20 Aug Honoring A Pioneer of Music Psychology
Chances are if you were on the Internet this week — either on social media or reading the news — you probably heard about a New York Times article by beloved neurologist and writer Oliver Sacks.
If you read his op-ed piece you were probably crushed like us. In an understated way, Sacks wrote that he is one of the “unlucky ones” and has terminal cancer with just a few months to live. He writes that he will make every moment matter and reflects on his contemporaries.
“My generation is on the way out, and each death I have felt as an abruption, a tearing away of part of myself. There will be no one like us when we are gone, but then there is no one like anyone else, ever. When people die, they cannot be replaced. They leave holes that cannot be filled, for it is the fate — the genetic and neural fate — of every human being to be a unique individual, to find his own path, to live his own life, to die his own death.”
Yet, what you may not know is that Sacks is one of the leading scientists who espoused the benefits of music on the brain. Before there was “Alive Inside,” Sacks was writing on how music enlivened Alzheimer’s patients. Before there was this video, Sacks was mapping areas of the brain that lit up when people played music. As Music.Mic eloquently explains: “For anyone who has ever wondered how the climax of Beethoven symphonies can move us to tears, or why the pounding rhythms of a festival can cause us to lose all inhibitions, his 2007 book Musicophilia is a revelation”
The music website lists its 11 favorite music quotes from Sacks but this is our favorite.
We want to use this modest space to thank a man who has done so much to shine the light on music.
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