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The Music Instinct

How Music Works and Why We Can't Do Without It
Ball, Philip (Book - 2010)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The Music Instinct
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From Bach fugues to Indonesian gamelan, from nursery rhymes to rock, music has cast its light onto every corner of human culture. But why music excites such deep passions, and how we make sense of musical sound at all have, until recently, remained mysterious. Now in The Music Instinct,award-winning writer Philip Ball provides the first comprehensive, accessible survey of what is known--and still unknown--about how music works its magic, and why, as much as eating and sleeping, it seems indispensable to humanity. Deftly weaving together the latest findings in brain science withhistory, mathematics, and philosophy, The Music Instinct not only deepens our appreciation of the music we love, but shows that we would not be ourselves without it. The Sunday Times hailed it as "a wonderful account of why music matters," with Ball's "passion for music evident on everypage."
Authors: Ball, Philip, 1962-
Title: The music instinct
how music works and why we can't do without it
Publisher: Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2010
Characteristics: vi, 452 p. :,ill., music ;,25 cm
Statement of Responsibility: Philip Ball
Contents: Prelude: the harmonious universe : an introduction
Overture: why we sing : what is music and how do we decide which to use?
Andante : what's in a tune? : do melodies follow rules, and if so, which?
Legato : keeping it together : How do we decode the sound?
Tutti: all together now : how do we use more than one note at a time?
Con moto: slave to the rhythm : what gives music its pulse?
Pizzicato : the colour of music : why do instruments sound different, and how does that affect the music?
Misterioso : all in the mind : which bits of the brain do we use for music?
Appassionato : light my fire : how does music convey and elicit emotion?
Capriccioso : going in and out of style : what are musical styles? : is music about notes, or patterns, or textures?
Parlando : why music talks to us : is music a language? or is it closer to the non-verbal arts?
Serioso : the meaning of music : what are composers and musicians trying to say? : can music in itself say anything at all?
Coda : the condition of music
ISBN: 0199754276
Branch Call Number: 781.1 B1877m 2010
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references and index
Subject Headings: Music and science Music Philosophy and aesthetics
Topical Term: Music and science
LCCN: 2010017795
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too technical; no music in the text

Dec 28, 2012
  • rjmaley rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

This is not a layman's book. You need to have a background in music theory to really understand what the author is discussing. Still interesting, but not for the non-music major!


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