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             Guest For  Thursday May 5,  2005


                                       WILLIAM BENZON Phd

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Author: "Beethoven's Anvil: Music in Mind and Culture"


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                                                Mind-Culture Coevolution




Editorial Reviews
From Booklist
Benzon, a horn player, is intensely interested in how music brings people together and gives us a fascinating, at times profound, and speculative book on it. Believing that speculation is necessary for intellectual and scientific progress, he writes for the future while proposing concepts to be tested in the present. He doesn't claim his ideas are true, only that they should be considered and tested. The book begins with stories of musical experience and proceeds to show how music can bring groups, not just pairs, together by means of their coordinated neurological systems; how music affects different sections of the brain; and how music has played a part in developing cultures throughout history. Although largely oriented to Africa and Europe, the book provides examples from the rest of the world, too; and Benzon often draws on personal experience to demonstrate how emotion and physiology combine in the music-making act. At times the text is heavy going, but Benzon's wide-ranging mind and striking analogies hold one's attention. William Beatty
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Howard Gardner
"A provocative and persuasive treatise."

Charles Keil, author of Urban Blues
"Path-breaking...Sure to deepen our understanding of music and of ourselves."

William H. McNeill, author of Plagues and Peoples and Keeping Together in Time
"Beethoven's Anvil is learned, proficient...a profoundly provocative and creative synthesis. Reading it was a great experience for me."

Book Description
Why does the brain create music? In Beethoven's Anvil, cognitive scientist and jazz musician William Benzon finds the key to music's function in the very complexity of musical experience. Music demands that our symbol-processing capacities, motor skills, and emotional and communicative skills all work in close coordination--not only within our own heads but also with the heads (and bodies) of others. Music is at once deeply personal and highly social, highly disciplined yet open to emotional nuance and interpretation. It's precisely this coordination of different mental functions, Benzon argues, that underlies our deep need to create and participate in music. At once daring and scholarly, this remarkable book offers a sweeping vision of a vital, underappreciated force in our minds and our culture.

About the Author
William L. Benzon, Ph.D., a cognitive scientist, is Senior Scientist with Metalogics Incorporated and an associate editor of The Journal of Social and Evolutionary Systems. He is also co-founder of the musical ensemble AfroEurasian Connection. He lives in Jersey City, New Jersey.


  asweknowit.ca presents...
Mind-Culture Coevolution

Major Transitions in the Development of Human Culture and Society


A Theory by

William L. Benzon &
David G. Hays

[In Memory of David Hays]



Introduction: Mind-Culture Coevolution (Benzon 2003)

The Core Theory

Related Papers


I would like to acknowledge the support of Paul Levinson. Almost all of the work David Hays and I have done on cultural evolution has appeared in the journal he edits, Journal of Social and Evolutionary Systems, or has been published through his organization, Connected Education, Inc. Without his support and encouragement this work would not have been possible.

I also thank Paul Kelly for hosting this material.


Please send comments and suggestions to Bill Benzon.


William L. Benzon, 708 Jersey Avenue, Apt. 2A, Jersey City, NJ, USA 201.217.1010



William L. Benzon - Copyright © 1996, 2003 - All rights reserved.



Thursday May 5, 2005

 /  10:30 - 11:30 AM  / (NYC Time)

Channel 34 of the Time/Warner &Channel 107 of the RCN 
Cable Television Systems in Manhattan, New York.

The Program can now be viewed on the internet at the time of cable casting at: 


NOTE: You must adjust viewing to reflect NYC time & click on channel 34 at site