This Is Your Brain On Music // Daniel J. Levitin
EN,  Non-Fiction

This Is Your Brain On Music // Daniel J. Levitin

Two thirds good, one third boring.

Oh my, it’s been so long since I have updated my blog and now I have to get on to my backlog of books I read over the summer. Luckily, I had already written the article for Fahrenheit 451 before life took over and I abandoned the blog, so I could start again by simply pressing “publish” (and editing the picture a bit).

It looks a little bit different with This Is Your Brain On Music, which I read months ago and, to be completely honest, I remember that I liked it but I don’t remember much of what the book discussed, except for some personal anecdotes that I could have done without. Luckily, it was one of the books I wrote a GoodReads review for right after I read it, so I will just copy that into here:

If this book was a chord, I would say it has a strong root note or first third, which describes the different aspects of music, and, though, not ground-breaking or new, has great, condense definitions of timbre, pitch, rhythm, etc.

The middle third is where it gets boring and cofusing: oscillating between hardcore sciencey descriptions of how the brain works and a seemingly endless string of name-dropping and telling us how well-connected the author is (casually mentioning “once, when I had lunch with Joni”, [as in Joni Mitchell], made me laugh), this middle part is neither minor third nor major third and, keeping with the musical theme, added a great lot of not-so-good dissonance to this book.

In the last third, we get a chapter about what makes a musician, which is, again, interesting.

All in all, I got some interesting tid-bits of information out of this but could have done without the entire middle third.


Title: This Is Your Brain On Music – Understanding A Human Obsession
Author: Daniel J. Levitin
First Published: 2006

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *