- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
Storr, the bestselling author of Solitude, explores the intimate effects of music, and the reasons for its central place in our lives. He traces the origins of music and its functional development in society as entertainment, communication, and therapy, making a powerful argument for the universality and centrality of music.
|I||Origins and Collective Functions||1|
|II||Music, Brain and Body||24|
|IV||Songs Without Words||65|
|V||Escape from Reality?||89|
|VI||The Solitary Listener||108|
|VII||The Innermost Nature of the World||128|
|VIII||A Justification of Existence||150|
|IX||The Significance of Music||168|
Posted September 22, 2013
Post-twentieth century philosophy endured a slow death at the hands of the mystics society so readily adored as they preached a doctrine of altruistic subjectivism that everyone abandoned their rational judgement to believe. In an age of moral schizophrenia, where the collective creates enough ambiguity to convince the individual there is no real answer, society has lost touch with its rational mind. In the words of Ayn Rand, “Man’s mind is his basic tool of survival. Life is given to him, survival is not. His body is given to him, its sustenance is not. His mind is given to him, its content is not. To remain alive, he must act, and before he can act he must know the nature and purpose of his action. . . To remain alive, he must think.” That is what Anthony Storr’s book, Music and The Mind, focuses on - the relationship between what we can objectively understand about music and how it affects our rational mind and body.
With only 188 pages of substance, one might believe this book to contain little significance to such a broad category as music and the mind. However, with an impressive bibliography of over 160 sources, this book succeeds in delivering rich chapters delving deep in controversial subjects pertaining to the metaphysical properties of music. This book is not the opinion of just one man. It is a culmination of many opinions from famous philosophers, doctors, and composers by which the reader is left to analyze after each chapter’s conclusory remarks. These chapters span topics such as: the justification of existence, the significance of music, songs without words, escaping reality, and the innermost nature of the world. Due to this book’s objective outlook on music, it did not take long for it to dispatch the popular notion that music is the universal language. Storr gives good evidence to support the claim that music is the relationship between tones the same way language is the relationship between words. In essence, music is no more of a universal language than Chinese.
Although this book is fantastic from a philosophical perspective, it failed to deliver any real substantial reading on specifics in brain function and music as a stimuli. It gave examples in one chapter how those who have suffered brain damage, particularly those with speech impediments, cannot function without the presence or action of music due to how music relates almost entirely to the right hemisphere of the brain whereas speech relates to the left hemisphere. Other examples were given on people that could not form sentences using basic speech, but when sung could flawlessly communicate their words. This book also mentions how certain techniques in music can result in a person feeling a certain way. However, those that he mentions are very basic and seemingly quite obvious. Those looking to read this book should understand that, although it may make points that stem from music’s relationship with the brain, what this book really focuses on is music’s relationship with the mind and how we are to objectively utilize music in our daily lives.