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The Power of Music: Pioneering Discoveries in the New Science of Song [NOOK Book]


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

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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 contain common musical intervals, and children
tease each other in specific, singsong ways no matter where in the
world they live. 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
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Preliminary but striking investigations into the effects of music on everything from string theory to a baby’s cry…. A well-tempered introduction to music’s far-reaching influence on man, beast and cosmos."Kirkus Reviews

"This title will be welcomed by those who accept music as a positive force and by readers interested in current scientific trends." —Barry Zaslow, Library Journal

"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."—Bill Moyers

"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."—Deborah Voigt, internationally acclaimed opera soprano

"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."—Bobby McFerrin, vocalist/pianist/conductor

"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."—Jamshed Bharucha, president, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art

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: 9780802778291
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publication date: 5/24/2011
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 324,826
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Elena Mannes has won six Emmys and many other national awards for her documentaries. She is a member of one of the first families of American music. Her grandparents founded the Mannes College of Music in New York City; her great uncle, Walter Damrosch, conducted the Metropolitan Opera and was the instigator for the building of Carnegie Hall. She lives in New York City.
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Table of Contents

Foreword Aniruddh D. Patel ix

Introduction: Music Matters xiii

Part I The Musical Body and Brain

Chapter 1 Feeling the Sound 3

Chapter 2 Music Plays the Body 19

Chapter 3 The Brain Plays Music 27

Chapter 4 Is Music Our Genetic Birthright? 40

Part II The Musical Self

Chapter 5 Agony and Ecstasy: How We Listen 57

Chapter 6 Mind-Bending Notes: Can Music Make Us Smarter? 72

Chapter 7 Music Speaks 88

Chapter 8 Why Music? 99

Part III The Resonant World

Chapter 9 Whale Songs, Elephant Bands, and Dancing Birds 117

Chapter 10 The Music of the Spheres 144

Part IV Music RX

Chapter 11 Pain, Pills-or Music 167

Chapter 12 The Next Wave? 196

Chapter 13 Beyond the Concert Hall 211

Acknowledgments 221

Notes 223

Bibliography 243

Index 253

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 22, 2012

    love it!

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    Posted August 13, 2011

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