Music and the Brain
by Library of Congress
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The Library's Music and the Brain events offer lectures, conversations and symposia about the explosion of new research at the intersection of cognitive neuroscience and music. Project chair Kay Redfield Jamison convenes scientists and scholars, composers, performers, theorists, physicians, psychologists, and other experts at the Library for a compelling 2-year series, with generous support from the Dana Foundation.
||The Future of Music||Host Steve Mencher talks with Tod Machover, composer and Director, Professor of Music and Media, and Director of the Opera of the Future Group at MIT.||5/23/2011||Free||View In iTunes|
||Music as Medicine||Host Steve Mencher talks with Dr. Deforia Lane, Director of Music Therapy, Univeristy Hospitals of Cleveland.||5/23/2011||Free||View In iTunes|
||Music Therapy, Alzheimer's and Post-Traumatic Stress||Host Steve Mencher talks with Alicia Clair about Music Therapy, Alzheimer's and Post-Traumatic Stress||2/15/2011||Free||View In iTunes|
||Music and Grief||Host Steve Mencher talks with Music and the Brain Series advisor Kay Redfield Jamison about her book Nothing Was The Same.||11/30/2010||Free||View In iTunes|
||Wellness and Growth: Acoustic Medicine and Music Therapy||Host Steve Mencher talks with Dr. Jayne Standley, Director of the Music Therapy Program, Florida State University.||9/22/2010||Free||View In iTunes|
||Wellness and Growth: Acoustic Medicine and Music Therapy||Host Steve Mencher talks with Dr. Vera Brandes, Director, Research Program Music Medicine, Paracelsus Medical Private University, Salzburg.||9/10/2010||Free||View In iTunes|
||Why Do Listeners Enjoy Music that Makes Them Weep?||Host Steve Mencher and Professor David Huron, Head of Ohio State University's Cognitive and Systematic Musicology Laboratory,answer to the question in a conversation on emotions, the brain and music.||4/29/2010||Free||View In iTunes|
||Making Music Changes Brains||Dr. Gottfried Schlaug, Director of the Music, Neuroimaging and Stroke Recovery Laboratories, Beth Deaconess Israel Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, talks with host Steve Mencher about the notable differences between the brain of a musician and a non-musician.||4/29/2010||Free||View In iTunes|
||Music, Memories, and the Brain||Dr. Peter Janata, associate professor at University of California, Davis, and member of the Center for Mind and Brain talks with Steve Mencher about how the brain creates an autobiographical soundtrack from our memories.||4/29/2010||Free||View In iTunes|
||The Positive Effects of Music Therapy on Health||Steve Mencher from the Library of Congress talks with Concetta M. Tomaino, Executive Director, Institute for Music and Neurologic Function, about "The Positive Effects of Music Therapy on Health."||4/29/2010||Free||View In iTunes|
||States of Mind: Music in Islamic Sufi Rituals||Steve Mencher from the Library of Congress discusses "States of Mind: Music in Islamic Sufi Rituals" with Dr. Taoufiq ben Amor, Gordon Gray J. Lecturer, Arabic Studies, Columbia University.||1/22/2010||Free||View In iTunes|
||Trance Formation: Music, Trance, Religious Experience, and the Brain||Steve Mencher from the Library of Congress talks to Dr. Robin Sylvan, Director of the Sacred Center, El Cerrito, California about "Trance Formation: Music, Trance, Religious Experience, and the Brain."||1/22/2010||Free||View In iTunes|
||Wednesday Is Indigo Blue: Discovering the Brain of Synesthesia||Michael Kubovy and Judith Shatin of the University of Virginia discuss their presentation "The Mind of an Artist." Debate has long raged about whether and how music expresses meaning beyond its sounding notes. Kubovy and Shatin discuss evidence that music does indeed have a semantic element, and offer examples of how composers embody extra-musical elements in their compositions. Kubovy is a cognitive psychologist who studies visual and auditory perception, and Shatin is a composer who explores similar issues in her music.||12/1/2009||Free||View In iTunes|
||The Mind of the Artist||Dr. Richard E. Cytowic, MD, of George Washington Medical Center discusses his presentation "Wednesday Is Indigo Blue: Discovering the Brain of Synesthesia."||12/1/2009||Free||View In iTunes|
