Ellen Pierson-Hagger at The New Statesman:
Music, Jude Rogers realises towards the end of her perceptive and moving book, The Sound of Being Human, is a “portal”. The term, borrowed from Nina Kraus, an academic who studies the biology of auditory learning, has a scientific meaning: a portal is the part of an organism where things enter and exit, often with transformative effects. Music does that too. “It is a grand, exhilarating entrance to something,” Rogers writes. It allows us to access and express our innermost feelings, and to communicate with others when alternative channels are unavailable.
Music is also a portal to memory. Rogers opens with a story about her and her father that anchors the whole book. In 1984 Rogers, a music journalist and broadcaster, was five years old and growing up in south Wales. She remembers standing on the doormat of her family home on a cold January morning, saying goodbye to her father, who was going into hospital for an operation.