Archives for : August2015

Oliver Sacks and Musicophilia

Oliver Sacks, the neurologist and acclaimed author who explored some of the brain’s strangest pathways, believed in the power of music:

A skilled pianist, Dr. Sacks often wrote about the relationship between music and the mind, eventually devoting a whole book, “Musicophilia” (2007), to the subject. Dr. Sacks disagreed with the Harvard psychologist and author Steven Pinker’s view of music as “auditory cheesecake,” and pointed to its ability to reach dementia patients as evidence that music appreciation is hard-wired into the brain.

“I haven’t heard of a human being who isn’t musical, or who doesn’t respond to music one way or another,” he told an audience at Columbia University in 2006. “I think we are an essentially, profoundly musical species. And I don’t know whether — for all I know, language piggybacked on music.”

Referring to Nietzsche’s claim that listening to Bizet had made him a better philosopher, Dr. Sacks said, “I think Mozart makes me a better neurologist.”

GREGORY COWLES, NY Times,  08-30-2015


NY Times article

Wonderful pianist Jeremy Denk (who performed at Samford several years back) is a great writer for the NY Times; here are some probing thoughts on the art of teaching piano.