An illuminating book about the power of music, from the bestselling author of "The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat".Oliver Sacks has been hailed by the "New York Times" as 'one of the great clinical writers of the twentieth century'. In this eagerly awaited new book, the subject of his uniquely literate scrutiny is music: our relationship with ...
An illuminating book about the power of music, from the bestselling author of "The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat".Oliver Sacks has been hailed by the "New York Times" as 'one of the great clinical writers of the twentieth century'. In this eagerly awaited new book, the subject of his uniquely literate scrutiny is music: our relationship with it, our facility for it, and what this most universal of passions says about us.In chapters examining savants and synaesthetics, depressives and musical dreamers, Sacks succeeds not only in articulating the musical experience but in locating it in the human brain. He shows that music is not simply about sound, but also movement, visualization, and silence. He follows the experiences of patients suddenly drawn to or suddenly divorced from music. And in so doing he shows, as only he can, both the extraordinary spectrum of human expression and the capacity of music to heal.Wise, compassionate and compellingly readable, "Musicophilia" promises, like all the best writing, to alter our conception of who we are and how we function, to lend a fascinating insight into the mysteries of the mind, and to show us what it is to be human.
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Oliver Sacks' musicophilia opens a new window into our misterious brains. Even a nonmusical person like me has music inside, perhaps in a inhibited fashion. Inhibitions set by other brain structures oppressing my musical side. Amazingly, nonmusical people may discover a dormant musicality when accident or disease take off the oppression exerted and music surfaces. In some cases this is the only hope left to reach a damaged mind and patients unresponsive to other treatments may improve their condition by awakening music from their neurones. Even patients recovering from orthopedic injuries are able to respond to music stimuli,as Doctor Sacks himself experienced after a fall when climbing a mountain broke his femur. Music have taught him how to walk again.
Publishers Weekly, 2007-08-27 Sacks is an unparalleled chronicler of modern medicine, and fans of his work will find much to enjoy when he turns his prodigious talent for observation to music and its relationship to the brain. The subtitle aptly frames the book as a series of medical case studies-some in-depth, some abruptly short. The tales themselves range from the relatively mundane (a song that gets stuck on a continuing loop in one's mind) through the uncommon (Tourette's or Parkinson's patients whose symptoms are calmed by particular kinds of music) to the outright startling (a man struck by lightning subsequently developed a newfound passion and talent for the concert piano). In this latest collection, Sacks introduces new and fascinating characters, while also touching on the role of music in some of his classic cases (the man who mistook his wife for a hat makes a brief appearance). Though at times the narrative meanders, drawing connections through juxtaposition while leaving broader theories to be inferred by the reader, the result is greater than the sum of its parts. This book leaves one a little more attuned to the remarkable complexity of human beings, and a bit more conscious of the role of music in our lives. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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