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The World in Six Songs
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New or Used: $26.95
New or Used: $26.95

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In this follow-up to his New York Times best-selling This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession, Levitin argues that every song ever written can fall within six categories and that music "is a core element of our identity as a species, an activity that paved the way for more complex behaviors." While he includes a wide variety of song examples to support his argument, his explanations of evolutionary causations for music become repetitive. As for his narration, it is dry and, at times, embarrassing--as when he reads lighthearted song lyrics meant to be sung. Sloppy editing causes some tracks to start mid-word, and the discs lack sequential announcements. Surprisingly, the recording does not take advantage of the medium by including any significant music samplings. Further, the notes from the hardcover edition are omitted here. Of limited interest to public and perhaps high school libraries. [Audio clip available through us.penguingroup.com; the Dutton hc received a starred review, LJ Xpress 7/22/08.--Ed.]--Johannah Genett, Hennepin Cty. Lib., Minneapolis Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

Praise for "This Is Your Brain on Music"
aEndlessly stimulating, a marvelous overview, and one which only a deeply musical neuroscientist could give.a
aOliver Sacks, M.D., author of "Musicophilia"
aThe book Iave been waiting for all my life.a
aNancy Pearl, public radio librarian and auth or of the Book Lust series
aI loved reading that music coordinates more disparate parts of the brain than almost anything else. . . . Deepens the beautiful mystery that is music.a
aDavid Byrne, founder of Talking Heads
aDr. Levitin is an unusually deft interpreter full of striking scientific trivia.a
a"The New York Times"
aDaniel Levitin writes about music with all the exuberance of a die-hard fan, and all the insight of a natural-born scientist. This is a fascinating, entertaining book, and some of its most inventive themes may stay stick in your head forever, something like a well-loved song.a
--Elizabeth Gilbert, author of "Eat, Pray, Love"
aMusic seems to have an almost willful, evasive quality, defying simple explanation, so that the more we find out, the more there is to know, leaving its power and mystery intact, however much we may dig and delve. Danielas book is an eloquent and poetic exploration of this paradox. There may be no simple answer or end in sight, but the ride is nonetheless a thrilling one, especially in the company of a writer who is an accomplished musician, a poet, a hard-nosed scientist, and someone who can still look upon the universe with a sense of wonder.a
--Sting
aTo try to cover the meaning of music throughout the history of mankind to how we still use it everyday is extraordinarily ambitious. Combining musical expertise, psychology, anthropology and evolutionary science, Daniel Levitinas "Six Songs" has accomplished this astonishing task.a
--Jon Appleton, Composer and Professor of Music, Dartmouth College and Stanford University
aI was skeptical when I began reading. The stated goal seemed outlandish. But by the time I was about one-third the way into "The World in Six Songs," I realized just how powerful it is. It really is a tour de force. It is exquisitely written, and brings together a vast array of knowledge, tying things together in creative ways, while always remaining accessible. This promises to be not only another widely read hit, butalso an important document for the field of music cognition.a
--Jamshed Bharucha, Provost and Professor of Psychology, Tufts University
aThis wonderful, lucid book takes on one of the great eternal questions: Why is there music? What does music do for humanityafor individual development and for a culture--that in turn accounts for its existence in every known society? Daniel Levitin is not only the preeminent expert in answering such questions, but one of those unique writers about science who understands his field so profoundly that he can make the complex straightforward. This is an exciting, revelatory book.a
--Scott Turow, author of "Presumed Innocent" and "Ordinary Heroes"
aWithout music, we would be little more than animals, and Daniel Levitin explains it beautifully.a
--Sir George Martin, CBE, producer of The Beatles
aWhy can a song make you cry in a matter of seconds? "Six Songs" is the only book that explains why. With original and awe-inspiring insights into the nature of human artistry, itas irresistibly entertaining. Anyone who loves music should read it.a
--Bobby McFerrin, vocalist and guest conductor, London Philharmonic and the Vienna Philharmonic
aDaniel Levitin takes the most sophisticated ideas that exist about the brain and mind, applies them to the most emotionally direct art we have, our songs, and makes beautiful music of the two together.a
--Adam Gopnik, author of "Paris to the Moon"
aPassionate and insightful. Daniel Levitin has written a delightfully personal epic poem proposing a central role for music in the evolution of human emotion and behavior. Now, musicians and neuroscientists have a common vocabulary withwhich to argue our human origins.a
