The World in Six Songs: How the Musical Brain Created Human Nature

The World in Six Songs: How the Musical Brain Created Human Nature


The author of the New York Times bestseller and Los Angeles Times Book Award Finalist This Is Your Brain on Music tunes us in to six evolutionary musical forms that brought about the evolution of human culture.

An unprecedented blend of science and art, Daniel Levitin's debut, This Is Your Brain on Music, delighted readers with an exuberant guide to the neural impulses behind those songs that make our heart swell. Now he showcases his daring theory of "six songs," illuminating how the brain evolved to play and listen to music in six fundamental forms—for knowledge, friendship, religion, joy, comfort, and love. Preserving the emotional history of our lives and of our species, from its very beginning music was also allied to dance, as the structure of the brain confirms; developing this neurological observation, Levitin shows how music and dance enabled the social bonding and friendship necessary for human culture and society to evolve.

Blending cutting-edge scientific findings with his own sometimes hilarious experiences as a musician and music-industry professional, Levitin's sweeping study also incorporates wisdom gleaned from interviews with icons ranging from Sting and Paul Simon to Joni Mitchell, and David Byrne, along with classical musicians and conductors, historians, anthropologists, and evolutionary biologists. The result is a brilliant revelation of the prehistoric yet elegant systems at play when we sing and dance at a wedding or cheer at a concert—or tune out quietly with an iPod.

Title:The World in Six Songs: How the Musical Brain Created Human Nature
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  • confession: I have had a profound interest in neurobiology, syntax, anthropology and languages; additionally, I am a passionate and knowledgeable musician and student of music.So, I should have loved ...

  • Overtime, i find myself listen to more and more diverse range of music types. Each type of music creates or enhances a different mood,some fit better for a particular mental/real place, some bring bac...

  • This book I half liked. The part about the songs we love as human beings, the types that run through all sorts of cultures and times. That was great as the author has a wonderfully diverse sense of mu...

  • I have to say I'm a bit disappointed at my second encounter with Daniel Levitin's musical exploration.While from a psychological standpoint I wholly agree that music has played an undeniable role in h...

  • The alleged thesis of the book is undertaken in anecdote, speculation, and a kind of general knowledge about science, psychology, and the lyrics of popular songs. The most interesting aspect seems to ...

  • This book fed my love of music, science, human nature - quite a feat for just one text! As I'm not a huge scientifico (yes I made that one up), I was a little concerned that I would be needing to look...

  • *SPOILERS*Favorite Chapter: "Comfort" songs! Turns out my permanent 3 favorite songs: "Somewhere", "Memories", and "Forgiven" by Within Temptation are ALL comfort songs somewhat. Ooh, I'm attracted to...

  • Readable analysis by a neuroscientist/musician/music-cognition-researcher classifying the world's music by song type (friendship, joy, comfort, knowledge, religion, love) and speculating on how our en...

  • First off, this book should to be retitled. Instead of "The World in Six Songs: How the Musical Brain Created Human Nature" it ought to be called "Evolution and Music: How the Great and Powerful Evolu...

  • I think Levitan is a better musician and neuroscientist than he is a writer or anthropologist. There were times I felt he jumped to a conclusion without substantiating it, thus creating a shaky founda...

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