A Review of Peter Pesic's Polyphonic Minds: Music of the Hemispheres

  • Olivia Edwards Christopher Newport University


Peter Pesic’s Polyphonic Minds: Music of the Hemispheres provides an in-depth examination of the nature and larger significance of polyphony in music, science, and the arts. The text is divided into four complete parts, broken down into more detailed chapters. The work spans 330 pages, including both a prelude and postlude, fifteen thorough chapters, notes, references, credits, acknowledgements, and an index. Pesic defines polyphony as the interweaving of simultaneous sounds and explores the history and significance of “polyphonicity,” or “many-voicedness,” in relation to human experience and how we understand the mind. He traces this musical aspect from ninth-century church music through the experimental twentieth-century compositions of Glenn Gould and John Cage, presenting the perspective each offers on the polyphonic brain.