This Is Your Brain On Music review

by stephenpalmersf

This Is Your Brain On Music by Daniel Levitin

A couple of months ago I watched Stewart Copeland’s three-part tv series Adventures In Music, which aimed to get to the heart of what music is and why it means so much to us. The series was very enjoyable, and in one of the episodes there were interviews with Daniel Levitin, so I bought his book This Is Your Brain On Music.

I have to say, though it’s not a bad book, it is rather dry, and I did struggle with it. The opening three chapters (as the author observes) can be skipped by anyone reasonably au fait with music, while the rest, which is mostly neurology and brain science, is interesting enough but not terribly engaging. I confess I skipped a few sections.

It could be that a book simply isn’t the right vehicle for this topic. There was nothing specifically wrong here, but I found the continuing descriptions of brain operation to be a case of diminishing returns. Perhaps the book should be televised.

Interesting, then, but arid.