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Musicophilia by Oliver Sacks

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

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1. Ricardo Mallo Muñoz - 28 January 2008 

I think that this man have a lot of reasons to think about this kind of things.I have heard some things about that some months ago at high school.Since that I am a very hard defender of this type of relations between music and body.Congratulations for this video I find it quite interesting.Bye

2. Manuel Menendez - 9 February 2008 

I have read several books by Oliver Sacks. In fact I have met him in person. I find his books really interesting sinces the plot is always based on neurological disorders and this is an interesting topic when you want to know how the brain works.
Although he is a neurologist he writes in a basic style so anyone can follow his books
His most famous book is “The man who mistook his wife for a hat” but for those who are interested in language learning and language disabilities I would recomend “I see a voice”.

3. Àgueda Fdez Quintana - 21 February 2008 

It sounds so interesting that I`ll try to read it…

Music and surgery are both important in my life (as I`m currenty studying Medicine and I`m very keen on music.)The story`s background seems deep and moving,I do believe this book has to be entertaining.I have enjoyed the video as Oliver Sacks is such a talented man that when he talks about his creations,he makes you feel as involved as if you were the main character.

Thanks for such an interesting suggestion.

4. Sara Gutiérrez Alonso - 21 February 2008 

I find this article very interesting. I had never heard about it until now and I believe it is something incredible but that can take place in real life. It seems to be impossible how you can feel this extremely feeling about something you had never been interested in by simply being hit by a flash of light. Congratulations for the article!!!

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