shopping cart
nothing in cart
browse by subject
new releases
best sellers
sale books
browse by author
browse by publisher
about us
upcoming events
Feb 6th - Transference and countertransference: Training for agency-based mental health professionals: Training for agency-based mental health professionals [SickKids CCMH Learning Institute]
Feb 6th - Innovations in Psychotherapy Cancun 2023, Week 1 [Leading Edge Seminars]
Feb 6th - Still, I Cannot Save You [Penguin Random House and Caversham Booksellers]
Feb 8th - Art is Patient seminar series [Eva-Marie Stern]
Feb 9th - tps&i Extension Course Six - Basic Klein [tps&i]
schools agencies and other institutional orders (click here)
Open for browsing 9-6 Mon-Sat and 12-5 Sunday. Free shipping across Canada for orders over $150. Please read our Covid-19 statement here.
Join our mailing list! Click here to sign up.
The Music Instinct: How Music Works and Why We Can't Do Without It
Philip Ball
Oxford University Press / Softcover / Jul 2012
9780199896424 (ISBN-10: 0199896429)
On Music and Sound / The Brain - for the layperson
price: $21.95 (may be subject to change)
464 pages
Not in Stock, usually ships in 3-6 business days

From Bach fugues to Indonesian gamelan, from nursery rhymes to rock, music has cast its light into every corner of human culture. But why music excites such deep passions, and how we make sense of musical sound at all, are questions that have until recently remained unanswered. Now in The Music Instinct, award-winning writer Philip Ball provides the first comprehensive, accessible survey of what is known - and still unknown - about how music works its magic, and why, as much as eating and sleeping, it seems indispensable to humanity.

Deftly weaving together the latest findings in brain science with history, mathematics, and philosophy, The Music Instinct not only deepens our appreciation of the music we love, but shows that we would not be ourselves without it. The Sunday Times hailed it as "a wonderful account of why music matters," with Ball's "passion for music evident on every page."


Author's Note
1. Prelude: The Harmonious Universe
An Introduction
2. Overture: Why We Sing
What is music and where does it come from?
3. Staccato: The Atoms of Music
What are musical notes and how do we decide which to use?
4. Andante: What's In a Tune?
Do melodies follow rules, and if so, which?
5. Legato: Keeping it Together
How do we decode the sound?
6. Tutti: All Together Now
How do we use more than one note at a time?
7. Con Moto: Slave to the Rhythm
What gives music its pulse?
8. Pizzicato: The Colour of Music
Why do instruments sound different, and how does that affect the music?
9. Misterioso: All In the Mind
Which bits of the brain do we use for music?
10. Appassionato: Light My Fire
How does music convey and elicit emotion?
11. Capriccioso: Going In and Out of Style
What are musical styles?
Is music about notes, or patterns, or textures?
12. Parlando: Why Music Talks to Us
Is music a language? Or is it closer to the non-verbal arts?
13. Serioso: The Meaning of Music
What are composers and musicians trying to say?
Can music in itself say anything at all?
Coda: The Condition of Music

About the Author:

Philip Ball is a freelance writer and the author of numerous books, including Universe of Stone: A Biography of Chartres Cathedral and Critical Mass: How One Thing Leads To Another, which won the 2005 Aventis Prize for Science Books.

Caversham Booksellers
98 Harbord St, Toronto, ON M5S 1G6 Canada
(click for map and directions)
All prices in $cdn
Copyright 2022

Phone toll-free (800) 361-6120
Tel (416) 944-0962 | Fax (416) 944-0963
E-mail [email protected]
Hours: 9-6 Mon-Sat / Sunday 12-5 (EST)

Click here to read previous issues.
Ball, Philip
other lists
On Music and Sound
Oxford U Press - Trade Titles
Oxford University Press
The Brain - for the layperson
University Presses