PSYC56
Music Cognition
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Instructor: Mark A. Schmuckler
• Office: S-515
• Phone: 287-7417
• Email: [email protected]
• Office Hours: Thur, 1 – 2 PM, or by
appointment
Teaching Assistant: Dominique Vuvan
• Office: H-302
• Phone: 287-7182
• Email: [email protected]
• Office Hours: Tues, 1 – 2 PM, or by
appointment
Class Time/Location: Mon, 11 – 1, SY115
Web:www.utsc.utoronto.ca/~marksch/psyc56/c5
6-index.htm
PSYC56
Music Cognition
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Course Description:
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Course Readings:
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This course studies the perceptual and cognitive processing
involved in the psychology of music. The general idea is to
acquaint students with the basic concepts and issues
involved in the understanding of musical passages. The
focus of this course is on the perception and cognition of
musical materials, taking as its starting point the music
listener as a gatherer and interpreter of information from the
environment. Topics will include aspects such as the basic
physical and psychological properties of sound, pitch
perception and melodic organization, the perception of
rhythm and time, musical correlates of psychological
structure, musical performance, emotion and meaning in
music, musical development, and so on.
Thompson, W. F. (2009). Music, Thought, and Feeling:
Understanding the Psychology of Music. Oxford, UK:
Oxford University press
Additional readings as needed, available as PDFs on the
course website
Course Requirements and Grading:
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Midterm (35%) and Final (35%)
Four take-home assignments (7.5% each)
Introduction to Music Cognition
A topical outline of music psychology (Butler, 1992)
Psychoacoustics and Musical Sound
• Stimulus properties:
• frequency, duration, intensity, tone
partials, envelope characteristics
• Sensory attributes:
• pitch, time loudness, volume, timbre
• Physics and physiology:
• acoustics: sources of sound,
propogation of sound;
• Physiology/capacity of the auditory
system: functions within the auditory
system, thresholds, central processes
Musical Ability
• “The musical mind”
• performance, creativity, memory,
listening
• Relations between musical ability and
other psychological characteristics
• intelligence, artistic abilities,
abnormalities, prodigies, savants
• Heredity vs. environment
• genealogical studies, genius, crossracial, cross-cultural, development
Musical Systems and Cognition
• Structural components:
• pitch systems: tuning, intonation,
consonance, non-Western systems
• timbral attributes
• relations of components to extramusical structure
• Musical constructs:
• melody, chords, keys, tonality,
rhythm and meter, formal
parameters, musical universals
Applications
• Clinical
• music therapy, music and drugs
• Industrial
• Educational
• Teaching-learning process, formal
training, informal acquisition,
development
• Social
• socio-economic environment on:
development, preference
• Influences of music on society,
mass culture
Affective Responses to Music
• Mood and emotional responses
• Extramusial associations
• Imagery, synaesthetic responses
• Experimental aesthetics
Testing, Experimental Methodology
• Reliability and validity
• Standardization of measures
• Procedural and theoretical issues
• experimental control, ecological
validity
What is studied in music cognition?
Topic domains for empirical articles in the
journal Music Perception, between 1984 - 2010
Tirovolas & Levitin (2011)
Pitch Perception
Temporal Perception
Melodic Perception
Timbre Perception
Musical Memory
Consonance /
Dissonance
Performance
Emotion
Development
Measurement
Music & Language
Cross-Cultural
Neural/Brain
Transfer
Studies designed to examine perception of individual sounds or pitches,
isolated intervals and/or chords, absolute pitch, pitch encoding, pitch
intensity
Studies designed to examine the perception of musical time, including
rhythm, meter, tempo
Studies designed to examine the perception of melody, cadence, tonal
patterns, melodic expectancy/contour/mode/key
Studies designed to examine the perception and identification of
different musical instruments, salience of instrumentation
Studies designed to examine memory for isolated musical pitches or
pitch sequences, the effect of music a memory aid, music training, and
memory ability
Studies designed to examine the perception of music as pleasant or
unpleasant, including preference judgments, music appreciation,
aesthetic judgment, judgment of congruence
Studies designed to examine some aspect of musical performance,
including rating musical performances, movement, musical sightreading, musical style, performance ability, music education
Studies designed to examine perception of emotion and meaning in
music, the effect of music on mood/arousal
Studies designed to examine the development of music perception
through infancy, childhood, adolescence
Studies designed to examine the utility of a particular instrument in
measuring music perception (e.g., re-sponse time, EEG, ERP),
development of empirical methodologies, measurements of musical
experience
Studies designed to examine some aspect of the relationship between
music and speech/language, including verbal ability
Studies designed to examine music perception from a cross-cultural
perspective, including studies that use “non-native” music
Studies designed to examine music perception from a neurological
standpoint (e.g., fMRI, ERP)
Studies designed to examine the effects of music training on cognitive
What is studied in music cognition?
Percentage of articles published on various
music psychology topics in the journal Music
Perception, between 1984 – 2010
Tirovolas & Levitin (2011)
What is studied in music cognition?
Change over time of the percentage of articles
on the top five topics in the journal Music
Perception, between 1984 – 2010
Tirovolas & Levitin (2011)
Who studies music cognition?
Departmental affiliations of authors
Tirovolas & Levitin (2011)
Empirical Articles (424 total):
• Psychology Departments:
• Music Departments:
• Neurosciences:
• Haskins Laboratories:
• Technology/Computer Science:
217
108
33
19
17
TheoreticalArticles (154 total):
• Psychology Departments:
• Music Departments:
• Neurosciences:
• Technology/Computer Science:
• Cognitive Science:
30
71
10
8
5
Who studies music cognition?
Different forms of musical structure
Objective
Subjective
External musical
stimulus
Internal experience
of the listener
Experience of the listener
Not Perceived
Perceived
Who studies music cognition?
Different forms of musical structure
Objective
Subjective
Musical attributes
that are perceived
Psychological
experiences
corresponding to
attributes
Musical attributes
that are not perceived
Psychological
experiences not
corresponding to
attributes
Who studies music cognition?
Drawbacks of the interdisciplinary
nature of music cognition
• How is it best to study music cognition?
• Inherent problems with integrating two different
fields
• Problems with borrowing of ideas
• Making naive assumptions or mistakes
• Potential antipathy to study of field by other
discipline
How do you do this type of work?
• Empirical approach
• Based on methods of cognitive psychology
• Diverse collection of activities
• Encoding and interpreting perceptual information
• Organizing motor responses
• Limitations and dangers to approach
• How to formulate questions, compile observations,
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systems to explain results
Choice of stimulus material
• Problems with use of impoverished materials
• Problems with use of complex musical materials
Types of behaviors of responses to measure
• Description of internal psychological system; need
to employ responses that do not require training
• Observations need to be musically relevant, though
Choice of listeners in study
• Use of participants with or without musical training
The field of music cognition
• History of field
• Roots in 1950s, cognitive revolution and information
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processing
• Began to see studies of music-related topics
• Work still kept under cover, though
1970 – 1980s field began to acquire real legitimacy
• See edited books, 1st specialized journals appear
• Psychomusicology in 1981, Music Perception in
1986
• More frequent music-related articles in general
psychology journals
Advent of specialized conferences, graduate
programs
• Society for Music Perception and Cognition
(SMPC)
• International Conference on Music Perception and
Cognition (ICMPC)
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