What is nature of music? How to properly evaluate music?
If you want to become an expert or gain deep insight into nature of industry, reading is an indispensable reference. However, many people only read some general and popular books and ignore deeper and more valuable basic books that often take a lot of time and energy. And I like to collect books on some basic subjects, because only by reading these basic books can we deeply understand essence of this subject and its impact on a person and thus form our own theories and styles.
As with music, I highly recommend "Musical Instinct" by renowned American musical psychologist Philip Ball. This book covers musicology, psychology, cultural studies, neuroscience, anthropology, and more. Through a wealth of experimental research and literature, it explores why music has such a powerful effect on us and how it affects our brains and emotions. After reading it I was deeply inspired and I think this book is a rare and valuable resource for music lovers, students and researchers.
In first chapter, author introduces basics of music perception, discusses why music has such a deep emotional resonance for us and how these resonances are generated in brain. He wrote: “The human auditory system can distinguish pitch, rhythm, intensity and timbre, which allows music to express strong emotions such as sadness, joy, excitement, etc., through various sound elements.” to express many emotions through different sound elements, which is why people resonate and feel music so much.
In second and third chapters, author discusses origin and evolution of music, explains from an evolutionary point of view why people develop ability to perceive and appreciate music, and role of music in human society. He wrote: "Music has always been present throughout our evolutionary history, which shows that music plays an important role in our lives." human evolution. It also explains why people have such a deep emotional resonance with music.
Chapters 4 through 6 focus on structure and language of music, cultural differences in music, and influence that different types of music have on our emotions and behavior. In these chapters, author provides many case studies and experiments to help readers better understand nature of music and its impact on humans. For example, in fifth chapter, author explores differences in understanding and perception of music in different cultures. He wrote: "The music of different cultures has very different structures and elements, but this does not mean that they cannot be mutually understood and appreciated." This passage made me realize that music is a global language. Although music of different cultures is different, we can still promote cultural exchange and integration by appreciating and understanding each other's music.
In last chapters, author discusses effects of music on brain and body, as well as use of music in medical therapy. He writes, "Research shows that music can help people reduce anxiety, relieve pain, promote recovery, and improve cognition." benefits for body and health.
In short, I think The Essence of Music is a very valuable book. It can not only help us to better understand nature of music and its impact on humans, but also help us better appreciate and understand music. If you are a music lover, student, or researcher, I highly recommend reading this book.
Finally, I would like to invite everyone to pay attention to me and music that I bring to you, and feel charm of music together.
"Music is not just a passive experience, but an active experience that involves our emotions, our intellect and our body" (chapter 1)