The Psychology of Music

3rd Edition

Editors: Diana Deutsch
Paperback ISBN: 9780123814609
eBook ISBN: 9780123814616
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 8th November 2012
Page Count: 786
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Table of Contents

List of Contributors


1. The Perception of Musical Tones

I Introduction

II Perception of Single Tones

III Perception of Sound Combinations

IV Conclusions and Outlook



2. Musical Timbre Perception

I Psychophysics of Timbre

II Timbre as a Vehicle for Source Identity

III Timbre as a Structuring Force in Music Perception

IV Concluding Remarks



3. Perception of Singing

I Introduction

II Voice Function

III Phonation

IV Resonance

V Intensity and Masking

VI Aspects of Voice Timbre

VII Vibrato

VIII Intonation in Practice

IX Expression

X Concluding Remarks


4. Intervals and Scales

I Introduction

II Pitch Intervals

III Scales and Tuning Systems

IV Overview



5. Absolute Pitch

I Introduction

II Implicit AP

III Genesis of AP

IV AP and Speech Processing

V AP and Pitch Processing

VI Neuroanatomical Substrates of AP

VII AP Accuracy and Stimulus Characteristics

VIII Pitch Shifts in AP Possessors

IX AP in Special Populations

X Conclusion



6. Grouping Mechanisms in Music

I Introduction

II Fusion and Separation of Spectral Components

III Larger-Scale Groupings

IV Auditory Streaming and Implied Polyphony

V Grouping and Phrase Structure

VI Grouping of Simultaneous Tone Sequences

VII Grouping of Equal-Interval Tone Complexes

VIII Relationships to Music Theory and Practice



7. The Processing of Pitch Combinations

I Introduction

II Feature Abstraction



The Psychology of Music serves as an introduction to an interdisciplinary field in psychology, which focuses on the interpretation of music through mental function. This interpretation leads to the characterization of music through perceiving, remembering, creating, performing, and responding to music.
In particular, the book provides an overview of the perception of musical tones by discussing different sound characteristics, like loudness, pitch and timbre, together with interaction between these attributes. It also discusses the effect of computer resources on the psychological study of music through computational modeling. In this way, models of pitch perception, grouping and voice separation, and harmonic analysis were developed. The book further discusses musical development in social and emotional contexts, and it presents ways that music training can enhance the singing ability of an individual. The book can be used as a reference source for perceptual and cognitive psychologists, neuroscientists, and musicians. It can also serve as a textbook for advanced courses in the psychological study of music.

Key Features

  • Encompasses the way the brain perceives, remembers, creates, and performs music
  • Contributions from the top international researchers in perception and cognition of music
  • Designed for use as a textbook for advanced courses in psychology of music


Musicians; psychologists; students interested in and studying the psychology of music.


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© Academic Press 2013
Academic Press
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"The editor has succeeded admirably in making…a valuable and timely resource for musicians and psychologists…" CHOICE

"I have… several dozen excellent books about music perception and cognition, but none is more dog-eared or more used than the Psychology of Music… The first edition's influence on the field makes a compelling argument for the purchase of this updated and revised version, certain to be a blueprint for new research and a leading resource for many years to come." MUSIC PERCEPTION

"The attributes of the book are thoroughness, authority and clarity. That one volume can so adeptly select, draw on, arrange, assess, amplify its material and invite the reader to draw meaningful and reliable conclusions relevant to his/her love of music is a huge achievement. That the book does so with apposite and well-adduced illustrations while at the same time blending technical and specialist accuracy with accessibility is remarkable. Thoroughness and interest, a refreshing amalgam of (the authors') enthusiasm with their collective and individual command of the literature and practices in the field(s) of each make it nothing short of superb as a reference (to be consulted) and a narrative (to be read from cover to cover) by lovers of serious music of all types." – EXCERPT BY MARK SEALEY for

About the Editors

Diana Deutsch Editor

Affiliations and Expertise

University of California, San Diego, U.S.A.