Music is one of the great unsolved scientific mysteries. Although most of us know what music is in a subjective sense, none of us really knows what it is in an objective sense. There has been a revival of "music science" in recent decades, but modern science remains profoundly ignorant about what music is, what it means (if anything) and why we respond to it the way we do.
In this book, Philip Dorrell presents his "super-stimulus" theory of music. The basic assumption of the theory is that music perception is really the perception of something else. This leads to the question: "What is it that is like music but which is not music?", and the only reasonable answer to that question is "speech". It follows that "musicality" must be a perceived aspect of speech, and music is a "super-stimulus" or "ultra-normal" stimulus for musicality.