Music And Psychology Research Paper

Research in music history can benefit from systematic study of the history of musical syntax, or from psychological analyses of composers and compositions in relation to perceptual, affective, and social responses to their music.

The earliest recorded experiments date from the 6th century BCE, most notably in the work of Pythagoras and his establishment of the simple string length ratios that formed the consonances of the octave.

This includes isolating which specific features of a musical work or performance convey or elicit certain reactions, the nature of the reactions themselves, and how characteristics of the listener may determine which emotions are felt.Although their theories survived, they were also corrupted along the way, in the Middle Ages of Europe.Music psychology in the second half of the 20th century has expanded to cover a wide array of theoretical and applied areas.Modern music psychology is primarily empirical; its knowledge tends to advance on the basis of interpretations of data collected by systematic observation of and interaction with human participants.Music psychology is a field of research with practical relevance for many areas, including music performance, composition, education, criticism, and therapy, as well as investigations of human attitude, skill, performance, intelligence, creativity, and social behavior.Despite his views, the majority of musical education through the Middle Ages and Renaissance remained rooted in the Pythagorean tradition, particularly through the quadrivium of astronomy, geometry, arithmetic, and music.Research by Vincenzo Galilei (father of Galileo) demonstrated that, when string length was held constant, varying its tension, thickness, or composition could alter perceived pitch.This view that sound and music could be understood from a purely physical standpoint was echoed by such theorists as Anaxagoras and Boethius.An important early dissenter was Aristoxenus, who foreshadowed modern music psychology in his view that music could only be understood through human perception and its relation to human memory.While the techniques of cognitive psychology allowed for more objective examinations of musical behavior and experience, the theoretical and technological advancements of neuroscience have greatly shaped the direction of music psychology into the 21st century.While the majority of music psychology research has focused on music in a Western context, the field has expanded along with ethnomusicology to examine how the perception and practice of music differs between cultures. In recent years several bestselling popular science books have helped bring the field into public discussion, notably Daniel Levitin's This Is Your Brain On Music (2006) and The World in Six Songs (2008), Oliver Sacks' Musicophilia (2007), and Gary Marcus' Guitar Zero (2012).

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