MUSIC AND THE MIND

From Oxford psychiatrist Storr (Churchill's Black Dog, 1989, etc.): a lucid and absorbing study of the relationship between music and the human experience. Storr's fluidly logical exploration begins with an assessment of various theories on the origins of music. After considering theories connecting music to natural phenomena like bird-song or linguistic features, Storr concludes that, although the origins of music will never be established conclusively, ``it seems probable that music developed from the prosodic exchanges between mother and infant which foster the bond between them.'' Using terms such as ``arousal,'' ``expectation.'' and ``fulfillment,'' later chapters explore physiological and psychological responses to music, bravely probing the issue of musical meaning as both an intellectual (objective) and emotional (subjective) stimulant. Occasionally, Storr's own musical observations are a bit simplistic: ``Bach's extraordinary skill maintains our interest; but it is an interest based on elaboration, symmetry, and rhythmic pulse, rather than upon progress.'' But this does not detract from the author's larger vision. The bibliography reveals an incredible breadth of erudition: Storr quotes widely and with equal comfort from scientific, philosophical, and literary sources, ancient to modern. Like Oliver Sacks, he leads his reader effortlessly through a capacious synthesis of diverse material without resorting to unnecessary technical jargon. Readers with their own inchoate reflections on the nature of music will be grateful to have Storr investigating and clarifying their experiences in such elegant, taut prose.

Pub Date: Nov. 30, 1992

ISBN: 0-02-931621-9

Page Count: 250

Publisher: Free Press

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1992

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. AND THE MARCH ON WASHINGTON

This early reader is an excellent introduction to the March on Washington in 1963 and the important role in the march played by Martin Luther King Jr. Ruffin gives the book a good, dramatic start: “August 28, 1963. It is a hot summer day in Washington, D.C. More than 250,00 people are pouring into the city.” They have come to protest the treatment of African-Americans here in the US. With stirring original artwork mixed with photographs of the events (and the segregationist policies in the South, such as separate drinking fountains and entrances to public buildings), Ruffin writes of how an end to slavery didn’t mark true equality and that these rights had to be fought for—through marches and sit-ins and words, particularly those of Dr. King, and particularly on that fateful day in Washington. Within a year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed: “It does not change everything. But it is a beginning.” Lots of visual cues will help new readers through the fairly simple text, but it is the power of the story that will keep them turning the pages. (Easy reader. 6-8)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-448-42421-5

Page Count: 48

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2000

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