Monday Reading: Five Great Books on the Science of Music

For those of you interested in the science of music and how music affects us, here are five high-rated books. If you have any other suggestions of books on this topic, feel free to leave a comment!

This Is Your Brain on Music – Daniel J Levitin

Learn about the connection between music and the human brain. Drawing on current research in a variety of genres from classical to popular, Levitin shows how composers produce pleasurable effects of listening to music by exploiting how our brains work. He also explains why people are emotionally attached to music they listened to as teenagers. Finally, the author gives an explanation on how jingles get stuck in your head.

Musicophilia – Oliver Sacks

Explore the experience of and with music and how it affects our brains. Sacks demonstrates how music influences our emotions, movements, and expressions.

How Music Works –  David Byrne

This book looks at how music is deeply shaped by its time and place. Byrne examines how the advent of recording technology has changed our relationship to playing, performing, and listening to music.

The Music Instinct – Philip Ball

Author Philip Ball provides a comprehensive survey about how music works its magic and why it seems indispensable to humanity. Ball weaves together the latest findings in brain science with history, mathematics, and philosophy to show how we would not be ourselves without it.

The Power of Music – Elena Mannes

Examine the power of music and its connection to the body, brain, and world of nature. Mannes looks at a variety of studies and follows a number of researchers and musicians to discover and answer questions about music’s relationship with humanity.

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