Musicophilia, By Oliver Sacks

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The Independent Culture

Neurologist Oliver Sacks first began to wonder about the effects of music on the brain in 1966, when he noticed them on the patients he went on to write about in Awakenings. At that stage there was oddly little research on the subject.

Here, he uses a device in which he has almost cornered the market – the elegantly-written medical case study – to examine such phenomena as "amusia", the link between music and heightened emotions and the man who started composing music after being struck by lightning. An excellent counter to Darwin's theory that music is not "the least use to man".

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