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With the same trademark compassion and erudition he brought to The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, Oliver Sacks explores the place music occupies in the brain and how it affects the human condition. In Musicophilia, he shows us a variety of what he calls "musical misalignments." Among them: a man struck by lightning who suddenly desires to become a pianist at the age of forty-two; an entire group of children with Williams syndrome, who are hypermusical from birth; people with "amusia," to whom a symphony sounds like the clattering of pots and pans; and a man whose memory spans only seven seconds-for everything but music. Illuminating, inspiring, and utterly unforgettable, Musicophilia is Oliver Sacks' latest masterpiece.
- ISBN-13: 9781400033539
- ISBN-10: 1400033535
- Publisher: Vintage
- Publish Date: September 2008
- Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.1 x 1.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.04 pounds
- Page Count: 448
The neurologist and acclaimed author returns with an enthralling look at the relationship between music and the human brain. In his latest collection of essays, Sacks explores music's strange sway over man, a dynamic that manifests itself in profound and unexpected ways. Focusing on patients, composers and everyday people who have had extraordinary experiences with music, Sacks writes with wonderful insight about how rhythm and harmony affect both the intellect and the spirit. Now used to treat patients with Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, as well as those who are deaf or suffering from brain damage, music, Sacks demonstrates, has surprising restorative powers that science is only just beginning to understand. Anecdotes about people who display, unexpectedly, uncanny musical abilities, who experience musical episodes akin to epileptic seizures, give rise to larger questions about man's relationship to melody. Sacks looks at a group of children who are "hypermusical," as well as individuals suffering from what's known as amusiathe inability to hear and understand music. Examining the hows and whys of these music-related conditions, Sacks has produced a compelling group of essays. The best-selling author of The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and many other books, he is a winning storyteller, bringing clarity and a rare sense of poetry to science writing.
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