Music in Our Lives

Why We Listen, How It Works


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About the Book

Music research has entered something of a Golden Age. Technological advances and scholarly inquiry have merged in interdisciplinary studies—drawing on psychology, neuroscience, evolutionary biology, anthropology and other fields—that illuminate the musical nature of our species. This volume develops, supports and challenges that body of research, examining key issues in the field, such as the difficulty of writing about music, the formation of musical preferences, the emotional impact of musical sounds, the comparison of music and language, the impulse for making music and the connection between music and spirituality.

About the Author(s)

Jonathan L. Friedmann is a professor of Jewish music history at the Academy for Jewish Religion California, extraordinary professor of theology at North-West University (NWU), South Africa, and a research fellow at NWU in musical arts in South Africa: resources and applications. He is the author, editor, or compiler of 19 books on music and religion. Visit his website at

Bibliographic Details

Jonathan L. Friedmann
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 204
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 2015
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9759-1
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1896-8
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Preface  1

Introduction  5

1. Writing on Music 9

2. What Is Music? 16

3. Where Does Music Come From? 24

4. Innateness 34

5. Character 40

6. Shape 48

7. Transience 57

8. Language 69

9. Nature 76

10. Folk Music 86

11. Art Music 93

12. Consumer Music 102

13. Creativity 108

14. Music-Making 117

15. Mind 125

16. Listening 133

17. Ownership 140

18. Prejudice and Tolerance 147

19. Religion 155

20. Spirituality 168

Bibliography  181

Index  193