Online reading group and book discussion forum
  HOME FORUMS BOOKS LINKS DONATE ADVERTISE CONTACT  
View unanswered posts | View active topics It is currently Fri Oct 24, 2014 6:06 pm




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 4 posts ] • Topic evaluate: Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average. 
4. Music on the Brain: Imagery and Imagination 
Author Message
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Finds books under furniture

Silver Contributor

Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 1680
Thanks: 178
Thanked: 147 times in 132 posts
Gender: None specified
Country: United States (us)

Post 4. Music on the Brain: Imagery and Imagination
Chapter 4.
Music on the Brain: Imagery and Imagination



Wed Mar 24, 2010 12:44 am
Profile
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Finds books under furniture

Silver Contributor

Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 1680
Thanks: 178
Thanked: 147 times in 132 posts
Gender: None specified
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: 4. Music on the Brain: Imagery and Imagination
I don't have much to say about this chapter, just a few things.

It seems to me this chapter isn't showing us much other than introducing us to the idea of imagining music even when there is no external music present. When or why these images come to mind seem to remain a mystery, as Sacks doesn't really give a very good explanation of the neurological nature of such imagery. He gave us anecdotes from his own friends and a few patients, and a line or two from a medical perspective, but nothing really supporting his statements or adding any kind of validity to the rest of the book. I do feel that this chapter is in the book only as a prelude to the next chapter, which I assume will tackle the real details of why certain tunes get stuck in our minds without our voluntarily putting them there, as he suggests he does in this chapter.

I do agree with him that musical imagery is important to professional musicians and is a true, physical thing, because I can hear entire orchestral works without having to be listening to it on my iPod or computer or in concert. When I was studying piano (and flute, for that matter), my teachers (and my music professor mother) always emphasized the importance of "practicing away from the piano/flute." As a young child and even a teenager, I didn't understand the significance of this and found it to be tedious and silly, but it actually does help to cement the music in your hands as well as your head. The idea is to have the music in front of you, reading it and physically acting like you are playing the instrument without actually playing the instrument. You imagine the music as if you were actually playing it, and once you return to the instrument after having imagined the music without it, you have a new understanding of the music and a better sense memory, and it really does help to allow you to catch more of the nuances and subtleties of what you are trying to play. I was also told to do this with choral and vocal music, to imagine singing it as well as practicing singing it physically. The same was true here: I knew the music better, and could feel the emotions behind it more because I had spent time hearing myself sing it without being too busy engaging in the act of singing it. If that makes sense.

This also made me think that the "air guitar" could possibly be more productive and less silly than it seems to be, and I had a good smile at the thought.



Sat Apr 03, 2010 7:54 pm
Profile
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Sophomore


Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 261
Location: Wheaton, Illinois, USA
Thanks: 26
Thanked: 34 times in 31 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: 4. Music on the Brain: Imagery and Imagination
bleachededen wrote:
It seems to me this chapter isn't showing us much other than introducing us to the idea of imagining music even when there is no external music present. When or why these images come to mind seem to remain a mystery, as Sacks doesn't really give a very good explanation of the neurological nature of such imagery. He gave us anecdotes from his own friends and a few patients, and a line or two from a medical perspective, but nothing really supporting his statements or adding any kind of validity to the rest of the book. I do feel that this chapter is in the book only as a prelude to the next chapter, which I assume will tackle the real details of why certain tunes get stuck in our minds without our voluntarily putting them there, as he suggests he does in this chapter.


Yes, that was exactly my take on this chapter. I'll not put a spoiler here about the next chapter, see you all over there.


_________________
--Gary

"Freedom is feeling easy in your harness" --Robert Frost


Sat Apr 03, 2010 8:18 pm
Profile Email
User avatar
Years of membershipYears of membershipYears of membershipYears of membership
Experienced

Silver Contributor

Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 116
Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Thanks: 38
Thanked: 28 times in 22 posts
Gender: Male
Country: United States (us)

Post Re: 4. Music on the Brain: Imagery and Imagination
Quite actually, I like this chapter so far. I am not a musician and can barely play the radio, so some of the insights in this chapter are new to me. I knew that Beethoven could hear the music in his head even though he was deaf, he could even conduct pieces, by following the movement of the bow of the first violin. But I didn't realize the extent the musical imagination plays on the part of most composers. I was surprised by the comment that many things are composed in their minds and the placing of the notes on the staff is a mere formality. I would think that writing the music down as you went and trying it on an instrument was necessary for all but geniuses. I am also very surprised that imagining playing the music can be more beneficial that actual practice with an instrument.

