The Musical Human: A History of Life on Earth - A Radio 4 Book of the Week


Product Details

$35.00  $32.20
Bloomsbury Publishing
Publish Date
6.6 X 9.3 X 1.7 inches | 1.81 pounds

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About the Author

Michael Spitzer is professor of music at the University of Liverpool, where he leads the department's work on classical music. A music theorist and musicologist, he is an authority on Beethoven, with interests in aesthetics and critical theory, cognitive metaphor, and music and affect. He organized the International Conferences on Music and Emotion and the International Conference on Analyzing Popular Music and currently chairs the editorial board of Music Analysis Journal.


"Michael Spitzer has pulled off the impossible: a Guns, Germs and Steel for music." --Daniel Levitin

"Spitzer emphasizes the universality of music; everyone, for example, can associate an emotional experience with music. Touching on culture, history, science, anthropology, and philosophy, Spitzer discusses music from ancient times to the courts of medieval and Renaissance Europe to the modern era and everything in between, employing voluminous examples . . . sublimely readable." --Booklist, starred review

"Whether [Spitzer] is meditating on the utility of metaphor in capturing music's intrinsic abstraction or discussing emotion theory across a sweep of genres, his writing is broad, deep, and layered . . . Weaving through history, philosophy, archaeology, and biology, he demonstrates how music was not serendipitously invented by human beings but rather is innate to this world. With humorous and concise prose, Spitzer makes a convincing case for the irreducible musical properties of human beings." --Library Journal, starred review

"A thrilling exploration of what music has meant and means to humankind." --Ian Bostridge

"A hugely ambitious work, but never daunting, and there's something thought-provoking on every page ... With scholarship, wit and passion, this book demonstrates that there truly is a soundtrack to human lives." --Catherine Bott

"This book has connected me to not only the language of love but the language of life. A revelation." --Michael Cashman