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Musicophilia by Oliver Sacks

January 21, 2008
Posted by mmarvs in : Audio and Video, Books, General, Resources


A surgeon is struck by lightning and becomes obsessed with Chopin. An eminent psychoanalyst is kept awake by hallucinations of a singing rabbi. An amnesiac musicologist incapable of remembering anything that happened more a few seconds ago finds refuge from his disoriented existence by performing Bach fugues.

Music, writes neurologist Oliver Sacks in his new book, Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain, opens a window into almost every aspect of life and brain function. For his previous case-history collections Awakenings and The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, Sacks studied the lives of people with disorders like autism and Tourette’s syndrome, turning up startling insights about the brain’s capacity to heal and adapt. Sacks, 74, shared his thoughts about music in his Greenwich Village office. (Wire Magazine, issue 15.10)

Watch a video with Oliver Sacks talking about a passage from his book:

You can find the listening comprehension activity here.

Read the passage from the book mentioned in the video.

Recommend a film

January 21, 2008
Posted by mmarvs in : Films, General

As I mentioned the other day in class, I would like you to recommend a film that you have seen recently and that you think suitable for English learners.

Post a comment with your ideas.

An the winner is … (now for real)

January 6, 2008
Posted by mmarvs in : General, Songs
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After a very disputed contest, I can finally announce the winner for the Saddest and Happiest Song:

Winner in the Happiest Song category

Ain’t No Mountain High Enough (Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrel)

Presented by Cristina González Blanco

Winner in the Saddest Song category

My Immortal (Evanescence)

Presented by Covandonga García Menéndez

Thanks to everybody who took part in the activity. I personally had a great time listening to the songs you suggested. I hope you enjoyed it too! Riendo