Nina's Reading Blog

Comments on books I am reading/listening to

Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain

Posted by nliakos on June 7, 2008

by Oliver Sacks (narrated by John Lee)

When does Oliver Sacks actually do neurology? He is so prolific, and each book is so interesting and so well-written. He has been one of my favorite writers for many years now, and Musicophilia did not disappoint. It concerns the role of music in people’s lives: how it defines our humanness, how it takes up more space in the human brain than even language, how it can bring an amnesic patient temporary relief from the abyss of timelessness and lack of explicit memory, how brain injury can rob people of their delight in music…. He writes of people with Williams Syndrome, whose intellectual deficits are balanced by an extraordinary pleasure derived from music and from association with other people. He describes the sad case of Clive, who lives in a world without any memory of anything more than a few seconds or minutes past, yet who can play and conduct as well as he ever did (and then immediately forgets having done it). He writes about how music therapy can help Alzheimer’s patients and others who have lost their memories due to various reasons. He also describes more prosaic musical experiences, like having a tune get stuck in one’s mind.

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One Response to “Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain”

  1. […] nliakos wrote an interesting post today on MusicophiliaHere’s a quick excerptHe writes about how music therapy can help Alzheimer’s patients and others who have lost their memories due to various reasons. He also describes more prosaic musical experiences, like having a tune get stuck in one’s mind. […]

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