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Seminar in Music Cognition (451-0-1)


Richard D Ashley
Office Hours: W 10-11 and by appt.

Meeting Info

RCMA Lower Level 111: Tues, Thurs 9:30AM - 10:50AM

Overview of class

Goals of the course: 1. Develop more systematic ways of thinking about music cognition. 2. Become familiar with important issues, investigative techniques, and literature in music cognition. 3. Know the basics of cognitive psychology. 4. Be able to read a psychological article on music from a standard journal and understand it reasonably well. 5. Know the main journals and texts in which one is likely to find materials of interest to students of music cognition.

Structure of the course: 1. Unit I (one wk): Basics of cognitive psychology and auditory perception 2. Unit II (three wks): The structure of music and music cognition 3. Unit III (two wks): Musical, emotion, and memory 4. Unit IV (one wk): Music and the body 5. Unit IV (one wk): Musical performance 6. Unit V (one wk): Creativity and music's relation to other domains

Evaluation Method

Assessment is based on daily written work, a final paper, and class discussion. Written work will include a response paper to each article or chapter and a final paper, 10-15 pp. in length.

Class Materials (Required)

This course focuses on primary readings, mostly published articles. A wide range of articles will be used, from cognitive psychology, music theory, and artificial intelligence. Both primary and secondary sources will be used. The typical load should be about 5 articles per week.

We will read a number of chapters from my book The Routledge Companion to Music Cognition, R. Ashley & R. Timmers, eds (Routledge, 2017) The paperback is inexpensive (around $42) but using the library's ebook may suffice if funds are tight. (Hardcover ISBN 9781138721050; Paperback ISBN 9780367876555; Ebook ISBN 9781315194738)