I'm going to keep the text of this review short and sweet because I really want to share with you some of the amazing music I discovered through this book. Basically, Dr. Levitin divides all human music into six categories that meet six different goals or provide outlets for certain human needs or emotions. Of course, there is some overlap between the categories, but they are: friendship, joy, comfort, knowledge, religion, and love. Dr. Levitin spends a great deal of time on the evolutionary aspects of human neurophysiology which is interesting, but occasionally left me a wee bit glassy-eyed. He was at his best when sharing personal stories about how music had affected his life in each of the six paths.
This is definitely a book to read with your computer close by with a tab opened to youtube. It provides so much more depth to the text when you can hear for yourself the aspects of the music Dr. Levitin describes.
Ani DiFranco, "Minerva"
Willie Nelson, "Whatever Happened to Peace on Earth"
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, "Ohio"
Rodney Crowell & Johnny Cash, "I Walk the Line Revisited"
Joni Mitchell, "A Case of You"
Alex de Grassi, "Prelude"
Mike Scott, "Bring 'Em All In"
Stan Getz, "Night and Day"
And this was just a tiny sample. Go read the book yourself and let me know what music you discover!
The World in Six Songs: How the Musical Brain Created Human Nature
by Daniel J. Levitin
Buy it on Amazon here: (hardcover, paperback, ebook)
Find it at a local independent bookseller.
Look it up on Goodreads.
Check it out at your local library (find the nearest one here).