View Full Version : Music and the mind
24th October 2007, 11:07 PM
I was wondering if anyone was aware of any discourses or studies about why we make music and enjoy it.
I have read about links between genes controlling songbirds singing/learning/composing and similar genes associated with human speech. I know that sometimes music is the only connection to people with various brain issues that preclude other forms of communication or stimulation.
And these things lead me to wonder "Why Music"?
Anyone have any leads they wouldn't mind sharing?
25th October 2007, 06:49 AM
Oliver Sacks recently came out with: Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain (http://www.amazon.com/s/103-4132739-6274218?ie=UTF8&tag=mozilla-20&index=blended&link%5Fcode=qs&field-keywords=oliver%20sacks%20music&sourceid=Mozilla-search). I haven't read it but I've heard a couple interviews, and it may be something you'd find interesting.
He's an excellent writer, in any event.
25th October 2007, 06:50 AM
Why music? Why paint? Why sculpt? Why dance?
25th October 2007, 06:57 AM
Also check out Music, The Brain, and Ecstasy (http://www.amazon.com/Music-Brain-Ecstasy-Captures-Imagination/dp/038078209X). I am not sure if it will answer your questions, but it does propose a good explanation as to why music is party of evolution and why we like some of the music we do. I thoroughly enjoyed it, YMMV. If you scroll down that page, there are quite a few other intriguing titles.
25th October 2007, 07:41 AM
I suspect music is a fortuitous mapping of sequences (vertical in tempo and horizontal in pitch) of sound onto the kinesthesia of experience -- gloom feels slow and heavy, joy light and quick -- as well as certain vocal inflections being associated with certain emotions. The brain is a pattern generation and translation 'machine' so music gives it plenty to think about, and makes us happy. :) I have no academic reference for my theory, however; so, probably whistling to the nightingales here...
25th October 2007, 07:20 PM
Thanks, guys! I appreciate it!
26th October 2007, 05:13 AM
I DO know that when i play i forget everything else around me. What the process is i don't know but i am in another world and it is wonderfull. Ginger Baker described it in an interwiew once :"You sit there and enjoy the good music and suddenly it dawnes upon you that you are participating".... :) That feeling is impossible to describe you have to try it yourself.
26th October 2007, 07:10 AM
Yet another title:
They interviewed the author on Diane Rehm a couple of months ago; interesting stuff.
26th October 2007, 04:55 PM
You might also like to read The Singing Neanderthals (http://www.amazon.com/Singing-Neanderthals-Origins-Music-Language/dp/0674021924) by Steven Mithen, for some ideas about how language and music may be related, and how they could have evolved.
26th October 2007, 06:51 PM
Yup, I looked at that one ..... The Singing Neanderthals. I may order it later. I'll see what the ones i ordered tell me first.
I've been pondering this for a while, as I work where it's noisy and live where it's quiet. Where it's noisey I like music, and where I live, I can sit in perfect silence (I'm way in the country...you can hear mice rustling leaves 50m away...I am not kidding) with no need for music.
I've also been wondering "why art?" and because Music is beat and tone based I wonder how that applies to survival mechanisms....are there good sounds and warning sounds and is music a combination of good sounds?
Again, thanks for your help, guys. I really appreciate it.
© 2001-2009, James Randi Educational Foundation. All Rights Reserved.
vBulletin® v3.7.7, Copyright ©2000-2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.