||"Halt or I'll Play Vivaldi! Classical Music as Crime Stopper"||Helfgott and Middleton examine the use of classical music by law enforcement and other cultural institutions as social control, to quell and prevent crime. Their conversation touches on how classical music is viewed in contemporary culture, how it can be a tool for discouraging criminal activity and anti-social behavior, as well as its history as a mind-altering experience.||4/17/2009||Free||View In iTunes|
||From Mode to Emotion in Musical Communication||From Mode to Emotion in Musical Communication: Steven Brown, Director of the NeuroArts Lab at McMaster University, discusses his work looking at the expression of emotion in both Western and non-Western musics. Music employs a number of mechanisms for conveying emotion. Some of them are shared with other modes of expression (speech, gesture) while others are specific to music. The most unique way that music communicates emotion is through the use of contrastive scale types. While Westerners are familiar with the major/minor distinction, the use of contrastive scale types in world musics is universal.||3/27/2009||Free||View In iTunes|
||Dangerous Music||Artistic anathemas, musical mayhem, and cultural conundrums such as "the devil's music"- Middleton and Krash explore the psychological and social issues associated with the human tendency toward censorship of musical expression, as well as what has been described as "suicide-by-music" and crimes that have been connected to musical genres.||1/29/2009||Free||View In iTunes|
||The Music of Language and the Language of Music.||In our everyday lives language and instrumental music are obviously different things. Neuroscientist and musician Ani Patel is the author of a recent, elegantly argued offering from Oxford University Press, Music, Language and the Brain. Oliver Sacks calls Patel a "pioneer in the use of new concepts and technology to investige the neural correlates of music." In this podcast he discusses some of the hidden connections between language and instrumental music that are being uncovered by empirical scientific studies.||12/29/2008||Free||View In iTunes|
||The World in Six Songs: How the Musical Brain Created Human Nature.||Daniel Levitin's new book The World in Six Songs has attracted a serious fan following, including Sting, Joni Mitchell and Willie Nelson. Neuroscientist, rock producer, and best selling author (This is Your Brain on Music) Levitin talks about his research for this fascinating book that takes the reader on a journey of the world through 6 types of songs--friendship, joy, comfort, knowledge, religion/ritual, and love.||12/17/2008||Free||View In iTunes|
||Your Brain on Jazz: Neural Substrates of Spontaneous Improvisation.||Johns Hopkins otolaryngolost and jazz musician Charles Limb talks about "The Brain on Jazz"--Neural Substrates of Spontaneous Improvisation."||12/9/2008||Free||View In iTunes|
As a professional songwriter and former engineer, I find this series to be a fascinating discussion that satisfies both sides of the brain. Intelligent, educational, interesting are but a few of the adjectives that describe the various topics covered so far. I have learned quite a lot about how music relates to the brain and visa versa. Some of the discussions require more than a basic understanding of music, while others do not. But if you just listen, no matter what your level of musical knowledge, you will find extremely enlightening explanations and theories. I highly recommend this offering from the LOC to anyone interested in music, the brain. or both.
Best podcast available
Excellent series. Awaiting new installations as soon as possible.
Music Therapy and Alzheimer
Just knowing this website exists for all to access is incredible. And FREE. Fabulous. I will be passing this on to all my friends, including musician friends, which include many music teachers, and colleagues in the teaching field. Most of us are aware of much of this information, but having a place to access this to backup our constant battle to keep music in schools, is a real gift.
Also, having a close friend with early onset Alzheimer's, having more information on music in their life is near and dear to me.
I am a musician and have found that music has many positive uses for this person. The more we learn about this use of music for ALzheimer's, the better the chances of our knowing how to use it to improve their lives.
Thanks and keep this type of information flowing our way.