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A complex system is often associated with the emergence of new phenomena from the interactions between the system’s components. The brain is a complex adaptive system that gives rise to many emergent phenomena, including consciousness and memory. General anesthesia alters brain complexity, but there are many possible approaches to measuring complexity. In a recent Reader’s Toolbox article published in Anesthesiology, we illustrate the concept and the calculation of various complexity measures by providing working examples and using the analogy of an orchestra to help make the arcane methodology more tangible.