The understanding of how we humans experience music and why it plays a unique role in our lives is this topic of two interviews with Dr. Daniel Levitin, author of “This Is Your Brain on Music, The Science of a Human Obsession,” recorded from his home in Montreal, Quebec, Canada in late October 2006.
Professor Levitin runs the Laboratory for Musical Perception, Cognition and Expertise at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. He asserts that our brains are hardwired for music and therefore we are all more musically equipped than we think. He says that music is an obsession at the heart of human nature, perhaps even more fundamental to our species than language. Professor Levitin believes that the music we end up liking meets our expectations of what we anticipate hearing just enough of the time that we feel rewarded, and the music that we like violates those expectations just enough of the time that we’re intrigued.
In the first interview Dr. Levitin begins by describing how the human brain learns to distinguish between music and language.
The second interview begins with a discussion of what happens when people listen to music they like.
Professor Daniel Levitin’s website is www.yourbrainonmusic.com.
The books Dr. Daniel J. Levitin recommends are, “Another Day in the Frontal Lobe,” by Katrina Firlik, and, “The Human Stain,” by Philip Roth.
Originally Broadcast: November 1, 2006 November 8, 2006
Click here to begin listening to part one.
Click here to begin Listening to part two or on the media player below.
Click here to download the podcast.