Neuroscience & Psychology

Reflections on the Musical Mind: An Evolutionary Perspective

    Foreword by
  • Robert O. Gjerdingen


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Jul 28, 2013
6 x 9.25 in.
15 halftones. 62 line illus. 16 tables.
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What’s so special about music? We experience it internally, yet at the same time it is highly social. Music engages our cognitive/affective and sensory systems. We use music to communicate with one another — and even with other species — the things that we cannot express through language. Music is both ancient and ever evolving. Without music, our world is missing something essential.

In Reflections on the Musical Mind, Jay Schulkin offers a social and behavioral neuroscientific explanation of why music matters. His aim is not to provide a grand, unifying theory. Instead, the book guides the reader through the relevant scientific evidence that links neuroscience, music, and meaning. Schulkin considers how music evolved in humans and birds, how music is experienced in relation to aesthetics and mathematics, the role of memory in musical expression, the role of music in child and social development, and the embodied experience of music through dance. He concludes with reflections on music and well-being. Reflections on the Musical Mind is a unique and valuable tour through the current research on the neuroscience of music.