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The Psychology of Music: A Very Short Introduction

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Music has been examined from multiple perspectives: as a product of human history, for example, or a product of human culture. But there is also a long tradition, intensified in recent decades, of thinking about music as a product of the human mind. Whether considering composition, performance, listening, or appreciation, the constraints and capabilities of the human mind Music has been examined from multiple perspectives: as a product of human history, for example, or a product of human culture. But there is also a long tradition, intensified in recent decades, of thinking about music as a product of the human mind. Whether considering composition, performance, listening, or appreciation, the constraints and capabilities of the human mind play a formative role. The field that has emerged around this approach is known as the psychology of music. Written in a lively and accessible manner, this volume connects the science to larger questions about music that are of interest to practicing musicians, music therapists, musicologists, and the general public alike. For example: Why can one musical performance move an audience to tears, and another compel them to dance, clap, or snap along? How does a hype playlist motivate someone at the gym? And why is that top-40 song stuck in everyone's head? ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.


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Music has been examined from multiple perspectives: as a product of human history, for example, or a product of human culture. But there is also a long tradition, intensified in recent decades, of thinking about music as a product of the human mind. Whether considering composition, performance, listening, or appreciation, the constraints and capabilities of the human mind Music has been examined from multiple perspectives: as a product of human history, for example, or a product of human culture. But there is also a long tradition, intensified in recent decades, of thinking about music as a product of the human mind. Whether considering composition, performance, listening, or appreciation, the constraints and capabilities of the human mind play a formative role. The field that has emerged around this approach is known as the psychology of music. Written in a lively and accessible manner, this volume connects the science to larger questions about music that are of interest to practicing musicians, music therapists, musicologists, and the general public alike. For example: Why can one musical performance move an audience to tears, and another compel them to dance, clap, or snap along? How does a hype playlist motivate someone at the gym? And why is that top-40 song stuck in everyone's head? ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

30 review for The Psychology of Music: A Very Short Introduction

  1. 4 out of 5

    Tiago Faleiro

    A good introduction to the psychology of music, being easy to read yet providing a helpful overview of the field. A heavy focus on how music is similar and connected to language, its potential biological underpinnings, and the endless limitations of scientifically studying music, always fighting between unrealistic scenarios with poor ecological validity and rich real-life situations that are difficult to control. I liked the emphasizes of the bias of studying Western music and how the field nee A good introduction to the psychology of music, being easy to read yet providing a helpful overview of the field. A heavy focus on how music is similar and connected to language, its potential biological underpinnings, and the endless limitations of scientifically studying music, always fighting between unrealistic scenarios with poor ecological validity and rich real-life situations that are difficult to control. I liked the emphasizes of the bias of studying Western music and how the field needs a continuous collaboration between science and philosophy. My only criticism is that I often found the book a bit too technical, from someone is little to no musical knowledge. This made some parts of the book not really understandable without knowing basic music theory. It would have been helpful to have an introduction to the concepts or try to explain the topic from a less technical angle.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Wing

    Music relies on a diffuse array of neural circuitry, and musicality likely depends on other capacities that evolved to support more clearly survival-enhancing functions. Its meaning emerges out of an interplay between mind and culture. Comparing music with language gives us insights into many aspects of its nature. It is implicitly a participatory activity and intrinsically has a social and communicative function. It is also subconsciously contextual. Professor Margulis describes the neuroscienc Music relies on a diffuse array of neural circuitry, and musicality likely depends on other capacities that evolved to support more clearly survival-enhancing functions. Its meaning emerges out of an interplay between mind and culture. Comparing music with language gives us insights into many aspects of its nature. It is implicitly a participatory activity and intrinsically has a social and communicative function. It is also subconsciously contextual. Professor Margulis describes the neuroscience underlying music, and explains (but not necessarily explains away) what previously seemed ineffable. Ample evidences are provided and interpretative rigour is emphasised. Those on child development and child psychology are particularly illuminating. Readers will no doubt gain a comprehensive understanding on this captivating human behaviour. My own take is that music heightens emotional experiences in an implicit and intrinsically social way that can engender peak insights about the human condition itself. Four stars.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Manuel Taboada

    Se trata de una buena introducción a esta disciplina para los aficionados a la música, a la psicología o a ambas, aunque el lenguaje es en ocasiones un tanto ampuloso, no sé si por razones de estilo o porque la autora esté empleando el vocabulario que se pueda emplear en las publicaciones sobre el tema. El libro revela datos muy interesantes, y además pone de manifiesto lo mucho que aún se ignora en psicología de la música, los límites y dificultades intrínsecas a la investigación, y cuál puede Se trata de una buena introducción a esta disciplina para los aficionados a la música, a la psicología o a ambas, aunque el lenguaje es en ocasiones un tanto ampuloso, no sé si por razones de estilo o porque la autora esté empleando el vocabulario que se pueda emplear en las publicaciones sobre el tema. El libro revela datos muy interesantes, y además pone de manifiesto lo mucho que aún se ignora en psicología de la música, los límites y dificultades intrínsecas a la investigación, y cuál puede ser el futuro de esta disciplina.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Joseph Allocca

    Great read. If you are someone who loves music but also has an interest in science and the humanities, this is an amazing book to read. It takes a brief overview of the topic and drops in some information about relevant experiments and studied to the topic at hand. It is both interesting and thought provoking and I enjoyed it thoroughly.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Hangi Tavakoli

    Quite interesting.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Eddie Bowes

  7. 4 out of 5

    Freddie

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jason

  9. 4 out of 5

    John

  10. 4 out of 5

    Emily Phillips

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jade

  12. 4 out of 5

    bct

  13. 5 out of 5

    Helena Gascón

  14. 4 out of 5

    Mirandi Herrenbruck

  15. 4 out of 5

    Mimi Hunter

  16. 4 out of 5

    Tim Fryer

  17. 4 out of 5

    Emma VS

  18. 5 out of 5

    Barbara Phillips-Farley

  19. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Lubetsky

  20. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Howdle

  21. 4 out of 5

    Larry

  22. 4 out of 5

    Erin

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jens Peter

  24. 4 out of 5

    Rick

  25. 5 out of 5

    Julia De Luca

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sylvain

  27. 4 out of 5

    Grady

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ben Howell

  29. 5 out of 5

    Alyssa

  30. 5 out of 5

    Rob C

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