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Another "brain" book.
Perhaps the most interesting blob of stuff in the universe, this human brain!!
"The World in Six Songs - How the Musical Brain Created Human Nature" by Daniel Levitin is a follow up to his previous book called "Your Brain on Music".
Its a good read so far - is/has anyone else picked this book up?
He writes of how the human brain is uniquely adapted to making music, and how music has served to unite people, to allow us to exist in larger groups than would otherwise be tolerable [and larger groups allows for many good things].
The title is a little misleading in that it isn't about 6 particular songs, but six "song styles", which are Friendship, Joy, Comfort, Knowledge, Religion and Love.
All human cultures all over the world thru time have developed a taste for music. Our brain structures have special uniqunessess to accomodate music, an evolved train Levitin argues. This raises some questions such as how would all the various cultures evolve this/these traits in isolation?
The other "Brain book" I read recently was "The Brain that Changes Itself" by David Doidge. did anyone else ever read that one? I sure found it stimulated my brain, as it explained will happen when we examine our own brains... using self-conscious abilities will enhance those abilities. It changes itself!!
Ya, that ol' brain of ours, it has more neural connections than all the stars in the universe or somethin like that. I forget... my brain is old now.
OK, so not interesting in brains, I can understand that.
Now that I have gone through most of the book, I just want to say that Levitin seems to make a lot of claims that are not necessarily true.
Most of these are simple little things such as "why cats bury their poop" - I read on another book where it is because they do not want their enemies [cat predators] to know that cats are in the area. Levitin says it is for hygene.
But also, Levitin keeps saying "none of your ancestors" did this or that, meaning that they would not have had offspring if they had do this or that... but uncles and aunts who didn't have kids might have had those traits, and contributed to their family's survival.
Finally, about music, it was that no note combinations have "actual tension", it is just learned. I disagree - some pairs of notes "clash" more than others, and that IS tension. Eh?