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Publisher's Summary

From the chief architect of the Pandora Radio’s Music Genome Project comes a definitive and groundbreaking examination of how your mind, body, and upbringing influence the music you love. 

Everyone loves music. But what is it that makes music so universally beloved and gives it such a powerful effect on us?  

In this sweeping and authoritative audiobook, Dr. Nolan Gasser - a composer, pianist, and musicologist, and the chief architect of the Music Genome Project, which powers Pandora Radio - breaks down what musical taste is, where it comes from, and what our favorite songs say about us.    

Dr. Gasser delves into the science, psychology, and sociology that explains why humans love music so much; how our brains process music; and why you may love Queen but your best friend loves Kiss. He sheds light on why babies can clap along to rhythmic patterns and reveals the reason behind why different cultures across the globe identify the same kinds of music as happy, sad, or scary. 

Using easy-to-follow notated musical scores, Dr. Gasser teaches music fans how to become engaged listeners and provides them with the tools to enhance their musical preferences. He takes listeners under the hood of their favorite genres - pop, rock, jazz, hip hop, electronica, world music, and classical - and covers songs from Taylor Swift to Led Zeppelin to Kendrick Lamar to Bill Evans to Beethoven - and through their work, introduces the musical concepts behind why you hum along, tap your foot, and feel deeply.   

Why You Like It will teach you how to follow the musical discourse happening within a song and thereby empower your musical taste, so you will never hear music the same way again.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2019 Nolan Gasser (P)2019 Macmillan Audio

Critic Reviews

"Nolan Gasser is brilliant at explaining the beautiful machinery behind your favorite songs without taking away any of the magic." (Conan O'Brien)

"A sprawling, packed-to-the-brim study of the art and science of music, as monumental and as busy as a Bach fugue... Gasser's enterprise has a pleasingly mad-scientist feel to it, one that will attract music theory geeks as much as neuroscientists, anthropologists, psychologists, and Skynyrd fans." (Kirkus Reviews)

What listeners say about Why You Like It

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For Music Afficionados

It is a really well written and thought out book about music, it approaches it in all directions and facets. That said, it is a really dense book (you should notice when you see the 39 hrs lenght), and its not a book for people that only like a single genre and have a narrow mind when it comes to music. This is a book for Music Afficionados, not the regular music lover.

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Disappointed

Great topic and very thorough. Unfortunately, the writing is overwrought with excessive parentheticals and unnecessary language. I found this incredibly distracting. Over time, this style of writing made it very difficult to stay engaged. Instead, I kept wishing he would simply get to his point and move on.

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Disappointing

Mr. Gasser clearly lacks any understanding of physical nature of sound. On page 220 he writes ”… molecules literally collide with one another, going back and forth around their original position”. Seriously – neutral N2 and O2 molecules at room temperature and P=1 atm are fixed in space and oscillate around original position? The exact meaning of “original” we leave for the author to explain. Does the author really think that sounds is produce by individual molecules oscillating back and forth around “original” position at 400 Hz or so? Author keeps insisting that sound does not travel in liquid p. 258 “…inner ear is filled with fluid, which is terrible conductor of sound…” p.220 “Sound is vibration propagating though a medium most consequentially the medium of air, as few of us listen to music underwater”. Good thing whales can not read this. I have one word for Mr. Gasser – Sonars. The book lacks any mathematical explanation of waves properties, I am not sure if wave interference is even mentioned anywhere in the book, much less so properly explained.