Beethoven's Anvil: Music in Mind and Culture (Paperback)
  • Beethoven's Anvil: Music in Mind and Culture (Paperback)
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Beethoven's Anvil: Music in Mind and Culture (Paperback)

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£23.99
Paperback 356 Pages / Published: 14/11/2002
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Why does the brain create music? In Beethoven's Anvil, cognitive scientist and jazz musician William Benzon finds the key to music's function in the very complexity of musical experience. Music demands that our symbol-processing capacities, motor skills, emotional and communicative skills all work in close coordination - not only within our own heads but with the heads (and bodies) of others. Music is at once deeply personal and highly social, highly disciplined and open to emotional nuance and interpretation. It's precisely this coordination of different mental functions, Benzon argues, that underlies our deep need to create and participate in music. Music synchronizes the brain and has had a profound, and little-appreciated, influence on the shape of the mind and human cultures. This is a remarkable book: both daring and scholarly, it offers a sweeping vision of a vital, underappreciated force in our minds and culture.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198605577
Number of pages: 356
Weight: 370 g
Dimensions: 196 x 129 x 20 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Review from previous edition Bill Benzon brings a remarkable range of information to bear on musical issues...and produces a provocative and creative synthesis. This is pathbreaking work and is sure to deepen our understanding of music and ourselves. * Charles Keil, author of Urban Blues *
This is a book which deserves to be read widely, and it undoubtably will be. Its style is accessible and complex ideas are put across fluently and easily. Indeed if Benzon writes like this I'd very much like to hear him play. * Cerebrum *
A provocative and persuasive treatise. Unlike most who write about this greatest of all mental mysteries, William Benzon is equally comfortable with the science and art of music. * Howard Gardner, Professor in Cognition and Eduction, Harvard University *
The cutting edge rarely cuts deep. For decades we have been tantalizingly exposed to scraps of research on the brain and the origins of language and culture. But there was no synthesis. Then suddenly this suitably ambitious project appears. Beethoven's Anvil is surely destined to orchestrate an exciting debate for everyone interested in the evolution of mind. * Mary Douglas, Anthropologist and author of Natural Symbols *
...this truly remarkable book...Everyone who enjoys music will find this new understanding of the basics of both eye- and ear-opening. * Norman N. Holland, Editor of Psyart *
This is original work of the highest importance. * Walter Freeman, author of How Brains Make up their Minds *
I admire Benzon's mastery of so many diverse idea-worlds and congratulate him as a virtuoso both of thought and of performannce. Beethoven's Anvil is a rare combination; learned, proficient, and profoundly provocative. Reading it was a great experience for me. * William H. McNeill, author of Plagues and Peoples and Keeping Together in Time *
'This is a remarkable book; both daring and scholarly, it offers a sweeping vision of the vital, under appreciated force of music in our minds and culture' * Lincolnshire Today *
intriguing [...] Benzon has a pleasing range of musical reference * The Guardian *

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