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8 Reviews
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read it.
I'm a musician and songwriter. Along with his other book 'Your Brain on Music' this is an almost invaluable work.

The no-nonsense structure has made it so every other line holds a golden nugget of information that may well change the way you look at things forever. The writing style is largely anecdotal and written in laymen's terms, despite venturing into...
Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer

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3.0 out of 5 stars An interesting and readable book, but too anecdotal and unscientific for me.
This is an entertaining read, very easy to get through, and plenty about it was endearing and appealing on a very approachable level - Levitin writes pretty readable stuff in trying to make the case for why humans have music, and what it means to us as thinking beings.

I was left slightly disappointed, however, because it just wasn't convincing. The author aims...
Published 10 months ago by Mr Nicholas A Davies


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read it., 18 Mar 2014
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This review is from: The World in Six Songs: How the Musical Brain Created Human Nature (Paperback)
I'm a musician and songwriter. Along with his other book 'Your Brain on Music' this is an almost invaluable work.

The no-nonsense structure has made it so every other line holds a golden nugget of information that may well change the way you look at things forever. The writing style is largely anecdotal and written in laymen's terms, despite venturing into fairly complex territory.

The author should be congratulated.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting book, 19 May 2014
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Extremely interesting read for those who have a real interest in the social and emotional origins of song. Maybe a subject which folk haven't really thought of before. Makes a good present
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3.0 out of 5 stars An interesting and readable book, but too anecdotal and unscientific for me., 1 Nov 2013
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This is an entertaining read, very easy to get through, and plenty about it was endearing and appealing on a very approachable level - Levitin writes pretty readable stuff in trying to make the case for why humans have music, and what it means to us as thinking beings.

I was left slightly disappointed, however, because it just wasn't convincing. The author aims to classify all music into one of six different types (for friendship, for information, for joy etc.) but the whole thing left me with so many questions and aware of so many holes in his arguments that.. as a non-fiction, as a scientific book, it just didn't have the authority. I wanted more facts, more 'we have proved that this type of song elicits this response via brain imaging', more factual content. What it ended up feeling like was an entertaining read with lots of appealing ideas, the author choosing to illustrate things with anecdotes (and lots of name-dropping!) and accompany this with "Perhaps this means X and Y because of Z" type statements. I just did not buy many of his arguments about genetic selection for musical skills for the reasons he gave, as there seemed little factual basis for these assertions. There was also too much deconstruction of art/music, which gets on my wick a bit.

As a quirky and approachable popular psychology type book, however, it was an entertaining read, and if they don't expect too much rigour from it, readers will enjoy it.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A good topic but becomes tedious, 25 Nov 2012
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Lark (North Coast of Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This is five CD audiobook, the cover is a cardboard box and in it a paper sleave with the CDs in pockets.

I was aggrieved when I tried to use this CD with iTunes and found that the titles of the tracks on the disk could not be found in iTunes database, I listened to it rather than choosing to transfer the contents to my iPod. This is disappointing and an inconvenience but needs to be considered apart from the audiobook itself and narration, which can still be informative, interesting and entertaining besides.

However, while there is a lot of interesting material here from speculation about the origins of music and song through mankinds movement from symbolism to language to how oral traditions work, how music proves to be memorable etc. it does become tedious very quickly, there is reptition too and I could not help but think the narrator adds to this too.

There is content which I thought should be more interesting that it sounded, that is I would listen to content, think about it and relisten to it because I knew the information being imparted was important but you could easily have missed it as there is a sort of drone factor to contest with. There is little reprieve from this, for instance emotion creeps in or when discussing memorising information with songs the songs are sang, its very brief and just a rhymn.

This did not spoile the audiobook for me but I dont believe there is a lot of relistening value and I dont believe that it was that memorable either, it did effect my enjoyment of the material too. That said I believe that if I had been reviewing the book I would have found it the same too.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing, 27 Dec 2010
By 
Gardenque (chester, cheshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The World in Six Songs: How the Musical Brain Created Human Nature (Paperback)
I'd previously read and enjoyed 'This is Your Brain on Music' by the same author so it seemed natural to buy this one too. A quick flick through the index told me that there were contributions by Frank Zappa and Joni Mitchell - so all the signs were good. For some reason, however, I put off buying it for some time (until I got in cheap on E-bay actually). I have to say that I'm pleased I did: I'd have hated to pay full price for such a disappointing book.

It seems as though the author feels he has to remind us on every other page about how "Natural selection has favoured those who were able to... etc. etc." Okay, so it is the point of the book but it can still become tedious after a while. When somebody persistently tries to shoehorn everything into one system then the result can start to resemble superstition. My impression was that the author could have made the book half as long and it would have been twice as good. There are occasional nuggets in the book but these are few and far between. Unlike another reviewer, I actually enjoyed reading the song lyrics: they provided a welcome break from the proselytizing. Oh, and nitpicking it may be but there were more than a few typos scattered throughout the text.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The world in six songs, 26 Jan 2013
This review is from: The World in Six Songs: How the Musical Brain Created Human Nature (Paperback)
A great eye opener into how music shaped our past and how we are influenced constantly by music today , be it personally or professionaly.
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2 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy to understand, 21 May 2010
By 
C. Underwood (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The World in Six Songs: How the Musical Brain Created Human Nature (Paperback)
This book is fantastic, just like Levitin's 'This is your brain on music' this book is easy to understand which makes it an easy read and really interesting.
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3 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE WORLD IN SIX SONGS (book), 28 Dec 2009
I don't remember buying this one, but the description "How The Musical Brain Created Human Nature" certainly sounds interesting. Perhaps we'd both better check other people's reviews on this book.
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The World in Six Songs: How the Musical Brain Created Human Nature
The World in Six Songs: How the Musical Brain Created Human Nature by Daniel Levitin (Paperback - 25 Mar 2010)
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