Psychology of Music

Psychology of Music

1st Edition - January 1, 1984

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  • Editor: Diana Deutsch
  • eBook ISBN: 9781483292731

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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.

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



Product details

  • No. of pages: 542
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 1984
  • Published: January 1, 1984
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • eBook ISBN: 9781483292731

About the Editor

Diana Deutsch

Diana Deutsch
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

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