My own musical imaginings happen but are pretty much limited to what I can hum. In fact even though I am not emitting any noise, my breath and throat move as if I were humming it. These tunes go on just about constantly, some I like, some I don't but seem to get caught up in habit.

One thing I do that is kind of neat is that I dream in full fidelity, all the instruments, exact score. I have woken up to hear various symphonies playing in my head that sounded exactly like the recordings I have of them. The music will last for about 30 seconds and then fades out just about the time I think wow, Tchaikovsky Symphony Number 6 in beautiful technisound!


_________________
“Being Irish he had an abiding sense of tragedy which sustained him through temporary periods of joy.” W. B. Yeats

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." Bertrand Russell

"In answer to the question of why it happened, I offer the modest proposal that our Universe is simply one of those things which happen from time to time." Edward P. Tryon


Mon Apr 05, 2010 6:02 pm
Profile
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 4 posts ] • Topic evaluate: Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average.Evaluations: 0, 0.00 on the average. 



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:


BookTalk.org Links 
Forum Rules & Tips
Frequently Asked Questions
BBCode Explained
Info for Authors & Publishers
Featured Book Suggestions
Author Interview Transcripts
Be a Book Discussion Leader!
    

Love to talk about books but don't have time for our book discussion forums? For casual book talk join us on Facebook.

Featured Books

Books by New Authors



Booktalk.org on Facebook 



BookTalk.org is a free book discussion group or online reading group or book club. We read and talk about both fiction and non-fiction books as a group. We host live author chats where booktalk members can interact with and interview authors. We give away free books to our members in book giveaway contests. Our booktalks are open to everybody who enjoys talking about books. Our book forums include book reviews, author interviews and book resources for readers and book lovers. Discussing books is our passion. We're a literature forum, or reading forum. Register a free book club account today! Suggest nonfiction and fiction books. Authors and publishers are welcome to advertise their books or ask for an author chat or author interview.


