Music and Mind: Harnessing the Arts for Health and Wellness (Hardcover)

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Music and Mind: Harnessing the Arts for Health and Wellness (Hardcover)
Edited by Renée Fleming

World-renowned soprano and arts/health advocate Renée Fleming curates a collection of essays from leading scientists, artists, creative arts therapists, educators, and healthcare providers about the powerful impacts of music and the arts on health and the human experience.

A compelling and growing body of research has shown music and arts therapies to be effective tools for addressing a widening array of conditions, from providing pain relief and alleviating anxiety and depression to regaining speech after stroke or traumatic brain injury, and improving mobility for people with disorders that include Parkinson’s disease and MS.

In Music and Mind, Renée Fleming draws upon her own experience as an advocate to showcase the breadth of this booming field, inviting leading experts to share their discoveries. In addition to describing therapeutic benefits, the book explores evolution, brain function, childhood development, and technology as applied to arts and health.

Much of this area of study is relatively new, made possible by recent advances in brain imaging, and supported by the National Institutes of Health, major hospitals, and universities. This work is sparking an explosion of public interest in the arts and health sector.

Fleming has presented on this material in over fifty cities across North America, Europe, and Asia, collaborating with leading researchers, policy-makers, and practitioners. With essays from notable musicians, writers, and artists, as well as leading neuroscientists, Music and Mind is a groundbreaking book, the perfect introduction to and overview of this exciting new field.

Chapters include:

  • Ann Patchett, “How to Fall in Love with Opera”       
  • Yo-Yo Ma, “Nature, Culture, and Healing”
  • Aniruddh D. Patel, “Musicality, Evolution, and Animal Responses to Music”
  • Richard Powers, “The Parting Glass”
  • Daniel J. Levitin, “What Does It Mean to be Musical?”       
  • Anna Deavere Smith, “Healing Arts”       
  • Rosanne Cash, “Rabbit Hole”       
  • Rhiannon Giddens, “How Music Shows Us What It Means to Be Human”
  • Robert Zatorre, “Musical Enjoyment and the Reward Circuits of the Brain”
  • Concetta Tomaino, “Music and Memory”

“This book inspires us all to immerse ourselves in the vast potential of music and other creative arts to heal our wounds, sharpen our minds, enliven our bodies, and restore our broken connections.” – Bessel van der Kolk, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Body Keeps the Score

  • Hardcover: 592 pages
  • Publisher: Viking (April 9, 2024)
  • Dimensions: 6.4” W x 1.8” D x 9.3” H

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Music Notes

Most Western music is based on a system of notation that evolved around 1600 out of earlier practices. The starting point for any opera is the full score, which contains all individual voices and instruments arranged in a specific order on the page. The written music—representing the sounds a composer creates in his head—then comes to life performed by singers onstage and played by the orchestra.



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