Sunday, April 13, 2008

Musicophilia - Oliver Sacks

Our exquisite sensitivity to music can sometimes go wrong. Oliver Sacks describes this concept in his book "Musicophilia". Some of the chapters in this book that are really fascinating. In his years of experience as a neuroscientist, he narrates different case studies; some people who have had more than ordinary responses to music after an accident or just by birth. These include people who develop an obsession to music after a seizure; people who are inflicted with "amusica", a condition in which the person hears music as pots and pans crashing; people who are gifted with "perfect pitch" in which a son can tell if his father sneezes in "D". These are just some of the fascinating stories that are part of this book. Listening to music is not just auditory and emotional; it is motoric as well. Music therapy is also something sacks says that has tremondous potential. This is just because of our sensitivity to sound. People who are autistic, retarded, with subcortical syndromes suc has parkinsonism or other movement disorders respond to music therapy. I highly recommend reading this book, if you are in any way interested in music and the brain.