My wife Andrea is a long time member of the Chapter to Chapter book club. The club’s book for September (at Andrea’s suggestion) was The Social Animal – The Hidden Sources of Love, Character and Achievement (2011) by David Brooks. Mr. Brooks is best known as an op-ed columnist for The New York Times.
Over dinner the other evening, Andrea shared some excerpts from The Social Animal with me that were about music.
I’d like to share them now with you.
In Chapter 21, “The Other Education,” Mr. Brooks writes:
“Listening to music involves making a series of sophisticated calculations about the future….When the music conforms to our anticipations, we feel a soothing drip of pleasure.
But the mind also exists in a state of tension between familiarity and novelty. The brain has evolved to detect constant change, and delights in comprehending the unexpected. So we’re drawn to music that flirts with our expectations and then gently plays jokes on them.
Life is change, and the happy life is a series of gentle, stimulating, melodic changes.”
Here’s to Andrea, Mr. David Brooks and a happy life.