The Psychology of Music

The Psychology of Music, 3rd Edition

The Psychology of Music, 3rd Edition,Diana Deutsch,ISBN9780123814609

D Deutsch   

Academic Press




229 X 152

A timely update to the reference that explains musical phenomena in terms of mental functions, defining the ways in which one perceives, remembers, creates, and performs music.

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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


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.


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

Diana Deutsch

Affiliations and Expertise

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

The Psychology of Music, 3rd Edition

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

III Abstraction of Higher-Order Shapes

IV The Organization of Short-Term Memory for Tones

V Paradoxes Based on Pitch Class

VI Illusory Transformation from Speech to Song

VII Conclusion



8. Computational Models of Music Cognition

I Introduction

II Models of Key-Finding

III Models of Meter-Finding

IV Other Aspects of Perception

V Models of Musical Experience

VI Models of Performance

VII Models of Composition

VIII Conclusions



9. Structure and Interpretation of Rhythm in Music

I Introduction

II Overview: Decomposing the Rhythmic Signal

III Structure and Interpretation: Visualizing Rhythm Space

IV Rhythmic Pattern: Representation

V Rhythmic Pattern and Timing: Categorization

VI Metrical Structure

VII Tempo and Timing: Perceptual Invariance

VIII Rhythm and Movement: Embodied Cognition



10. Music Performance: Movement and Coordination

I Introduction

II Movement in Performance

III Ensemble Performance

IV Summary



11. Musical Development

I Origins of Music

II Musical Development in a Social Context

III Musical Enculturation and Critical Periods for Musical Acquisition

IV Music Production: Development of Singing

V Effects of Formal Music Training on Musical Development

VI Interactions between Music Experience and Nonmusical Abilities

VII General Conclusions



12. Music and Cognitive Abilities

I Introduction

II Music Aptitude and Cognitive Abilities

III Cognitive Abilities after Listening to Music

IV Background Music and Cognitive Abilities

V Music Training and Cognitive Abilities

VI Conclusions



13. The Biological Foundations of Music: Insights from Congenital Amusia

I Congenital Amusia

II Pitch Is Special

III Right Frontotemporal Connectivity Is Key

IV Music Genes

V Limited Plasticity

VI Conclusions



14. Brain Plasticity Induced by Musical Training

I Introduction

II Behavioral Studies: The Effects of Musical Training on Cognitive Performance

III Imaging Studies: The Effects of Musical Training on Brain Organization

IV Auditory-Motor Interactions Underlie Music and Language Learning

V Music-based Treatments to Modulate Brain Plasticity: Melodic Intonation Therapy and Auditory-Motor Mapping Training

VI Concluding Remarks



15. Music and Emotion

I History

II Emotion Theory

III Perception of Emotion

IV Arousal of Emotion

V Themes in Current Research

VI Implications and Outlook


16. Comparative Music Cognition: Cross-Species and Cross-Cultural Studies

I Introduction

II Cross-Species Studies

III Cross-Cultural Studies

IV Conclusion



17. Psychologists and Musicians: Then and Now

I Helmholtz and Basevi in the 1860s

II Seashore and Kurth in the 1920s

III Francès and Meyer in the 1950s

IV Psychologists and Musicians Today

V A Continuing Challenge


Author Index

Subject Index

Quotes and reviews

"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 www.classicalnet.com

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