The World in Six Songs
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The World in Six Songs : How the Musical Brain Created Human Nature

By (author) Daniel J. Levitin

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In his enthralling and revelatory This is Your Brain on Music Daniel Levitin unpicked the pathways of the brain to reveal how human beings have been hard-wired for music. Now, in an astonishing blend of art and science, he unveils his revolutionary theory of 'Six Songs', and describes how music played a pivotal role in the creation of human culture and society. Dividing the sum total of human musical achievement, from Beethoven to The Beatles, Busta Rhymes to Bach, into just six fundamental forms, Levitin illuminates, through songs of friendship, joy, comfort, knowledge, religion and love, how music has been instrumental in the evolution of language, thought and culture. And how, far from being a bit of a song and dance, music is at the core of what it means to be human. A one-time record producer, now a leading neuroscientist, Levitin has composed a catchy and startlingly ambitious narrative that weaves together Darwin and Dionne Warwick, memoir and biology, anthropology and a jukebox of anecdote to create nothing less than the 'soundtrack of civilisation'. The World in Six Songs will change the way you listen to music for ever. Daniel Levitin is the James McGill Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at McGill University. Before entering academia he worked as a session musician, sound engineer and record producer. He lives in Montreal, Canada.

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  • Paperback | 368 pages
  • 130 x 192 x 28mm | 240.4g
  • 25 Mar 2010
  • Aurum Press Ltd
  • London
  • English
  • 1845135172
  • 9781845135171
  • 33,033

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Author Information

Daniel Levitin is the James McGill Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at McGill University. Before entering academia he worked as a session musician, sound engineer and record producer, and has fourteen gold and platinum records to his credit. He has played professionally with Mel Torme, Blue Oyster Cult and David Byrne, and has worked on albums by artists including Stevie Wonder, Santana, Midnight Oil and The Carpenters. He has published extensively in scientific journals such as Science and Neuron and audio trade journals such as Grammy, Billboard and Audio, and is the author of the bestselling This Is Your Brain On Music, and The World in Six Songs: How the Musical Brain Created Human Nature.

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Review quote

'This is the worst idea for a book I've ever heard - it makes me want to vomit. The idea encapsulates the very worst part of Western thought.' One week later... 'I take it back - I'm sorry! This is great!' -- Joni Mitchell 'Without music we would be little more than animals. Mr Levitin explains it beautifully' -- Sir George Martin 'This is a fascinating, entertaining book, and some of its most inventive themes may stay stuck in your head forever, something like a well-loved song' -- Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love

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