Music and Ecstasy

I have not clearly understood why certain kind of music lifts us to ecstasy. I mean I love songs for its lyrics more than the music itself…again lyrics with a slow soulful tune is what gives me a high.  It can save me from a bad day, lift my spirit, get me into a state which possibly only my lover can take me to. Again I have my language preference, possibly because I am a lyrics person, but holistically, it’s the composition which tranquilizes me. My search took me a webpage finally, and I found a book which I think it will have answers to my questions. It is called Music, The Brain, And Ecstasy: How Music Captures Our Imagination written by Robert Jourdain.

For those in similar quest, here is the prelude to what’s inside (courtesy Amazon)…

What makes a distant oboe’s wail beautiful? Why do some kinds of music lift us to ecstasy, but not others? How can music make sense to an ear and brain evolved for detecting the approaching lion or tracking the unsuspecting gazelle? Lyrically interweaving discoveries from science, psychology, music theory, paleontology, and philosophy, Robert Jourdian brilliantly examines why music speaks to us in ways that words cannot, and why we form such powerful connections to it. In clear, understandable language, Jourdian expertly guides the reader through a continuum of musical experience: sound, tone, melody, harmony, rhythm, composition, performance, listening, understanding–and finally to ecstasy. Along the way, a fascinating cast of characters brings Jourdian’s narrative to vivid life: “idiots savants” who absorb whole pieces on a single hearing, composers who hallucinate entire compositions, a psychic who claims to take dictation from long-dead composers, and victims of brain damage who can move only when they hear music. Here is a book that will entertain, inform, and stimulate everyone who loves music–and make them think about their favorite song in startling new ways. What makes a distant oboes wail beautiful? Why do some kinds of music lift us to ecstasy, but not others? How can music make sense to an ear and brain evolved for detecting the approaching lion or tracking the unsuspecting gazelle? Lyrically interweaving discoveries from science, psychology, music theory, paleontology, and philosophy, Robert Jourdian brilliantly examines why music speaks to us in ways that words cannot, and why we form such powerful connections to it.

In clear, understandable language, Jourdian expertly guides the reader through a continuum of musical experience: sound, tone, melody, harmony, rhythm, composition, performance, listening, understanding–and finally to ecstasy. Along the way, a fascinating cast of characters brings Jourdians narrative to vivid life: idiots savants who absorb whole pieces on a single hearing, composers who hallucinate entire compositions, a psychic who claims to take dictation from long-dead composers, and victims of brain damage who can move only when they hear music. Here is a book that will entertain, inform, and stimulate everyone who loves music–and make them think about their favorite song in startling new ways.

I am so thankful to the lyricists, music composers and singers and sometimes bless them with all my heart. Can’t imagine my world without them…

“Blessed are the weird people–poets, misfits, writers, mystics…painters & troubadours–for they teach us to see the world through different eyes.”Jacob Nordby

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2 Comments

  1. Hi Moriau. Yes, I guess lyric and music have the same root anyway: sound. Just the way a little kid likes a foreign song.
    But I only partly agree with Jordan since in my book, a good read can make anybody hear, without ears. 🙂

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