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The study of sound and musical phenomenon prior to the 19th century was focused primarily on the mathematical modelling of pitch and tone. The earliest recorded experiments date from the 6th century BCE, most notably in the work of Pythagoras and his establishment of the simple string length ratios that formed the consonances of the octave. This view that sound and music could be understood from a purely physical standpoint was echoed by such theorists as Anaxagoras and Boethius. An important early dissenter was Aristoxenus, who foreshadowed modern music psychology in his view that music could only be understood through human perception and its relation to human memory. Despite his views, the majority of musical education through the Middle Ages and Renaissance remained rooted in the Pythagorean tradition, particularly through the quadrivium of astronomy, geometry, arithmetic, and music.
Research by Vincenzo Galilei (father of Galileo) demonstrated that, when string length was held constant, varying its tension, thickness, or composition could alter perceived pitch. From this he argued that simple ratios were not enough to account for musical phenomenon and that a perceptual approach was necessary. He also claimed that the differences between various tuning systems were not perceivable, thus the disputes were unnecessary.
Study of topics including vibration, consonance, the harmonic series, and resonance were furthered through the scientific revolution, including work by Galileo, Kepler, Mersenne, and Descartes. This included further speculation concerning the nature of the sense organs and higher-order processes, particularly by Savart, Helmholtz, and Koenig.
Rise of empirical (1860-1960)
A brass, spherical Helmholtz resonator based on his original design, circa 1890-1900.
The latter 19th century saw the development of modern music psychology alongside the emergence of a general empirical psychology, one which passed through similar stages of development. The first was structuralist psychology, led by Wilhelm Wundt, which sought to break down experience into its smallest definable parts. This expanded upon previous centuries of acoustic study, and included Helmholtz developing the resonator to isolate and understand pure and complex tones and their perception, the philosopher Carl Stumpf using church organs and his own musical experience to explore timbre and absolute pitch, and Wundt himself associating the experience of rhythm with kinesthetic tension and relaxation.
As structuralism gave way to Gestalt psychology and behaviorism at the turn of the century, music psychology moved beyond the study of isolated tones and elements to the perception of their inter-relationships and human reactions to them, though work languished behind that of visual perception. In Europe Géza Révész and Albert Wellek developed a more complex understanding of musical pitch, and in the US the focus shifted to that of music education and the training and development of musical skill. Carl Seashore led this work, producing his The Measurement of Musical Talents and The Psychology of Musical Talent. Seashore used bespoke equipment and standardized tests to measure how performance deviated from indicated markings and how musical aptitude differed between students.
Music psychology in the second half of the 20th century has expanded to cover a wide array of theoretical and applied areas. From the 1960s the field grew along with cognitive science, including such research areas as music perception (particularly of pitch, rhythm, harmony, and melody), musical development and aptitude, music performance, and affective responses to music.
This period has also seen the founding of music psychology-specific journals, societies, conferences, research groups, centers, and degrees, a trend that has brought research toward specific applications for music education, performance, and therapy. While the techniques of cognitive psychology allowed for more objective examinations of musical behavior and experience, the theoretical and technological advancements of neuroscience have greatly shaped the direction of music psychology into the 21st century.
Music has been shown to consistently elicit emotional responses in its listeners, and this relationship between human affect and music has been studied in depth. This includes isolating which specific features of a musical work or performance convey or elicit certain reactions, the nature of the reactions themselves, and how characteristics of the listener may determine which emotions are felt. The field draws upon and has significant implications for such areas as philosophy, musicology, and aesthetics, as well the acts of musical composition and performance. The implications for casual listeners are also great; research has shown that the pleasurable feelings associated with emotional music are the result of dopamine release in the striatum--the same anatomical areas that underpin the anticipatory and rewarding aspects of drug addiction.
