The Power of Music: Pioneering Discoveries in the New Science of Song
  • The Power of Music: Pioneering Discoveries in the New Science of Song
  • The Power of Music: Pioneering Discoveries in the New Science of Song
  • The Power of Music: Pioneering Discoveries in the New Science of Song
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The Power of Music: Pioneering Discoveries in the New Science of Song

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by Elena Mannes
     
 

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The award-winning creator of the acclaimed documentary "The Music Instinct: Science & Song," explores the power of music and its connection to the body, the brain, and the world of nature. Only recently has science sought in earnest to understand and explain this impact. One remarkable recent study, analyzing the cries of newborns, shows that infants' cries

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Overview

The award-winning creator of the acclaimed documentary "The Music Instinct: Science & Song," explores the power of music and its connection to the body, the brain, and the world of nature. Only recently has science sought in earnest to understand and explain this impact. One remarkable recent study, analyzing the cries of newborns, shows that infants' cries contain common musical intervals. Physics experiments show that sound waves can physically change the structure of a material; musician and world-famous conductor Daniel Barenboim believes musical sound vibrations physically penetrate our bodies, shifting molecules as they do.

The Power of Music follows visionary researchers and accomplished musicians to the crossroads of science and culture, to discover: how much of our musicality is learned and how much is innate? Can examining the biological foundations of music help scientists unravel the intricate web of human cognition and brain function? Why is music virtually universal across cultures and time--does it provide some evolutionary advantage? Can music make people healthier? Might music contain organizing principles of harmonic vibration that underlie the cosmos itself?

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Editorial Reviews

Bill Moyers

I knew nothing about music--except for knowing what music I like--until I took this journey with Elena Mannes. What a trip! Elena Mannes has always crafted exquisite stories for television, winning all the top awards for excellence over her long career at CBS and PBS. Now she has brought that gift for storytelling to The Power of Music, laying out even for an untutored layman like me a captivating account of how music connects mind and body. She digs deeply into stunning new research into music's importance in our lives and reveals that science and art are muses that nourish each other and enrich individual lives.
internationally acclaimed opera soprano Deborah Voigt

An important book for anyone who loves music, from the professional performer to the young person listening on earbuds. By the end of this fascinating story, Elena Mannes has led us to realize just how much we take music, its mysteries, and power for granted. This is a refreshing and exciting read that makes everything new again. If this book were required reading in every high school, we would start seeing generations of music scientists, and perhaps even better-equipped performers and audience members--which would naturally lead to music becoming a better-funded and respected subject in our schools than it currently is.
vocalist/pianist/conductor Bobby McFerrin

We've always known that music is a transformative, spiritual experience--now modern science can explain how and why. Elena Mannes explores this groundbreaking and often poetic new territory.
Jamshed Bharucha

Recent research on music's effect on the brain has created a firm scientific footing for a proposition that has been evident for millennia, namely, that music is a powerful force in our lives. In The Power of Music, Elena Mannes cites this emerging research in a personal and compelling account of music's impact on us. This is a must read for anyone who, like the author, has felt the transformative influence of music.
Library Journal
Mannes's background as a documentary filmmaker and scion of one of the great American music families (relations include the Damrosch conductor/composers and the founders of the Mannes College of Music) has prepared her well for this investigation of how music affects people and other animals. Detailing a variety of scientific experiments, she shows the effects of sound frequencies and vibrations on body organs and brain waves; her study culminates in documentation supporting music therapy. Mannes's intercontinental explorations range from songbird studies to infants' melodic preferences to the origins of the universe (one topic on which her discussions seem rather far-fetched if fascinating). Interviews with influential musicians such as Bobby McFerrin help lighten an otherwise rather dense text. The useful bibliography cites sources almost exclusively from the past 15 years, bolstering Mannes's case that this is a timely concept. VERDICT This title will be welcomed by those who accept music as a positive force and by readers interested in current scientific trends. It fits well alongside recent books like Philip Ball's The Music Instinct and John Powell's How Music Works.—Barry Zaslow, Miami Univ. Libs., Oxford, OH

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780802778284
Publisher:
Walker & Company
Publication date:
01/29/2013
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
288
Sales rank:
576,538
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.90(d)

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