New Yorker music critic Alex Ross has received two American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers Deems Taylor Awards for music criticism and a Letter of Distinction from the American Music Center for his contributions to contemporary music. His internationally bestselling book, The Rest is Noise earned the 2007 National Book Critics Circle Award and a 2008 Pulitzer Prize nomination. His second book is an expansive survey of the musical scene, ranging from classical music artists to pop sensations such as Frank Sinatra, Led Zeppelin, and Björk. (recorded 10/26/2010)
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Alex Ross writes about the fictional music of composers in literature. Here Ross describes the influence fictional music has had on real composers, the transformative power of music—in fiction and in life—and what music he hears when he imagines Marcel Proust’s haunting violin sonata.
Science Weekly takes on evolutionary psychologist Stephen Pinker’s idea that music is merely "auditory cheesecake" - pleasant on the ear but ultimately not much use.
In our Music and the Brain special, James Randerson and the team ask why music evolved, how it is linked to language, how it is understood by the brain and how it can be used to treat patients.
Dr Ian Cross talks about how music acts as a social tool. Dr Eric Clark at Oxford University tells us why dance music has such a profound effect on a club full of revellers. And Paul Robertson, founder and leader of the Medici String Quartet explains music can communicate subtle ideas and help people with Alzheimer’s diease. Also, Dr Adena Schachner at Harvard tell us why animals dance.