Are Brean and Geir Olve Skeie

Music and the brain: About Music’s Magical Powers and Its Fantastic Effect on the Brain

Musikk og hjernen. Om musikkens magiske kraft og fantastiske virkning på hjernen

Creativity in music and the skills to play and appreciate music are uniquely human characteristics. All mammals seem to enjoy a tune but only human beings show true musicality and ability to communicate through music. The brain composes music to please itself: one can learn much about how the brain works by studying its responses to music and music-making.

This book is written as three parts:

  • The first part discusses what brain does with music, that is: how music is sensed and perceived, processes grouped together as the basis for ‘perception of music’.
  • The second part describes what music does to the brain: how it affects its functioning and enables it to change – effects known as manifestations of neuroplasticity. The authors then go on to analyse the characteristics of ‘the musician’s brain’ – the brains of musicians have shared features that set them apart from other people’s brains.
  • In the third part, the authors give an account of the ways in which the brain-changing effects of music can be used to aid recovery after blows to the head and to treat neurological and related disorders such as dementia, Parkinson’s disease and mental illnesses.
Brean skeie musikk og hjernen 9788202569723

“Musically about the brain: A fascinating tale of the power music has for us humans. “Music and the brain” is an engaging dissemination of the extremely advanced processes in the brain. The book is full of interesting facts and reflections on our relations to music. It is balanced and knowledgeable."


Are Brean is editor-in-chief of the Journal of the Norwegian Medical Association and associate professor at the Norwegian Academy of Music. He has a PhD in neurology and has worked as a consultant at Oslo University Hospital, Rikshospitalet and Vestfold Hospital Trust.

Geir Olve Skeie is a neurology specialist and works as a consultant in the neurology department at Haukeland University Hospital. He is also a skilled pianist and music professor at the Grieg Academy.