

* 2 References



* This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession. New York: Plume (Penguin), 2007, paperback, ISBN 978-0-452-28852-2 . * This Is Your Brain on Music: Understanding a Human Obsession. London: Grove/Atlantic, 2007, hardcover, ISBN 978-1-84354-715-0 * This Is Your Brain on Music: Understanding a Human Obsession. London: Grove/Atlantic, 2008, paperback, ISBN 978-1-84354-716-7


* Ons muzikale brein. Altas Contact, Amsterdam, 2013, ISBN 9789045024561 , vertaling Robert Vernooy, paperback 320 p. * De la note au cerveau. Les Éditions de l'Homme/Sogides, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, 2010, ISBN 978-2-7619-2679-9 * De la note au cerveau. France: Editions Heloise d'Ormesson, 2010. ISBN 2-35087-129-0 * Der Musik-Instinkt: Die Wissenschaft einer menschlichen Leidenschaft. Heidelberg, Germany: Spektrum, 2009, ISBN 978-3-8274-2078-7 * Fatti di musica: La scienza di un'ossessione umana. 2008, Torino, Italy: Codice, 2008, paperback, ISBN 978-88-7578-098-2 * Musiikki ja aivot: Ihmisen erään pakkomielteen tiedettä. (Translated into Finnish by Timo Paukku.) Helsinki: Terra Cognita 2010. ISBN 978-952-5697-22-3 * This Is Your Brain on Music. (Portuguese). Brazil: Distribuidora Record, 2009. * This Is Your Brain on Music. Croatia: Vukovic ">

* ^ Nielsen Bookscan * ^ Huron, D. (2006). "Exploring How Music Works Its Wonders". Cerebrum. * ^ A B Sullivan, J. (2006, August 20). "He\'s rocking the world of neuroscience". The Boston Globe
The Boston Globe
. * ^ A B C Bortz, F. (2006, September 3). "The science of music, the purpose of music". The Seattle Times
The Seattle Times
, p. E&A J9. * ^ A B Rothenberg, D. (2006, July 29). "Music on your mind". The Globe and Mail , pp. D8-D9. * ^ Fenton, J. (2006, September 29). "The food of love". The Guardian , Features ;background:none transparent;border:none;-moz-box-shadow:none;-webkit-box-shadow:none;box-shadow:none;">v

* t * e

Music psychology
Music psychology


* Biomusicology * Cognitive musicology * Cognitive neuroscience of music
Cognitive neuroscience of music
* Culture in music cognition * Evolutionary musicology * Psychoacoustics


* Absolute pitch * Auditory illusion * Auditory imagery * Background music * Consonance and dissonance
Consonance and dissonance
* Deutsch\'s scale illusion * Earworm * Embodied music cognition * Entrainment * Exercise and music * Eye movement in music reading * Franssen effect * Generative theory of tonal music * Glissando illusion * Hedonic music consumption model * Illusory continuity of tones * Levitin effect * Lipps–Meyer law * Melodic expectation * Melodic fission * Mozart effect * Music and emotion
Music and emotion
* Music and movement * Music in psychological operations * Music preference * Music-related memory * Musical gesture * Musical semantics * Musical syntax * Octave illusion * Relative pitch * Shepard tone
Shepard tone
* Temporal dynamics of music and language * Tonal memory * Tritone paradox


* Amusia * Auditory arrhythmia * Beat deafness
Beat deafness
* Musical hallucinations * Musician\'s dystonia * Music-specific disorders * Tone deafness


* Aesthetics of music * Bioacoustics
* Ethnomusicology
* Hearing * Melodic intonation therapy * Music education
Music education
* Music therapy
Music therapy
* Musical acoustics
Musical acoustics
* Musicology
* Neurologic music therapy