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Book Review - Musicophilia


ex Landrover Nut
Just north of Munich
Have been reading this book for some time now. Haven't finished it, but some of the recent posts prompted me to post this now rather than later.

Music and the mind are closely linked, it's not just the ears, but the brain processes that count. Sacks, a neuroloogist, shows how the two interact, using examples from hiistory and his extensive experience from his years of practicing. I've been aware for a long time that many others have a lot more muiscal ability than me, but in terms of listening and enjoying I'm fussy and sensitive. The wrong music will depress me like nothing else, but the right music lifts me more than anything else.

One of the forum debates goign on at the moment involves the thought processes of a musician as he plays/improvises. And it made me even more aware of the differences between what little I can do and what gifted musicians not only do, but take for granted.

If you want some clarity on how the brain deals with music, how and where it often fails to deal with music, this is the one for you. Although somewhat scientific, it's a book that starts off by being fascinating, and gets even more interesting as you progress.

Highly recommended!
Seconded Kev. I read this a couple of years ago, having seen it by chance in the local library, and found it fascinating.

Oliver Sacks writes very well and he has many titles to his name. On my bookshelf is his book Uncle Tungsten, a charming story of his own growing up in North London and his interest in chemistry kindled by his uncle who ran a light bulb manufacturing company (hence the title). Into the bargain it will also give a good understanding of basic chemistry to anyone who missed out on it at school!
I enjoyed reading Dr. Sachs book also. Actually it scared me from time to time as I read case study after case study of musicians and nonmusicians being stricken with different types of brain issues that made music a terrible thing for them. It's been over a year so I can't recall specific people but I was able to see a few on youtube etc. Although my tinnitis is very bad I am so happy I can still perform and enjoy the most important thing in my life... music. ~ thanks

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