This Is What It Sounds Like


Despite being unable to play an instrument, Susan Rogers became an extraordinarily successful record producer – and certainly one of the most successful women record producers in history – because of her ability to listen. (She was an engineer on Prince’s ‘When Doves Cry’). ‘This is What It Sounds Like’ distils a lifetime’s expertise as a producer and an award-winning professor with a PhD in cognitive neuroscience, to present a new theory of listening for everyday music fans. Each person has a unique identity as a listener, she explains, determined by seven influential dimensions of musical listening: authenticity, realism, novelty, melody, lyrics, rhythm and timbre.

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Legendary record producer-turned-brain scientist explains why you fall in love with music.

‘One of the greatest listeners and feelers of music… [who] has once again inspired me as a listener and musician’ Steven Page, Barenaked Ladies

‘Extraordinary insights about music, emotion, and the brain… An instant classic’ Daniel Levitin, author of The Organized Mind

This Is What It Sounds Like is a journey into the science and soul of music. It’s also the story of a musical trailblazer who began as a humble audio tech in L.A. to become Prince’s chief engineer for Purple Rain and one of the most successful female record producers of all time.

Now an award-winning professor of cognitive neuroscience, Rogers takes readers behind the scenes of record-making and leads us to musical self-awareness. She explains that everyone possesses a unique ‘listener profile’, shows how being musical can mean actively listening, and encourages us to think about the records that define us.

Lively and inclusive, this revelatory book will refresh your playlists, deepen your connection to artists, and change the way you listen to music.

Read a sample here

Additional information

Weight 0.75 kg
Dimensions 24 × 15.6 × 4 cm










781.17 (edition:23)


General – Trade / Code: K