This Is What It Sounds Like: What the Music You Love Says About You

This Is What It Sounds Like: What the Music You Love Says About You

by Susan Rogers, Ogi Ogas
This Is What It Sounds Like: What the Music You Love Says About You

This Is What It Sounds Like: What the Music You Love Says About You

by Susan Rogers, Ogi Ogas


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One of the Next Big Idea Club's Favorite Nonfiction Books
A Behavioral Scientist Notable Book of 2022

A legendary record producer–turned–brain scientist explains why you fall in love with music.

This Is What It Sounds Like is a journey into the science and soul of music that reveals the secrets of why your favorite songs move you. But it’s also a story of a musical trailblazer who began as a humble audio tech in Los Angeles, rose to become Prince’s chief engineer for Purple Rain, and then created other No. 1 hits ,including Barenaked Ladies' "One Week," as one of the most successful female record producers of all time.

Now an award-winning professor of cognitive neuroscience, Susan Rogers leads readers to musical self-awareness. She explains that we each possess a unique “listener profile” based on our brain’s natural response to seven key dimensions of any song. Are you someone who prefers lyrics or melody? Do you like music “above the neck” (intellectually stimulating), or “below the neck” (instinctual and rhythmic)? Whether your taste is esoteric or mainstream, Rogers guides readers to recognize their musical personality, and offers language to describe one's own unique taste. Like most of us, Rogers is not a musician, but she shows that all of us can be musical—simply by being an active, passionate listener.

While exploring the science of music and the brain, Rogers also takes us behind the scenes of record-making, using her insider’s ear to illuminate the music of Prince, Frank Sinatra, Kanye West, Lana Del Rey, and many others. She shares records that changed her life, contrasts them with those that appeal to her coauthor and students, and encourages you to think about the records that define your own identity.

Told in a lively and inclusive style, This Is What It Sounds Like will refresh your playlists, deepen your connection to your favorite artists, and change the way you listen to music.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393541250
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 09/20/2022
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 59,949
Product dimensions: 5.80(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Susan Rogers, PhD, is a cognitive neuroscientist and an award-winning professor at Berklee College of Music, as well as a multiplatinum record producer. She resides in Boston, Massachusetts.

Ogi Ogas, PhD, was a Department of Homeland Security Fellow at the Department of Cognitive and Neural Systems at Boston University. He lives in Boston, Massachusetts.

Table of Contents

Overture 1

Chapter 1 Authenticity

This Is What Expression Sounds Like 13

Chapter 2 Realism

This Is What Music Looks Like 33

Chapter 3 Novelty

This Is What Risk-Taking Sounds Like 61

Chapter 4 Melody

This Is What Music Feels Like 87

Chapter 5 Lyrics

This Is What Identity Sounds Like 113

Chapter 6 Rhythm

This Is What Music Moves Like 141

Chapter 7 Timbre

This Is What Music Conjures 165

Chapter 8 Form and Function

This Is What It Sounds Like to a Record Prod 195

Chapter 9 Falling In Love

The Music of You 223

Coda 249

Acknowledgments 253

Notes 255

Bibliography 263

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