--Julie R. Korenberg, M.D. Ph.D., The Brain Institute, University of Utah
aIn a brilliantly novel approach to human evolution, Levitin has sought to encapsulate diverse cultures in a set of six songs representative of friendship, joy, comfort, knowledge, religion and love. That he is able to achieve so much with this small set of songs says something truly important about our common humanity.a
--Michael I. Posner, Professor of Psychology, University of Oregon
aMusic seems to have an almost willful, evasive quality, defying simple explanation, so that the more we find out, the more there is to know, leaving its power and mystery intact, however much we may dig and delve. Danielas book is an eloquent and poetic exploration of this paradox. There may be no simple answer or end in sight, but the ride is nonetheless a thrilling one, especially in the company of a writer who is an accomplished musician, a poet, a hard-nosed scientist, and someone who can still look upon the universe with a sense of wonder.a
--Sting
aWithout music, we would be little more than animals, and Daniel Levitin explains it beautifully.a
--Sir George Martin, CBE, producer of The Beatles
aWhy can a song make you cry in a matter of seconds? "Six Songs" is the only book that explains why. With original and awe-inspiring insights into the nature of human artistry, itas irresistibly entertaining. Anyone who loves music should read it.a
--Bobby McFerrin, vocalist and guest conductor, London Philharmonic and the Vienna Philharmonic
aDaniel Levitin takes the most sophisticated ideas that exist about the brain and mind, applies them to the most emotionally direct art we have, our songs, and makes beautiful music of the two together.a
--Adam Gopnik, author of "Paris to the Moon"
aDaniel Levitin writes about music with all the exuberance of a die-hard fan, and all the insight of a natural-born scientist. This is a fascinating, entertaining book, and some of its most inventive themes may stay stick in your head forever, something like a well-loved song.a
--Elizabeth Gilbert, author of "Eat, Pray, Love"
aTo try to cover the meaning of musicthroughout the history of mankind to how we still use it everyday is extraordinarily ambitious. Combining musical expertise, psychology, anthropology and evolutionary science, Daniel Levitinas "Six Songs" has accomplished this astonishing task.a
--Jon Appleton, Composer and Professor of Music, Dartmouth College and Stanford University
aI was skeptical when I began reading. The stated goal seemed outlandish. But by the time I was about one-third the way into "The World in Six Songs," I realized just how powerful it is. It really is a tour de force. It is exquisitely written, and brings together a vast array of knowledge, tying things together in creative ways, while always remaining accessible. This promises to be not only another widely read hit, but also an important document for the field of music cognition.a
--Jamshed Bharucha, Provost and Professor of Psychology, Tufts University
aPassionate and insightful. Daniel Levitin has written a delightfully personal epic poem proposing a central role for music in the evolution of human emotion and behavior. Now, musicians and neuroscientists have a common vocabulary with which to argue our human origins.a
--Julie R. Korenberg, M.D. Ph.D., The Brain Institute, University of Utah
aIn a brilliantly novel approach to human evolution, Levitin has sought to encapsulate diverse cultures in a set of six songs representative of friendship, joy, comfort, knowledge, religion and love. That he is able to achieve so much with this small set of songs says something truly important about our common humanity.a
--Michael I. Posner, Professor of Psychology, University of Oregon
aThis wonderful, lucid book takes on one ofthe great eternal questions: Why is there music? What does music do for humanityafor individual development and for a culture--that in turn accounts for its existence in every known society? Daniel Levitin is not only the preeminent expert in answering such questions, but one of those unique writers about science who understands his field so profoundly that he can make the complex straightforward. This is an exciting, revelatory book.a
--Scott Turow, author of "Presumed Innocent" and "Ordinary Heroes"
?Music seems to have an almost willful, evasive quality, defying simple explanation, so that the more we find out, the more there is to know, leaving its power and mystery intact, however much we may dig and delve. Daniel's book is an eloquent and poetic exploration of this paradox. There may be no simple answer or end in sight, but the ride is nonetheless a thrilling one, especially in the company of a writer who is an accomplished musician, a poet, a hard-nosed scientist, and someone who can still look upon the universe with a sense of wonder.?
--Sting
?Without music, we would be little more than animals, and Daniel Levitin explains it beautifully.?
--Sir George Martin, CBE, producer of The Beatles
?Why can a song make you cry in a matter of seconds? "Six Songs" is the only book that explains why. With original and awe-inspiring insights into the nature of human artistry, it's irresistibly entertaining. Anyone who loves music should read it.?
--Bobby McFer

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