A significant amount of research concerns brain-based mechanisms involved in the cognitive processes underlying music perception and performance. These behaviours include music listening, performing, composing, reading, writing, and ancillary activities. It also is increasingly concerned with the brain basis for musical aesthetics and musical emotion. Scientists working in this field may have training in cognitive neuroscience, neurology, neuroanatomy, psychology, music theory, computer science, and other allied fields, and use such techniques as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), magnetoencephalography (MEG), electroencephalography (EEG), and positron emission tomography (PET).
The cognitive process of performing music requires the interaction of neural mechanisms in both motor and auditory systems. Since every action expressed in a performance produces a sound that influences subsequent expression, this leads to impressive sensorimotor interplay.
Perceived pitch typically depends on the fundamental frequency, though the dependence could be mediated solely by the presence of harmonics corresponding to that fundamental frequency. The perception of a pitch without the corresponding fundamental frequency in the physical stimulus is called the pitch of the missing fundamental. Neurons lateral to A1 in marmoset monkeys were found to be sensitive specifically to the fundamental frequency of a complex tone, suggesting that pitch constancy may be enabled by such a neural mechanism.
Pitch constancy refers to the ability to perceive pitch identity across changes in acoustical properties, such as loudness, temporal envelope, or timbre. The importance of cortical regions lateral to A1 for pitch coding is also supported by studies of human cortical lesions and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) of the brain. These data suggest a hierarchical system for pitch processing, with more abstract properties of sound stimulus processed further along the processing pathways.
Absolute pitch (AP) is defined as the ability to identify the pitch of a musical tone or to produce a musical tone at a given pitch without the use of an external reference pitch. Researchers estimate the occurrence of AP to be 1 in 10,000 people. The extent to which this ability is innate or learned is debated, with evidence for both a genetic basis and for a "critical period" in which the ability can be learned, especially in conjunction with early musical training.
Behavioural studies demonstrate that rhythm and pitch can be perceived separately, but that they also interact in creating a musical perception. Studies of auditory rhythm discrimination and reproduction in patients with brain injury have linked these functions to the auditory regions of the temporal lobe, but have shown no consistent localization or lateralization. Neuropsychological and neuroimaging studies have shown that the motor regions of the brain contribute to both perception and production of rhythms.
Although auditory-motor interactions can be observed in people without formal musical training, musicians are an excellent population to study because of their long-established and rich associations between auditory and motor systems. Musicians have been shown to have anatomical adaptations that correlate with their training. Some neuroimaging studies have observed that musicians show lower levels of activity in motor regions than non-musicians during the performance of simple motor tasks, which may suggest a more efficient pattern of neural recruitment.
Previous neuroimaging studies have consistently reported activity in the SMA and premotor areas, as well as in auditory cortices, when non-musicians imagine hearing musical excerpts.
Recruitment of the SMA and premotor areas is also reported when musicians are asked to imagine performing
This interdisciplinary field investigates topics such as the parallels between language and music in the brain. Biologically inspired models of computation are often included in research, such as neural networks and evolutionary programs. This field seeks to model how musical knowledge is represented, stored, perceived, performed, and generated. By using a well-structured computer environment, the systematic structures of these cognitive phenomena can be investigated.
Evolutionary musicology concerns the "origins of music, the question of animal song, selection pressures underlying music evolution", and "music evolution and human evolution". It seeks to understand music perception and activity in the context of evolutionary theory. Charles Darwin speculated that music may have held an adaptive advantage and functioned as a protolanguage, a view which has spawned several competing theories of music evolution. An alternate view sees music as a by-product of linguistic evolution; a type of "auditory cheesecake" that pleases the senses without providing any adaptive function. This view has been directly countered by numerous music researchers.
An individual's culture or ethnicity plays a role in their music cognition, including their preferences, emotional reaction, and musical memory. Musical preferences are biased toward culturally familiar musical traditions beginning in infancy, and adults' classification of the emotion of a musical piece depends on both culturally specific and universal structural features. Additionally, individuals' musical memory abilities are greater for culturally familiar music than for culturally unfamiliar music.