Navigation 
MAIN NAVIGATION

HOMEFORUMSBOOKSTRANSCRIPTSOLD FORUMSADVERTISELINKSFAQDONATETERMS OF USEPRIVACY POLICY

BOOK FORUMS FOR ALL BOOKS WE HAVE DISCUSSED
Sense and Goodness Without God - by Richard CarrierFrankenstein - by Mary ShelleyThe Big Questions - by Simon BlackburnScience Was Born of Christianity - by Stacy TrasancosThe Happiness Hypothesis - by Jonathan HaidtA Game of Thrones - by George R. R. MartinTempesta's Dream - by Vincent LoCocoWhy Nations Fail - by Daron Acemoglu and James RobinsonThe Drowning Girl - Caitlin R. KiernanThe Consolations of the Forest - by Sylvain TessonThe Complete Heretic's Guide to Western Religion: The Mormons - by David FitzgeraldA Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man - by James JoyceThe Divine Comedy - by Dante AlighieriThe Magic of Reality - by Richard DawkinsDubliners - by James JoyceMy Name Is Red - by Orhan PamukThe World Until Yesterday - by Jared DiamondThe Man Who Was Thursday - by by G. K. ChestertonThe Better Angels of Our Nature by Steven PinkerLord Jim by Joseph ConradThe Hobbit by J. R. R. TolkienThe Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas AdamsAtlas Shrugged by Ayn RandThinking, Fast and Slow - by Daniel KahnemanThe Righteous Mind - by Jonathan HaidtWorld War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max BrooksMoby Dick: or, the Whale by Herman MelvilleA Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer EganLost Memory of Skin: A Novel by Russell BanksThe Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas S. KuhnHobbes: Leviathan by Thomas HobbesThe House of the Spirits - by Isabel AllendeArguably: Essays by Christopher HitchensThe Falls: A Novel (P.S.) by Joyce Carol OatesChrist in Egypt by D.M. MurdockThe Glass Bead Game: A Novel by Hermann HesseA Devil's Chaplain by Richard DawkinsThe Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph CampbellThe Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor DostoyevskyThe Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark TwainThe Moral Landscape by Sam HarrisThe Decameron by Giovanni BoccaccioThe Road by Cormac McCarthyThe Grand Design by Stephen HawkingThe Evolution of God by Robert WrightThe Tin Drum by Gunter GrassGood Omens by Neil GaimanPredictably Irrational by Dan ArielyThe Wind-Up Bird Chronicle: A Novel by Haruki MurakamiALONE: Orphaned on the Ocean by Richard Logan & Tere Duperrault FassbenderDon Quixote by Miguel De CervantesMusicophilia by Oliver SacksDiary of a Madman and Other Stories by Nikolai GogolThe Passion of the Western Mind by Richard TarnasThe Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le GuinThe Genius of the Beast by Howard BloomAlice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll Empire of Illusion by Chris HedgesThe Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner The Extended Phenotype by Richard DawkinsSmoke and Mirrors by Neil GaimanThe Selfish Gene by Richard DawkinsWhen Good Thinking Goes Bad by Todd C. RinioloHouse of Leaves by Mark Z. DanielewskiAmerican Gods: A Novel by Neil GaimanPrimates and Philosophers by Frans de WaalThe Enormous Room by E.E. CummingsThe Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar WildeGod Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything by Christopher HitchensThe Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco Dreams From My Father by Barack Obama Paradise Lost by John Milton Bad Money by Kevin PhillipsThe Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson BurnettGodless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America's Leading Atheists by Dan BarkerThe Things They Carried by Tim O'BrienThe Limits of Power by Andrew BacevichLolita by Vladimir NabokovOrlando by Virginia Woolf On Being Certain by Robert A. Burton50 reasons people give for believing in a god by Guy P. HarrisonWalden: Or, Life in the Woods by Henry David ThoreauExile and the Kingdom by Albert CamusOur Inner Ape by Frans de WaalYour Inner Fish by Neil ShubinNo Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthyThe Age of American Unreason by Susan JacobyTen Theories of Human Nature by Leslie Stevenson & David HabermanHeart of Darkness by Joseph ConradThe Stuff of Thought by Stephen PinkerA Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled HosseiniThe Lucifer Effect by Philip ZimbardoResponsibility and Judgment by Hannah ArendtInterventions by Noam ChomskyGodless in America by George A. RickerReligious Expression and the American Constitution by Franklyn S. HaimanDeep Economy by Phil McKibbenThe God Delusion by Richard DawkinsThe Third Chimpanzee by Jared DiamondThe Woman in the Dunes by Abe KoboEvolution vs. Creationism by Eugenie C. ScottThe Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael PollanI, Claudius by Robert GravesBreaking The Spell by Daniel C. DennettA Peace to End All Peace by David FromkinThe Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey NiffeneggerThe End of Faith by Sam HarrisEnder's Game by Orson Scott CardThe Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark HaddonValue and Virtue in a Godless Universe by Erik J. WielenbergThe March by E. L DoctorowThe Ethical Brain by Michael GazzanigaFreethinkers: A History of American Secularism by Susan JacobyCollapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared DiamondThe Battle for God by Karen ArmstrongThe Future of Life by Edward O. WilsonWhat is Good? by A. C. GraylingCivilization and Its Enemies by Lee HarrisPale Blue Dot by Carl SaganHow We Believe: Science, Skepticism, and the Search for God by Michael ShermerLooking for Spinoza by Antonio DamasioLies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them by Al FrankenThe Red Queen by Matt RidleyThe Blank Slate by Stephen PinkerUnweaving the Rainbow by Richard DawkinsAtheism: A Reader edited by S.T. JoshiGlobal Brain by Howard BloomThe Lucifer Principle by Howard BloomGuns, Germs and Steel by Jared DiamondThe Demon-Haunted World by Carl SaganBury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee BrownFuture Shock by Alvin Toffler

OTHER PAGES WORTH EXPLORING
Banned Book ListOur Amazon.com SalesMassimo Pigliucci Rationally SpeakingOnline Reading GroupTop 10 Atheism BooksFACTS Book Selections

cron
Copyright © BookTalk.org 2002-2014. All rights reserved.
Website developed by MidnightCoder.ca
Display Pagerank