Musical Perceptions

Musical Perceptions

Musical Perceptions

Musical Perceptions


PART I: Philosophical Perspectives 1. Emotion and Meaning in Music, L.B. Meyer 2. Music and Language: Parallels and Contrasts, R. Aiello 3. Perception: A Perspective from Music Theory, N. Cook PART II: Developmental Perspectives 4. Songsinging by Young and Old: A Developmental Approach to Music, L. Davidson 5. Coming to Hear in a New Way, J. Bamberger 6. Music Performance: Expression and Development of Excellence, J.A. Sloboda PART III: The Perception of Melody, Tonality, Rhythm and Timing 7. Melodic Contour in Hearing and Remembering Melodies, W.J. Dowling 8. Describing the Mental Representation of Tonality in Music, D. Beutler and H. Brown 9. Tonality and Expectation, J.J. Bharucha 10. Perception, Production, and Imitation of Time Ratios by Skilled Musicians, S. Sternberg and R.L. Knoll PART IV: The Perception of Musical Compositions 11. The Interpretive Component in Musical Performance, L.H. Shaffer and N.P. Todd 12. Can Listening to Music be Experimentally Studied?, R. Aiello


Musical Perceptions is an introduction to the perception and cognition of music for readers in music and psychology. It presents a spectrum of the current research, and describes some of the many developments that have occurred in the perception and cognition of music over the last decades. This book includes twelve contributed chapters that discuss musical meaning, philosophical perspectives of music, comparisons beween music and language, the importance of music theory in perceptual research, research in musical development and music performance, the perception of melodies, tonality and rhythm, and the application of neural network models in music perception. The contributors' chapters give a detailed description of their research. I have prefaced each chapter with an introduction to provide a general background in which to place the significance of the contributor's research (John Sloboda contributed the introduction to his own chapter).

Because Musical Perceptions aims to foster a closer interaction between the artistic, the pedagogical, and the scientific aspects of music perception research, it includes contributions from both musicians and psychologists. Undoubtedly, the question "How do we perceive music?" is the main theme of this book. But there is also a second question, more difficult to answer, that underlines its intent: "How does music perception give rise to musical meaning?" Although the material discussed here offers only a small glimpse into the current vast literature on music perception and cognition, the reader will find the many references useful for more in-depth study.

I have tested the chapters that follow in my classes because they reflect the topics I teach in my perception of music courses at the Juilliard School, the Manhattan School of Music, and in the department of psychology at New York University. I am very grateful to my students for their comments and suggestions. In addition to being used in psychology of music courses (be they offered in music or in psychology departments), this volume could also be used in courses in the philosophy and the aesthetics of music, music education, and music theory.

The book opens with three chapters that address the perception of music from a philosophical perspective. Chapter 1 by Leonard Meyer, reprinted from Emotion and Meaning in Music, is of historical significance, and Meyer's ideas are still at the heart of the psychology of music today. Meyer explains how a listener may listen to music from several philosophical positions. Furthermore, Meyer shows how the melodic, rhythmic, and harmonic organization of music gives rise to musical meaning.

In Chapter 2, I describe comparisons between the perception of music and the perception of language at the phonetic, syntactic, and semantic levels. My . . .

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