Oliver Sacks' compassionate, compelling tales of people struggling to adapt to different neurological conditions have fundamentally changed the way we think of our own brains, and of the human experience. In Musicophilia, he examines the powers of music through the individual experiences of patients, musicians, and everyday people. He explores how catchy tunes can subject us to hours of mental replay, and how a surprising number of people acquire nonstop musical hallucinations that assault them night and day.
Yet far more frequently, music goes right: Sacks describes how music can animate people with Parkinson's disease who cannot otherwise move, give words to stroke patients who cannot otherwise speak, and calm and organize people whose memories are ravaged by Alzheimer's or amnesia.
Music is irresistible, haunting, and unforgettable, and in Musicophilia, Oliver Sacks tells us why.
©2007 Oliver Sacks; (P)2007 Books on Tape
"[Sacks'] customary erudition and fellow-feeling ensure that, no matter how clinical the discussion becomes, it remains, like the music of Mozart, accessible and congenial." (Booklist)
"Sacks is an unparalleled chronicler of modern medicine, and fans of his work will find much to enjoy when he turns his prodigious talent for observation to music and its relationship to the brain." (Publishers Weekly)
Sacks thoughtfully reveals how strange music appreciation is, by presenting many examples of unusual musical perception. In addition to dysfunctions related to accidents and illness, he describes the quirks of "earwigs", perfect pitch and color-sensed tones. Neurology still does not explain how acoustics are connected to emotions, or how simple rhythm is physically compelling. Nevertheless, it makes you think about what your brain is doing when you listen to music.
The subject matter and insight into the ways humans work and how little we know about it is what intrigues me most. The repetitiveness of the episodes narrated is what can get boring.
No. It is well self-contained.
Cannot respond. Did not read the print.
This story agreed with many things I have always believed about music. E.g., Rhythm is probably one of the most primitive emotions we have and respond to. Each key has a different "mood" to it, so do certain intervals.
He sounds like what I imagine Oliver Saks voice would sound.+
It would make a potentially excellent documentary.
Yes, especially if that person likes either psycology, music or the inner works of our brain. It is very well narrated, very informative.
It is not a fictional work. But you can relate to some of the cases discussed in here.
I didn't finish all the book yet, but John Lee has done a great job. I downloaded another book narrated by the author himself. I could not stand it, whereas in this book even the most technical details seem to be a normal complement to the whole book. With a lesser narrator, I don't even know if I could stand it either.
It is not that kind of book, although someone else might be more sensitive than me as to this.
I cannot say what exactly makes this book so good. Could be its narrator, the way it is written, the odd aspects related to music, or the whole ensemble. Whatever it is, is a very good reading to learn things about our mind.
I love to read and hope you do too! Audio books are great for people on the go!
I have to admit that I just am fascinated by all of Oliver Sacks' stories. I actually used the concepts discussed in this book on my uncle who had Alzheimer's disease and was getting very disconnected from life. He had been a bluegrass mandolin player and responded very positively to playing "Will the Circle Be Unbroken". I bought the CD for him so that my aunt could play it for him. He could actually sing along with Maybelle Carter on "Wildwood Rose" and he named the singer. My aunt thanked me for giving this gift to him. And I thank Dr. Sacks for bringing these books to us. They are more than idle entertainment.
Sacks chronicles some bizarre and interesting auditory aberrations, many of which I could not even have imagined. This I expected, but there just wasn't enough meat and insight to hold my attention through the whole thing.
With his British accent, the reader sounded wrong for Sacks's first-person narrative. Even aside from that, his voice was nearly intolerable to my ears. How to describe it...not an Oxbridge accent exactly. Maybe like an upperclass English twit trying to conceal drunkenness by being extra precise with his diction.
Just curious: does Sacks ever actually cure anyone, or is he, like most neurology specialists, "diagnose, adios"?
I thought this book was going to be about cool hearing disorders -- becoming a maestro after having a car accident etc, but there is precious little of dat in here. The focus is entirely on the minutiae of ringing ears and the dissapointingly mudane disorder known as the auditory hallucination. Snore.
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