A legendary record-producer–turned–brain-scientist explains why you fall in love with music.

What the Music You Love Says About You
by Dr. Susan Rogers & Dr. Ogi Ogas
W.W. Norton, September 2022
(via Levine Greenberg Rostan)

When you listen to music, do you prefer lyrics or melody? Intricate harmonies or driving rhythm? The “real” sounds of acoustic instruments or those of computerized synthesizers? Drawing from her successful career as a music producer (engineering hits like Prince’s “Purple Rain”), professor of cognitive neuroscience Susan Rogers reveals why your favorite songs move you. She explains that we each possess a unique “listener profile” based on our brain’s reaction to seven key dimensions of any record: authenticity, realism, novelty, melody, lyrics, rhythm, and timbre. Exploring this profile will deepen your connection to music, refresh your playlists, and uncover aspects of your personality. Rogers takes us behind the scenes of record-making, using her insider’s ear to illuminate the music of Prince, Frank Sinatra, Lana Del Rey, and many others. Told in a lively, inclusive style, this book will change the way you listen to music.

« A revelation. Susan Rogers and Ogi Ogas offer extraordinary insights about music, emotion, and the brain and they deliver them with great flair and flow. For all I thought I knew about these subjects, I learned a lot from this book―and was entertained at every turn, both by the ideas and the poetry of their expression. An instant classic, THIS IS WHAT IT SOUNDS LIKE should be read by anyone who has ever been moved by a piece of music―in other words, everyone. » ― Dr. Daniel J. Levitin, New York Times bestselling author of This Is Your Brain on Music and The Organized Mind

Susan Rogers, PhD, is a cognitive neuroscientist and a professor at Berklee College of Music, as well as a multiplatinum record producer. She resides in Boston, Massachusetts.
Ogi Ogas, PhD, was a Department of Homeland Security Fellow at the Department of Cognitive and Neural Systems at Boston University and a research fellow at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He coauthored Dark Horse, The End of Average, and Shrinks, which was longlisted for the PEN/E. O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award.

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