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      Phil Wiegand 9781625098672

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This title in other editions

The Music Instinct: How Music Works and Why We Can't Do Without It


The Music Instinct: How Music Works and Why We Can't Do Without It Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

From Bach fugues to Indonesian gamelan, from nursery rhymes to rock, music has cast its light into every corner of human culture. But why music excites such deep passions, and how we make sense of musical sound at all, are questions that have until recently remained unanswered. 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 with history, 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 every page."

About the Author

Philip Ball is a freelance writer and the author of numerous books, including Universe of Stone: A Biography of Chartres Cathedral and Critical Mass: How One Thing Leads To Another, which won the 2005 Aventis Prize for Science Books.

Table of Contents


Author's Note

1. Prelude: The Harmonious Universe

An Introduction

2. Overture: Why We Sing

What is music and where does it come from?

3. Staccato: The Atoms of Music

What are musical notes and how do we decide which to use?

4. Andante: What's In a Tune?

Do melodies follow rules, and if so, which?

5. Legato: Keeping it Together

How do we decode the sound?

6. Tutti: All Together Now

How do we use more than one note at a time?

7. Con Moto: Slave to the Rhythm

What gives music its pulse?

8. Pizzicato: The Colour of Music

Why do instruments sound different, and how does that affect the music?

9. Misterioso: All In the Mind

Which bits of the brain do we use for music?

10. Appassionato: Light My Fire

How does music convey and elicit emotion?

11. Capriccioso: Going In and Out of Style

What are musical styles?

Is music about notes, or patterns, or textures?

12. Parlando: Why Music Talks to Us

Is music a language? Or is it closer to the non-verbal arts?

13. 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





Product Details

Ball, Philip
Oxford University Press, USA
General Music
Music-Music Appreciation
Publication Date:
167 illus. and music ex.
6.1 x 9 x 1.2 in 1.3 lb

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Music » Instruction and Study » Music Appreciation
Arts and Entertainment » Music » Instruction and Study » Theory
Arts and Entertainment » Music » Instruction and Study » Theory and Composition
Arts and Entertainment » Music » Psychology of Music
Health and Self-Help » Psychology » Cognitive Science

The Music Instinct: How Music Works and Why We Can't Do Without It New Trade Paper
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Product details 464 pages Oxford University Press, USA - English 9780199896424 Reviews:
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