Music offers a unique opportunity to better understand the organization of the human brain. Like language, music exists in all human societies. Like language, music is a complex, rule-governed activity that seems specific to humans, and associated with a specific brain architecture. Yet unlike most other high-level functions of the human brain - and unlike language - music is a skill at which only a minority of people become proficient. The study of music as a major brain function has for some time been relatively neglected. Just recently, however, we have witnessed an explosion in research activities on music perception and performance and their correlates in the human brain. This volume brings together an outstanding collection of international authorities - from the fields of music, neuroscience, psychology, and neurology - to describe the amazing advances being made in understanding the complex relationship between music and the brain. Aimed at psychologists and neuroscientists, this is a book that will lay the foundations for a cognitive neuroscience of music.
Isabelle Peretz is in the Department of Psychology, University of Montreal. Robert Zatorre is at the Auditory Processing Laboratory, Montreal Neurological Institute.