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Musicophilia Audiobook

Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain

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Publisher's Summary

Music can move us to the heights or depths of emotion. It can persuade us to buy something, or remind us of our first date. It can lift us out of depression when nothing else can. It can get us dancing to its beat. But the power of music goes much, much further. Indeed, music occupies more areas of our brain than language does - humans are a musical species.

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

What the Critics Say

"[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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (713 )
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Performance
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  •  
    ch Portland, OR USA 07-16-11
    ch Portland, OR USA 07-16-11 Member Since 2012

    I love to read and hope you do too! Audio books are great for people on the go!

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    "A Great Gift you can give your loved ones"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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    R. Smith MN United States 07-03-17
    R. Smith MN United States 07-03-17 Member Since 2015
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    "Disappointing"

    This is mostly a memoir of anecdotes. I didn't get anything out of it, and can't recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Dan Mexico 05-30-17
    Dan Mexico 05-30-17 Member Since 2017
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    "muy interesante y original"

    lo recomiendo para aprender de la relación entre la música y la psicóloga y neurología, también de fundamentos de musicoterapia

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    KK 04-26-17
    KK 04-26-17

    K Stein

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    "Fascinating Science expressed with Humanity"

    The excellent narrator reminded me of Alexander Scourby. Dr. Sachs' writing is interesting in descriptions of exotic conditions, yet always he retains a compassionate view of his patients as people and relates in a way that gives us a larger, more complete picture of humanity and ourselves. The importance of music, deeply woven into humans of all cultures, and our use of it in artistic expression and healing is his focus in this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    PiggyMom 01-02-17
    PiggyMom 01-02-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Music is much more than what I thought"

    Music is no longer just music in this book. It's the language that can reach unreachable. Dr. Sacks, once again, showed his deep caring for his patients as human beings, not people with disease. A truly touching and magical book worth every minute of listening. I feel John Lee puts too much stress on certain syllabi which took some time to get used to. But it is all right.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Doc G 09-21-16
    Doc G 09-21-16
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    "perfect"

    one of the best audible books I have listened to. any musician will find this book aa wonderful read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Yerex Mt Hood, Oregon 06-02-16
    Robert Yerex Mt Hood, Oregon 06-02-16 Member Since 2015

    Dr Moose

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    "Wonderful, truly wonderful"

    As a person with Aspergers who loves music more than anything else, I found this to be a fantastic book. Sack's work is always good and the performance of John Lee on this was delightful.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carol Parker Placitas, NM 10-26-15
    Carol Parker Placitas, NM 10-26-15 Member Since 2014

    Carol Parker

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    "Tough going - hope it improves"
    What disappointed you about Musicophilia?

    I usually love books by Oliver Sacks. This one has really dragged and I am only two hours into it. He spends too much time telling us about ear worms he has had. I'm sure they were interesting to him but...really?


    Would you ever listen to anything by Oliver Sacks again?

    Yes, I usually love books by Oliver Sacks.


    Would you be willing to try another one of John Lee’s performances?

    Maybe - he voice is a bit sonorous and that may have affected my impression. I couldn't listen to it for too long because it made me sleepy.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Musicophilia?

    Ear worm stories


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DENNIS Adelphi, MD, United States 02-06-14
    DENNIS Adelphi, MD, United States 02-06-14 Member Since 2011
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    "Quite a variety of musical perception"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    robyn 08-26-12
    robyn 08-26-12
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    "Recommended"
    What did you like best about Musicophilia? What did you like least?

    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.


    Do you think Musicophilia needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    No. It is well self-contained.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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