Applied research areas
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (April 2014)
Many areas of music psychology research focus on the application of music in everyday life as well as the practices and experiences of the amateur and professional musician. Each topic may utilize knowledge and techniques derived from one or more of the areas described above. Such areas include:
social influences on musical preference (peers, family, experts, social background, etc.)
Consumers' choices in music have been studied as they relate to the Big Five personality traits: openness to experience, agreeableness, extraversion, neuroticism, and conscientiousness. In general, the plasticity traits (openness to experience and extraversion) affect music preference more than the stability traits (agreeableness, neuroticism, and conscientiousness). Gender has been shown to influence preference, with men choosing music for primarily cognitive reasons and women for emotional reasons. Relationships with music preference have also been found with mood and nostalgic association.
The study of background music focuses on the impact of music with non-musical tasks, including changes in behavior in the presence of different types, settings, or styles of music. In laboratory settings, music can affect performance on cognitive tasks (memory, attention, and comprehension), both positively and negatively. Used extensively as an advertising aid, music may also affect marketing strategies, ad comprehension, and consumer choices. Background music can influence learning,working memory and recall, performance while working on tests, and attention in cognitive monitoring tasks. Background music can also be used as a way to relieve boredom, create positive moods, and maintain a private space. Background music has been shown to put a restless mind at ease by presenting the listener with various melodies and tones.
Music in marketing
In both radio and television advertisements, music plays an integral role in content recall, intentions to buy the product, and attitudes toward the advertisement and brand itself. Music's effect on marketing has been studied in radio ads, TV ads, and physical retail settings.
One of the most important aspects of an advertisement's music is the "musical fit", or the degree of congruity between cues in the ad and song content. Advertisements and music can be congruous or incongruous for both lyrical and instrumental music. The timbre, tempo, lyrics, genre, mood, as well as any positive or negative associations elicited by certain music should fit the nature of the advertisement and product.
Music and productivity
Several studies have recognized that listening to music while working affects the productivity of people performing complex cognitive tasks. One study suggested that listening to one's preferred genre of music can enhance productivity in the workplace, though other research has found that listening to music while working can be a source of distraction, with loudness and lyrical content possibly playing a role. Other factors proposed to affect the relationship between music listening and productivity include musical structure, task complexity, and degree of control over the choice and use of music.
A primary focus of music psychology research concerns how best to teach music and the effects this has on childhood development.
Musical aptitude refers to a person's innate ability to acquire skills and knowledge required for musical activity, and may influence the speed at which learning can take place and the level that may be achieved. Study in this area focuses on whether aptitude can be broken into subsets or represented as a single construct, whether aptitude can be measured prior to significant achievement, whether high aptitude can predict achievement, to what extent aptitude is inherited, and what implications questions of aptitude have on educational principles.
It is an issue closely related to that of intelligence and IQ, and was pioneered by the work of Carl Seashore. While early tests of aptitude, such as Seashore's The Measurement of Musical Talent, sought to measure innate musical talent through discrimination tests of pitch, interval, rhythm, consonance, memory, etc., later research found these approaches to have little predictive power and to be influenced greatly by the test-taker's mood, motivation, confidence, fatigue, and boredom when taking the test.
Music psychologists also publish in a wide range of mainstream musicology, music theory/analysis, psychology, music education, music therapy, music medicine, and systematic musicology journals. The latter include for example:
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^Bregman, Albert (1994). Auditory Scene Analysis: The Perceptual Organization of Sound, p.76. ISBN0-262-52195-4.
^Laske, Otto (1999). Navigating New Musical Horizons (Contributions to the Study of Music and Dance). Westport: Greenwood Press. ISBN978-0-313-30632-7.
^Laske, O. (1999). AI and music: A cornerstone of cognitive musicology. In M. Balaban, K. Ebcioglu, & O. Laske (Eds.), Understanding music with ai: Perspectives on music cognition. Cambridge: The MIT Press.
^Graci, C. (2009-2010) A brief tour of the learning sciences featuring a cognitive tool for investigating melodic phenomena. Journal of Educational Technology Systems, 38(2), 181-211.
