Pick of the Week from Concerts from the Library of Congress

May 18, 2020





In recognition of Mental Health Month, Pick of the Week brings you Music and the Brain, a thought-provoking, two-year cycle of lectures and special presentations at the Library of Congress that highlighted an explosion of new research on music and the brain.  Under the auspices of the Music Division and the Science, Technology and Business Division, clinical psychologist and writer Kay Redfield Jamison convened scientists, scholars, composers, performers, theorists, physicians, and psychologists to discuss these exciting advances. We hope you enjoy!  

“Music and the Brain” was presented by the Music Division and the Science, Technology and Business Division, Library of Congress, in collaboration with the Johns Hopkins Mood Disorders Clinic, and with the generous support of the Dana Foundation.


Thursday, May 28, 2020, 7:00-8:30 pm


Aural Explorations: Farrin, Fure and Messiaen

This event will be presented Live on YouTube

Capping our season-long celebration of women composers and performers, this special 90-minute interactive program carries the world premiere of a new Library of Congress commission from the Carolyn Royall Just Fund: Suzanne Farrin’s Nacht. Her atmospheric settings of poems by Rumi and Hafiz use an evocative palette of timbres—ondes martenot, voice, percussion, bass, harp and piano—to explore language, translation, and identity.


March 12, 2010

The Positive Effects of Music Therapy on Health

Concetta M. Tomaino, Executive Director, Institute for Music and Neurologic Function 

Why can someone with Alzheimer's disease recall lyrics to songs when they can't remember the names of their children? Why can a stroke survivor sing words to a familiar song even though they cannot speak? Drawing from more than 30 years of clinical experience and current research into the therapeutic applications of music for persons with acute or chronic health conditions, Concetta Tomaino will explain how and why music is an effective tool to enhance neurologic function, ability and quality of life.


October 27, 2009

“Music and Grief” Panel Discussion and Performance

Series advisor Kay Redfield Jamison returns with a new presentation based on her forthcoming book, Nothing Was the Same, a haunting meditation on mortality, grief and loss. She is joined by two other distinguished speakers: Ara Guzelimian, Provost and Dean of the Juilliard School, and J. Raymond DePaulo, Jr., MD, Director, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. The panelists will delve into the distinctions between grief and depression, the consolations of music and literature, and crosscurrents related to arts and the brain.

David Huron

February 26, 2010

Why Do Listeners Enjoy Music That Makes Them Weep?

David Huron, author of Sweet Anticipation: Music and the Psychology of Expectation (2006), and Head, Cognitive and Systematic Musicology Laboratory, Ohio State University.

Music-induced weeping represents one of the most powerful and potentially sublime experiences available to human listeners. Modern neuroscience provides helpful insights into music-induced weeping, how sounds can evoke sadness or grief, and why such sounds might lead to "a good cry."

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