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date: 28 September 2020

Psychology of musiclocked

  • Diana Deutsch,
  • Alf Gabrielsson,
  • John Sloboda,
  • Ian Cross,
  • Carolyn Drake,
  • Richard Parncutt,
  • Stephen McAdams,
  • Eric F. Clarke,
  • Sandra E. Trehub,
  • Susan O’Neill,
  • David Hargreaves,
  • Anthony Kemp,
  • Adrian North
  •  and Robert J. Zatorre


Psychology of music is the discipline that studies individual human musical thought and behaviour from a scientific perspective. Activities that have been studied using the tools of psychology include sensation and perception, listening, performing, creating, memorizing, analysing, learning and teaching. These activities have been studied across the lifespan of individuals, from birth to old age, and in a variety of social contexts, from domestic, through educational, to therapeutic and professional.

Diana Deutsch

Speculation concerning sound and music goes back to ancient times. The first reported experiments relating to the psychology of music are credited to Pythagoras in the 6th century bce. He is said to have demonstrated that the perceived pitch of a vibrating string varies inversely with its length, and is also credited with establishing that the musical consonances of the octave, 5th and 4th correspond to simple ratios formed by different lengths of string. His followers, however, lost faith in the experimental method and instead attempted to explain musical phenomena purely in terms of mathematical relationships. For example, Anaxagoras (...

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