I’ve often wondered why my unique musical tastes are so very different from friends or relatives. Why don’t the emotions of a specific song or musical artist evoke the same feelings as someone similar to myself? Susan Rogers, award-winning professor of cognitive neuroscience, explores this concept and explains our unique “listening profile” based on our brain’s natural responses to any song. Roger's background as Prince’s chief engineer for the album Purple Rain and the lively narrative make this a fascinating read. Recommended By Kim T., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
This Is What It Sounds Like is a journey into the science and soul of music that reveals the secrets of why your favorite songs move you. But it's also a story of a musical trailblazer who began as a humble audio tech in Los Angeles to became Prince's chief engineer for Purple Rain, and then create other No. 1 hits as one of the most successful female record producers of all time.
Now an award-winning professor of cognitive neuroscience, Susan Rogers leads readers to musical self-awareness. She explains that we each possess a unique "listener profile" based on our brain's natural response to seven key dimensions of any song. Are you someone who prefers lyrics or melody? Do you like music "above the neck" (intellectually stimulating), or "below the neck" (instinctual and rhythmic)? Whether your taste is esoteric or mainstream, Rogers guides readers to recognize their musical personality, and offers language to describe one's own unique taste. Like most of us, Rogers is not a musician, but she shows that all of us can be musical--simply by being an active, passionate listener.
While exploring the science of music and the brain, Rogers also takes us behind the scenes of record-making, using her insider's ear to illuminate the music of Prince, Frank Sinatra, Kanye West, Lana Del Rey, and many others. She shares records that changed her life, contrasts them with those that appeal to her coauthor and students, and encourages you to think about the records that define your own identity.
Told in a lively and inclusive style, This Is What It Sounds Like will refresh your playlists, deepen your connection to your favorite artists, and change the way you listen to music.
“An intriguing look at how what enters our ears shapes our minds.” Kirkus Reviews
“This is the book that scholars and fans of popular music across all disciplines have impatiently waited for. It is truly inspiring, the kind of book you fall in love with, that causes us to reflect over how and why records become a condition of the heart.” — Stan Hawkins, Professor of Musicology, University of Oslo
“This Is What It Sounds Like is a revelation. Susan Rogers and Ogi Ogas offer extraordinary insights about music, emotion, and the brain, and they deliver them with great flair and flow. For all I thought I knew about these subjects, I learned a lot from this book — and was entertained at every turn, both by the ideas and the poetry of their expression. This instant classic should be read by anyone who has ever been moved by a piece of music — in other words, everyone.” — Dr. Daniel J. Levitin, author of This Is Your Brain on Music and The Organized Mind
About the Author
Susan Rogers, PhD, is a cognitive neuroscientist and an award-winning professor at Berklee College of Music, as well as a multiplatinum record producer. She resides in Boston, Massachusetts.
Ogi Ogas, PhD, was a Department of Homeland Security Fellow at the Department of Cognitive and Neural Systems at Boston University. He lives in Boston, Massachusetts.