For a Kinder, Gentler Society
You Are What You Hear
How Music and Territory Make Us Who We Are
  • Harry Witchel
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You Are What You Hear. How Music and Territory Make Us Who We Are
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Have you ever wondered why music makes you feel so good? Why did we evolve to have music, and what does music do to us? You Are What You Hear is a bit of a romp compared to the usual science book. Dr. Witchel, a specialist in music, pleasure and the brain, explains how the body and the brain are influenced by different kinds of music, why some music makes us joyous, while other music makes us sad, or angry, or anxious, and how the brain interprets this music. He also shows how music plays with your mind — what you think, how you decide what to buy, and even how smart you are.

Dr. Witchel's interests run the gamut from music and laughter to the body language of the British Prime Minister, which he has analyzed on the BBC, most recently on the BBC World Service radio arts show, “The Strand”, Jan. 14, 2011 (click here to listen to the interview). In this book he brings together amusing historical anecdotes and engaging scientific evidence to explore how and why different groups use different music to claim their space and their identities.


About the Author

Award-winning scientist and television commentator Dr. Harry Witchel regularly appears on BBC Television, BBC Radio, and internationally on USA Discovery Channel, and radio stations throughout Europe. His writings have in appeared in national publications ranging from The Financial Times to the Times Higher Educational Supplement.

Dr. Witchel is a Senior Lecturer and The Discipline Leader in Physiology at the Brighton and Sussex Medical School (UK). He received his PhD in Physiology-Anatomy from the University of California at Berkeley, and a Bachelor’s degree in Physics from Columbia University in New York. His Psychobiology Consulting company’s client list includes Nike, Honda, Nokia, Boehringer Ingelheim, as well as international investment consultancies and law firms. 

Dr. Witchel's lectures on music and the mind have been presented at the Cambridge Summer Music Festival, the Cheltenham Festival of Science, the Institute of Education (London), the Functional Imaging Laboratories at University College London, the Royal College of Surgeons (Ireland), and the British Neuroscience Association.

In 2004 he received the national honor of being awarded The Charles Darwin Award Lecture by the British Science Association.

About the Book

Pondering the musicality of everything from bird songs to the language he calls "motherese," Dr. Witchel illustrates the power of music and addresses the questions: 

  • Why do we have music?
  • What does...

Pondering the musicality of everything from bird songs to the language he calls "motherese," Dr. Witchel illustrates the power of music and addresses the questions: 

  • Why do we have music?
  • What does music do to our emotions?
  • Can animals hear and understand music?
  • What does music do to your brain?
  • Why do people listen to sad music?
  • Why do some people like classical but others only like heavy metal?
  • Is there some essential feature to all music?

You Are What You Hear is an erudite and entertaining study that is unique in many ways.  No other book has thoroughly elaborated the connection between music and social territory in humans, although in other music-making species scientists have shown this connection to be clear-cut. Given the wealth of scientific evidence and historical narratives presented in You Are What You Hear, an intellectual investigation of this avenue is long overdue. Written by a psychobiologist, the work straddles hard science and psychology, approaching music from a unique interdisciplinary perspective. Successfully bridging these strands of evidence, You Are What You Hear elucidates the significance of territory not only in music but in daily life. This lively and engaging book will have a broad appeal — not only to the general public, but to students interested in the relationship between music and culture. Anyone from seventeen to ninety-seven will have the potential to gain something from this book.


Table of Contents
Preface and Warning Chapter 1. Why do we listen to music? Chapter 2. Why does music make se
Preface and Warning
Chapter 1. Why do we listen to music?
Chapter 2. Why does music make sex better?
Chapter 3. Why do some people love Beethoven and others rap music?
Chapter 4. Is musical taste 100% nurture, or is there a role for nature?
Chapter 5. Why do aggressive young men blare out booming music from their cars?
Chapter 6. Why do we listen to sad music?
Chapter 7. Does violent music lead to violent behavior?
Chapter 8. Does listening to Mozart make you smarter or just happier?
Chapter 9. Does music make the brain grow larger?
Chapter 10. Can music surreptitiously influence what we decide to buy in shops?
Chapter 11. Can Music Cure?
Afterword: The Power of Music
Bibliography
Index Terms

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Pages 228
Year: 2010
BISAC: MUS001000 MUSIC / Appreciation
Soft Cover
ISBN: 978-0-87586-804-2
Price: USD 22.95
Hard Cover
ISBN: 978-0-87586-805-9
Price: USD 33.95
eBook
ISBN: 978-0-87586-806-6
Price: USD 22.95
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