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I. Introduction to Empirical Study


[For access to the Nature articles below, you need to be on a campus network, or, if you’re off campus, you need to be logged in for Off Campus Access, with your library barcode.]

Cook, N. (2008). Science & music: Beyond the notes. Nature, 453 (7199): 1186-1187.

Trainor, L. J. (2008). Science & music: The neural roots of music. Nature, 453 (7195): 598-599.


Empirical Studies:

Before reading the studies below, it may be useful for you to scan my (in-progress) “glossary of terms” found in the behavioral and mind sciences. (There are additional background materials on cognitive science and the psychology of music in “Optional Background Reading” below.) In my glossary, take a quick look at the entries on “t-test,” “Pearson coefficient” and “p-value”—they’ll help you understand how the strength of correlational data is assessed. If you find terms in these articles you don’t understand, that you’d like help with, please let me know.


Due April 4:

1. Panksepp, J. (1995). The Emotional Sources of “Chills” Induced by Music. Music Perception 13/2, 171-207.

2. Please participate in Deutsch’s empirical study online, without reading the materials due April 11.


Due April 11:

1. read at least the first two pages, and pp 132-135, of my review of Deutsch’s work, then

2. Deutsch, Diana (1991). The tritone paradox: An influence of language on music perceptionMusic Perception8.4: 335-47. 

[ Optional: Bruno Repp’s Reply, and Deutsch’s rebuttal, are included in the link above. ]

3. Project: Describe (to the group) a “first draft” of an experimental design, in which an independent variable and dependent variable are potentially related, and what confounding variables might make that relationship difficult to learn.


One other provocation:

Dewey, John. (1934). “The Live Creature.” Chapter 1 of Art as Experience. New York: Perigree.


Optional Background reading:

Pfordresherer, Peter et al. “The Scope of the Psychology of Music,” in Siu-Lan Tan, Peter Pfordresher, and Rom Harré, eds. The Psychology of Music: from Sound to Significance. Hove & New York: Psychology Press (Taylor & Francis), 2010.

Reed, Steven K. “The Information Processing Approach,” in Cognition [Fifth Edition]. Belmont: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning, 1999.

Born, Georgina. “Music Research and Psychoacoustics,” in Jonathan Sterne, ed., The Sound Studies Reader. London & New York: Routledge, 2012.

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