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^Nils L. Wallin, Björn Merker, and Steven Brown (Editors) (2000). The Origins of Music. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. ISBN0-262-23206-5.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link) CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link)
^Steven Mithen, The Singing Neanderthals: the Origins of Music, Language, Mind and Body, Harvard University Press, 2006.
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^Demorest, S. M.; Morrison, S. J.; Beken, M. N.; Jungbluth, D. (2008). "Lost in translation: An enculturation effect in music memory performance". Music Perception. 25 (3): 213-223. doi:10.1525/mp.2008.25.3.213.
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^Miranda, Dave; Morizot, Julien; Gaudreau, Patrick (27 March 2012). "Personality Metatraits and Music Preferences in Adolescence: A Pilot Study". International Journal of Adolescence and Youth. 15 (4): 289-301. doi:10.1080/02673843.2010.9748036.
^Chamorro-Premuzic, Tomas; Swami, Viren; Cermakova, Blanka (22 December 2010). "Individual differences in music consumption are predicted by uses of music and age rather than emotional intelligence, neuroticism, extraversion or openness". Psychology of Music. 40 (3): 285-300. doi:10.1177/0305735610381591.
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^Barret, Frederick S.; Grimm, Kevin J.; Robins, Richard W.; Wildschut, Tim; Constantine, Sedikides; Janata, Petr (June 2010). "Music-evoked nostalgia: Affect, memory, and personality". Emotion. 10 (3): 390-403. doi:10.1037/a0019006. PMID20515227.
^Kampfe, J.; Sedlmeier, P.; Renkewitz, F. (8 November 2010). "The impact of background music on adult listeners: A meta-analysis". Psychology of Music. 39 (4): 424-448. doi:10.1177/0305735610376261.
^de Groot, Annette M. B. (1 September 2006). "Effects of Stimulus Characteristics and Background Music on Foreign Language Vocabulary Learning and Forgetting". Language Learning. 56 (3): 463-506. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9922.2006.00374.x.
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^ abPark, C. Whan; Young, S. Mark (1 February 1986). "Consumer Response to Television Commercials: The Impact of Involvement and Background Music on Brand Attitude Formation". Journal of Marketing Research. 23 (1): 11. doi:10.2307/3151772.
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^ abOAKES, STEVE (1 January 2007). "Evaluating Empirical Research into Music in Advertising: A Congruity Perspective". Journal of Advertising Research. 47 (1): 38. doi:10.2501/S0021849907070055.
In Psychology of Music: From Sound to Significance (2nd edition), the authors consider music on a broad scale, from its beginning as an acoustical signal to its different manifestations across cultures. In their second edition, the authors apply the same richness of depth and scope that was a hallmark of the first edition of this text. In addition, having laid out the topography of the field in the original book, the second edition puts greater emphasis on linking academic learning to real-world contexts, and on including compelling topics that appeal to studentsâ natural curiosity. Chapters have been updated with approximately 500 new citations to reflect advances in the field.
The organization of the book remains the same as the first edition, while chapters have been updated and often expanded with new topics. 'Part I: Foundations' explores the acoustics of sound, the auditory system, and responses to music in the brain. 'Part II: The Perception and Cognition of Music' focuses on how we process pitch, melody, meter, rhythm, and musical structure. 'Part III: Development, Learning, and Performance' describes how musical capacities and skills unfold, beginning before birth and extending to the advanced and expert musician. And finally, 'Part IV: The Meaning and Significance of Music' explores social, emotional, philosophical and cultural dimensions of music and meaning.
This book will be invaluable to undergraduates and postgraduate students in psychology and music, and will appeal to anyone who is interested in the vital and expanding field of psychology of music.
Music has been examined from multiple perspectives: as a product of human history, for example, or a product of human culture. But there is also a long tradition, intensified in recent decades, of thinking about music as a product of the human mind. Whether considering composition, performance, listening, or appreciation, the constraints and capabilities of the human mind play a formative role. The field that has emerged around this approach is known as the psychology of music.
