Psychology of Music

654 Words Dec 9th, 2007 3 Pages
The scientific investigation of the relationship of music to the human mind. The first courses in the psychology of music in Canada were established in 1935 by Cyril C. (Cornelius) O'Brien at the Maritime Academy of Music in Halifax. As head of the academy's dept of psychology until 1947, O'Brien - b Halifax 22 Mar 1906; D MUS (Montreal), D PAED (Montreal), PH D psychology (Ottawa) - taught courses in the psychology of music, administered tests of musical talent, and wrote articles on music aptitude tests (1935), tonal memory (1943, 1953, 1958), and tone colour discrimination (1945). In Montreal Rodolphe Mathieu had begun administering music aptitude tests in 1930 at his Canadian Institute of Music.
Despite these beginnings, only a few
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At the University of Toronto in the laboratory directed by C.D. Creelman, doctoral theses have been produced that deal with the learning of 'absolute pitch' (Cuddy 1965) and the perception of pitch structure in music (Pedersen 1970). As an application of psychoacoustics to music, Pedersen (1965) suggested the possible use of the mel scale in composition.
L.L. Cuddy has continued her work on the absolute judgment of pitch (1968, 1970, 1971) at Queen's University showing the importance of structural relations and musical experience. Theses supervised by Cuddy include studies in interval recognition (Cohen 1972, Thonigs 1973), tonal memory (Dewar 1974), auditory temporal patterns (Miller 1974), and tonality in transposed tone sequences (Cohen 1975). Work on absolute pitch also has been carried out at the University of Western Ontario (Siegel 1974, Siegel and Siegel 1977a and b), York University (Crozier et al 1977) and Calgary (Vernon 1977). One study was conducted on hearing melody in infancy (Chang and Trehub 1977).
Under the direction of D.E. Berlyne of the University of Toronto studies were undertaken in the field of experimental aesthetics concerning the psychological function of the 'arousal mechanism' as well as effects of pitch complexity and duration (Berlyne, 1960, 1974; Berlyne et al 1966, 1967). His colleagues have investigated multidimensional scaling of responses to music (Hare 1975)
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