This is Your Brain on Music

Now that I’m done with Mr. Sacks, I’ve moved on to Levitin’s This is Your Brain on Music. While Musicophelia was much more focused on anecdotal discussions of evidence, Levitin gets much deeper into details of music theory and research. In a way, this was the book I was hoping to read when I picked up Musicophilia .

Here are some quotes of note that I’ve already found:

For the artist, the goal of the painting or musical composition is not to convey literal truth, but an aspect of universal truth that if successful, will continue to move and to touch people even as contexts, societies, and cultures change. (5)

Hey! More Heideggerian ontology, this guy is everywhere when it comes to art philosophy.

Rhythm, Meter, and tempo are related concepts that are often confused with one another. Briefly, rhythm refers to the lengths of notes… (57)

Hmmm. I think this is duration. Rhythm is more of a super structure that includes duration, meter and tempo. Levitin gets a little closer to the correct definition in the next paragraph:

The relationship between the length of one note and another is what we call rhythm…(58)

A little better, but still nebulous.

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