Written in a lively and accessible manner, this volume connects the science to larger questions about music that are of interest to practicing musicians, music therapists, musicologists, and the general public alike. For example: Why can one musical performance move an audience to tears, and another compel them to dance, clap, or snap along? How does a "hype" playlist motivate someone at the gym? And why is that top-40 song stuck in everyone's head?
ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
Examining the intersection of music, psychology, and neuroscience, Music, Thought, and Feeling, Second Edition, surveys the rapidly growing field of music cognition and explores its most interesting questions. Assuming minimal background in music or psychology, the book begins with an overview of the major theories on how and when music became a widespread aspect of human behavior.
It also covers: * How humans perceive music * Links between music and emotion * Modern neuroimaging techniques and what they tell us about music's effect on the brain * Psychological processes involved in imagining, composing, and performing music * Potential cognitive benefits of musical engagement
Students: Visit the free companion website for a variety of resources
With the same trademark compassion and erudition he brought to The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, Oliver Sacks explores the place music occupies in the brain and how it affects the human condition. In Musicophilia, he shows us a variety of what he calls âmusical misalignments.â Among them: a man struck by lightning who suddenly desires to become a pianist at the age of forty-two; an entire group of children with Williams syndrome, who are hypermusical from birth; people with âamusia,â to whom a symphony sounds like the clattering of pots and pans; and a man whose memory spans only seven seconds-for everything but music. Illuminating, inspiring, and utterly unforgettable, Musicophilia is Oliver Sacks' latest masterpiece.
In this groundbreaking union of art and science, rocker-turned-neuroscientist Daniel J. LevitinÂ explores the connection between musicâits performance, its composition, how we listen to it, why we enjoy itâand the human brain.
Taking on prominent thinkers who argue that music is nothing more than an evolutionary accident, Levitin poses that music is fundamental to our species, perhaps even more so than language.Â Drawing on the latest research and on musical examples ranging from Mozart to Duke Ellington to Van Halen, he reveals:
â¢ How composers produce some of the most pleasurable effects of listening to music by exploiting the way our brains make sense of the world â¢ Why we are so emotionally attached to the music we listened to as teenagers, whether it was Fleetwood Mac, U2, or Dr. Dre â¢ That practice, rather than talent, is the driving force behind musical expertise â¢ How those insidious little jingles (called earworms) get stuck in our head
A Los Angeles Times Book Award finalist, This Is Your Brain on Music will attract readers of Oliver Sacks and David Byrne, as it is an unprecedented, eye-opening investigation into an obsession at the heart of human nature.
Music is an integral part of humanity. Every culture has music, from the largest society to the smallest tribe. Its marvelous range of melodies, themes, and rhythms taps in to something universal. Babies are soothed by it. Young adults dance for hours to it. Older adults can relive their youth with the vivid memories it evokes. Music is part of our most important rituals, and it has been the medium of some of our greatest works of art.
Yet even though music is intimately woven into the fabric of our lives, it remains deeply puzzling, provoking questions such as: How and why did musical behavior originate? What gives mere tones such a powerful effect on our emotions? Are we born with our sense of music, or do we acquire it?
In the last 20 years, researchers have come closer to solving these riddles thanks to cognitive neuroscience, which integrates the study of human mental processes with the study of the brain. This exciting field has not only helped us address age-old questions about music; it also allows us to ask new ones, like: Do the brains of musicians differ from nonmusicians? Can musical training promote cognitive development? Is there a deep connection between music and language?
Join neuroscientist and professor of psychology Dr. Aniruddh Patel to probe one of the mind's most profound mysteries. Covering the latest research findings - from the origins of music's emotional powers to the deficits involved in amusia, or the inability to hear music - these 18 enthralling lectures will make you think about music and your brain in a new way.
Designed for music lovers and brain enthusiasts at all levels, Music and the Brain is truly interdisciplinary and assumes no prior background in neuroscience or music theory. Here is your unrivaled explanation of this marvelous gift.
