Psychology of Music - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780122135620, 9781483292731

Psychology of Music

1st Edition

Editors: Diana Deutsch
eBook ISBN: 9781483292731
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 1st January 1984
Page Count: 542
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Table of Contents

List of Contributors


1. The Perception of Musical Tones

I. The Psychoacoustics of Music

II. Perceptual Attributes of Single Tones

III. Perceptual Attributes of Simultaneous Tones

IV. Conclusion


2. Exploration of Timbre by Analysis and Synthesis

I. Timbre

II. Timbre and the Fourier Spectrum: The Classical View

III. The Shortcomings of the Classical Conception

IV. Attack Transients

V. Complexity of Sounds: Importance of Characteristic Features

VI. Instrumental and Vocal Timbres: Additive Synthesis

VII. Cross Synthesis and Voice Synthesis

VIII. Additive Synthesis: Percussion Instruments

IX. Substractive Synthesis

X. Acoustic Modeling as a Synthesis Technique

XI. The Importance of Context

XII. Analysis-Synthesis as Fitting Acoustic and Perceptual Models to Data

XIII. The Use of Analysis-Synthesis Models of Timbre

XIV. Timbral Space

XV. Conclusion

Appendix: Signal Representations and Analysis-Synthesis Processes


3. Perception of Singing

I. Introduction

II. Function of the Voice

III. Resonatory Aspects

IV. Phonation

V. Vibrato

VI. Pitch Accuracy in Singing Practice

VII. Phrasing and Emotion

VIII. Concluding Remarks


4. Grouping Mechanisms in Music

I. Introduction

II. Grouping Principles

III. Two-Channel Listening to Melodic Sequences

IV. Channeling of Rapid Sequences of Single Tones

V. Voluntary Attention

VI. Conclusion


5. The Listener and the Acoustic Environment

I. Introduction

II. Methodology

III. Level Effects of Indirect Sound: Loudness

IV. Temporal Effects of Indirect Sound: Definition

V. Spatial Effects of Indirect Sound: Spaciousness

VI. The Compromise between Definition and Spaciousness

VII. Conclusion


6. Rhythm and Tempo

I. Definitions

II. Rhythm and Spontaneous Tempo

III. Rhythmic Forms

IV. The Perception of Musical Rhythms

V. Conclusion


7. Timing by Skilled Musicians

I. Perception, Production, and Imitation of Fractions of the Beat

II. Perceptual Judgment of Beat Fractions

III. Production of Beat Fractions

IV. Imitation of Beat Fractions

V. A Shared-Process Model of the Perception, Production, and Imitation of Beat Fractions

VI. Further Analysis of Perceptual Judgment

VII. Further Analysis of Production

VIII. Summary




8. Intervals, Scales, and Tuning

I. Introduction

II. Are Scales Necessary?

III. Musical Interval Perception

IV. Natural Intervals and Scales

V. Conclusions and Caveats


9. The Processing of Pitch Combinations

I. Introduction

II. Feature Abstraction

III. Higher Order Abstractions

IV. Alphabets and Hierarchies

V. Memory Systems

VI. Conclusions


10. Melodic Processes and the Perception of Music

I. The Perception and Classification of Two Archetypal Melodic Processes

II. Experimental Findings

III. Implications


11. Structural Representations of Musical Pitch

I. Introduction

II. Unidimensional Approaches to Pitch

III. Potentially Multidimensional Approaches to Pitch

IV. The Spatial Representation of Pitch

V. Illustrative Analyses of Empirical Data

VI. Discussion


12. Musical Ability

I. Concepts of Musical Ability

II. Correlational and Factorial Studies of Musical Ability

III. Musical Ability and Other Intellectual Abilities


13. Melodic Information Processing and Its Development

I. Introduction

II. Development

III. Adult Memory

IV. Contour versus Interval

V. Summary


14. Absolute Pitch

I. Introduction

II. Genesis of AP

III. Measurement of AP

IV. Stability of the Internal Standard

V. Learning AP

VI. The Value of AP


15. Neurological Aspects of Music Perception and Performance

I. Introduction

II. Amusia

III. Auditory Agnosia and Verbal Deafness

IV. General Comments


16. Music Performance

I. Introduction

II. The Nature of Performance Plans

III. Acquisition of Performance Plans

IV. The Role of Feedback in Performance

V. Social Factors in Performance

VI. Summary


17. Social Interaction and Musical Preference

I. Introduction

II. Effects of Social Stimulation on Aesthetic Choice

III. Effects of Information Load and Arousing Nonsocial Stimulation on Aesthetic Choice

IV. Effects of Listening to Melodies Differing in Complexity on Emotional States and Social Behavior

V. Listeners’ Sequencing and “Chunking” of Musical Materials and the Use of Music for Mood Optimization


18. New Music and Psychology

I. Introduction

II. Music Theory and Music

III. Understanding Tonality

IV. Music and Perceptual Streaming

V. Fused Sounds in Music

VI. Music Theory and Experimental Science




The Psychology of Music draws together the diverse and scattered literature on the psychology of music. It explores the way music is processed by the listener and the performer and considers several issues that are of importance both to perceptual psychology and to contemporary music, such as the way the sound of an instrument is identified regardless of its pitch or loudness, or the types of information that can be discarded in the synthetic replication of a sound without distorting perceived timbre.

Comprised of 18 chapters, this book begins with a review of the classical psychoacoustical literature on tone perception, focusing on characteristics of particular relevance to music. The attributes of pitch, loudness, and timbre are examined, and a summary of research methods in psychoacoustics is presented. Subsequent chapters deal with timbre perception; the subjective effects of different sound fields; temporal aspects of music; abstract structures formed by pitch relationships in music; different tests of musical ability; and the importance of abstract structural representation in understanding how music is performed. The final chapter evaluates the relationship between new music and psychology.

This monograph should be a valuable resource for psychologists and musicians.


No. of pages:
© Academic Press 1982
Academic Press
eBook ISBN:

Ratings and Reviews

About the Editors

Diana Deutsch

Diana Deutsch Editor

Diana Deutsch is Professor of Psychology at the University of California, San Diego, and conducts research on perception and memory for sounds, particularly music. She has discovered a number of musical illusions and paradoxes, which include the octave illusion, the scale illusion, the glissando illusion, the tritone paradox, the cambiata illusion, the phantom words illusion and the speech-to-song illusion, among others. She also explores ways in which we hold musical information in memory, and in which we relate the sounds of music and speech to each other. Much of her current research focuses on the question of absolute pitch - why some people possess it, and why it is so rare.

Deutsch has been elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Acoustical Society of America, the Audio Engineering Society, the Society of Experimental Psychologists, the American Psychological Society, and the American Psychological Association. She has served as Governor of the Audio Engineering Society, as Chair of the Section on Psychology of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, as President of Division 10 of the American Psychological Association (Society for the Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity and the Arts), and as Chair of the Society of Experimental Psychologists. She is Founding Editor of the journal Music Perception, and served as Founding President of the Society for Music Perception and Cognition. She was awarded the Rudolf Arnheim Award for Outstanding Achievement in Psychology and the Arts by the American Psychological Association in 2004, the Gustav Theodor Fechner Award for Outstanding Contributions to Empirical Aesthetics by the International Association of Empirical Aesthetics in 2008, and the Science Writing Award for Professionals in Acoustics by the Acoustical Society of America in 2011.

Affiliations and Expertise

University of California, San Diego, CA