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Theme and Variations: Musical Notes by a Neurologist

Theme and Variations: Musical Notes by a Neurologist

by M.D. Carl Ellenberger
Theme and Variations: Musical Notes by a Neurologist

Theme and Variations: Musical Notes by a Neurologist

by M.D. Carl Ellenberger


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A fascinating glimpse into the mysterious workings of music on the human brain. Part neuroscience, part memoir, Theme and Variations makes the latest evidence about how we process music in our conscious and unconscious minds accessible to every reader. Through his own experiences, the author, a musician and neurologist, shows us how he came to understand the importance of music in his life--in all of our lives--revealing a number of suprises that will fascinate physicians, musicians and the music-loving public alike, raising and answering such questions as:

* Can music heal? delay dementia? comfort the terminally ill?

* Do couples who play music together have more sex?

* Can music make kids smarter or better students?

* Why have homo sapiens made music since the origin of our species?

Music, Dr. Ellenberger tells us, is an affirmative medium that stimulates us to imagine and embrace our fullest human potential.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780999561232
Publisher: Marjorie Charlier
Publication date: 11/15/2018
Pages: 306
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.69(d)

About the Author

Dr. Ellenberger studied flute performance at the Eastman School of Music as a premed student at the University of Rochester. He performed in the New Haven Symphony, the Yale Collegium Musicum, and the Yale Symphonic Wind Ensemble while getting his medical degree at the Yale School of Medicine. As a faculty member at Penn State's College of Medicine, he was principal flutist in the Harrisburg Symphony. Today, he works with Gretna Music, which he founded forty-three years ago and has been named "one of six of the best small music festivals in the U.S." by Time Magazine.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Part One : Exploring Music in the Brain

1 Why There is Music 13

2 Why We Like Certain Music 29

Or None at All

3 Can Learning Music Make Us Smarter? 51

4 Can Music Heal? 67

5 Music vs. Alzheimer’s 77

Can Music Delay Dementia?

6 Music and Dance vs. Parkinson’s 83

7 The Flute and the Stethoscope 91

8 Usher Me Out with Music 95

9 Treasure Your Hearing 101  

You Will Never Regain What You Lose

10 What’s Your Temperament? 111

11 Musicians with Dystonia 123

When Practice Makes Imperfect

12 What’s the Matter with Classical Music? 137

13 Disdain for Classical Music 157

14 Love: A Neuromusical Rhapsody 163

15 Sex and Classical Music 169

Better Marketing Through Chemistry

16 ‘Purple Brain’ (2016) 175

Part Two: Reflections on a Musical Life

17 A Model for Arts Education 183

18 There’s No Place like Mt. Gretna 189

19 Is There a Doctor in the House? 201

20 Old Goats Playing the Flute 207

Thoughts before My Performance of ‘Syrinx’

21 Russian Festival 2014 211

A Weird Slice of Music History

22 Village Bach Festival 1978–98 221  

Music Is Best among Friends

23 The Audubon String Quartet 229  

When a Court Silenced Music

24 A (Funny) Polymath 237

25 Thomas Jefferson & Music 243

26 He Commandeered a Villa 247

But Not Just Any Villa

27 The Rubato Queen of Shaker Heights 253

28 My Illustrious Career as a Non-Pianist 259

Conclusion 265

Endnotes 269

Acknowledgements 289

About the Author  291

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