All human societies in every corner of the globe engage in music. For many, it occupies a primary role. Taken collectively, these musical experiences are widely varied, hugely complex affairs. How did human beings come to be musical creatures? How and why do our bodies respond to music? Why do people have emotional responses to music? This textbook seeks to understand and explain these phenomena that are at the core of what it means to be a human being.
Music in the Human Experience: An Introduction to Music Psychology is a textbook for college courses in music psychology, primarily geared to students of music. Â It incorporates several other disciplines to provide an explanation for why and how we make sense of music and respond to it, cognitively, physically, and emotionally.
Comprehensive Coverage--Includes philosophical issues, biomusic, anthropology, ethnomusicology, acoustics, hearing, music perception and cognition, psychophysiological responses to music, emotional responses, music and the brain, personality, identity, music performance, learning theories, music and health, and social aspects of music.
Media TutorialsâA series of 32 narrated media presentations incorporating photographs, drawings, animations, recordings of singers, instrumentalists, and ensembles, and several interactive media files that illustrate key concepts of the text.
Pedagogical AidsâDiscussion questionsat the end of each chapter provide teachers and students with an opportunity to reflect on key concepts presented in the text and to consider ideas, such as how information applies to their musical lives and careers. In addition, there is an extensive glossary and Companion Website with brief quizzes, flash cards of key terms, and supplemental reading lists.
The second edition of The Oxford Handbook of Music Psychology updates the original landmark text and provides a comprehensive review of the latest developments in this fast-growing area of research. Covering both experimental and theoretical perspectives, each of the 11 sections is edited by an internationally recognised authority in the area.
The first ten parts present chapters that focus on specific areas of music psychology: the origins and functions of music; music perception, responses to music; music and the brain; musical development; learning musical skills; musical performance; composition and improvisation; the role of music in everyday life; and music therapy. In each part authors critically review the literature, highlight current issues and explore possibilities for the future.
The final part examines how, in recent years, the study of music psychology has broadened to include a range of other disciplines. It considers the way that research has developed in relation to technological advances, and points the direction for further development in the field. With contributions from internationally recognised experts across 55 chapters, it is an essential resource for students and researchers in psychology and musicology.
Between the physical world of vibration, as measured by apparatus, and the world of consciously heard music there is a third area of investigation. Our auditory apparatus and/or mind separates different instruments and tones, hears some vibrations but not others, adds tones to fill out the sound spectrum, etc. This middle ground is the province of the psychology of music, a subject about which even many physical scientists know little. This introduction, by the developer of the Seashore test of musical ability, is a thorough survey of this field, the standard book for psychologists specializing in the area, for the school, and for interested musicologists. It opens with the musical mind and with a series of chapters on music as a medium: vibrato, pitch, loudness, duration, timbre, tone, consonance, volume, and rhythm, dealing with each from the special point of view of the role of psychology. It then moves to such factors as learning, imagining, and thinking in music; the nature of musical feeling; the relative sound patterns of specific instruments and the human voice; measures of musical talent; inheritance of musical ability; primitive music; the development of musical skills; and musical aesthetics. This wealth of material is supplemented with dozens of oscillograms and other sound-pattern charts recorded from actual play and singing by Jeritza, Caruso, Paderewski, Szigeti, Rethberg, Menuhin, Martinelli, and other artists. An appendix cites two attitudes toward the evaluation of musical talent and over 200 bibliographic references.
John Powell, a scientist and musician, answers questions about harmony, timbre, keys, chords, loudness, musical composition, and much more in this fascinating guide to what music is and how exactly it works. What makes a musical note different from any other sound? How can you tell if you have perfect pitch? Why do 10 violins sound only twice as loud as one? Do your Bob Dylan albums sound better on CD or vinyl? In a clear, accessible, and engaging voice, Powell explores the science and psychology behind music. The perfect gift for music lovers everywhere. This edition also includes a CD of examples and exercises from the book.