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Ramona H. Matthews

revised by Karen M. Bryan

(b North Brookfield, MA, April 27, 1894; d Princeton, NJ, Oct 8, 1979). American Psychologist and musicologist. He studied at Clark College (BA 1915), Clark University (PhD 1921), the University of Cambridge (1919), and the University of Berlin (1931). After serving as instructor and assistant professor of psychology at Harvard University (1923–38), he moved to Rutgers University, where he was professor and chair of the department (1937–45). He directed the Institute of Psychology and Philosophy at Ankara University (1945–7) before being appointed chairman and professor of psychology at Princeton University (1948–62) and then at Rider College (1962–71). He served as editor of the Psychological Review (1948–53) and as president of the American Society for Aesthetics (1950–2).

Pratt studied and wrote about various aspects of aesthetics and the psychology of music. Examining objective and subjective musical experience, he concluded that the hearer responds primarily to the inherent tonal design of the music rather than to its symbolic references, and therefore that some important aspects of musical response are not culturally determined. His writings include ...