Saturday, November 25, 2006

I can read

I recently finished This Is Your Brain on Music by Daniel Levitin. Engaging, but not quite all I had hoped. I don't know if it had something to do with the way it was written, or the fact that I already knew much of the subject material, but the high hopes I had that this book might open doors of understanding I wasn't aware of never really materialized. Levitin scratches the skin but never draws blood, which is to say I would have liked more depth of analysis, more studies, more "science". I think this book might be great for someone who hasn't spent their whole life pondering the whys and hows of musical interest and ability, but I have. I really wanted to take a leap forward in understanding, and this book mostly just confirmed what I already knew, although it added a little color and filled in some gaps. I'm probably too close to the subject. Or maybe the problem is that any attempt to demystify music robs a bit of its magic. But the mere fact that there are others who spend their lives thinking about this stuff is comforting, if not particularly enlightening.

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