MUSC 585: Psychology of Music
Prerequisites: Graduate Standing
Credit Hours: (3) Three hours lecture
The role and function of music in human existence with a focus on the objective and scientific components of sound and music with their subsequent physiological, psychological, intellectual/cognitive, and social effects.
Note(s): Required of all Music Therapy Majors.
Detailed Description of Course Content
This course will emphasize the role and function of music in human existence with a focus on the objective and scientific components of sound and music with their subsequent physiological, psychological, intellectual/cognitive, and social effects on the listener. Assessing the effects of these processes through traditional research methodologies found in the field of music therapy will also be discussed in preparation for the second semester of this two-course sequence. The learning outcomes for Psychology of Music are that the student will have a functional understanding of:
• acoustics and psychoacoustics including the hearing anatomy
• music and the brain/perception of music
-structure/function of the brain
-structure/function of the nervous system
• additional major physiological systems of the human body
• psychophysiological response to stress
• evolution of western music/scale systems
• psychological effects of music elements including nature of consonance and dissonance
• aesthetics and affective response to music
This course will attempt to change the way one looks at (or has looked at) music – not only as an art form, but a central element in our lives that has scientific roots. As you can see from the list of learning goals, the class will investigate the phenomenon of music with an objective eye toward its effects on human physiology, psychology and function. This will help serve as a preparation for understanding music as an art, its role in human learning and development, and as a therapeutic modality. Throughout the course, references to, and examples of everyday practical interactions between people and their music will be discussed in all aspects of human existence (i.e. psychological/emotional, physical/physiological, intellectual/cognitive, social/cultural, and spiritual).
Detailed Description of Conduct of Course
The class is a combination of lecture and interactive discussion. Numerous print, video, and web sources will be explored and discussed, many through the current online course management system.
Goals and Objectives of the Course
Upon completion of MUSC 585, students will have:
• acquired an elementary, but working knowledge of acoustics and psycho acoustics.
• gained functional knowledge of the hearing anatomy.
• acquired a working understanding about music and brain function/perception of music.
• increased understanding of the effect of music on human physiology and function.
• gained practical knowledge of the psychological effects of the of music and its elements.
• become conversant with psychological theories related to music and the arts.
• gained a working knowledge of the nature of aesthetics and affective reaction to music.
Graduate requirements may include but are not limited to:
- Three exams
- Short writing assignments
- Class participation
- Review of literature paper and presentation
Students taking Psychology of Music for graduate credit (MUSC 585) may be required to write a review of research literature on a topic contained in one of the objectives of the course. The review must be structured in according to current APA writing guidelines and include sources from historical, descriptive and empirical literature resulting in a manuscript that reveals an advanced depth and breadth of the topic. The evaluation of the literature research will be conducted on two general criteria, content and format. An alternative requirement that involves advanced analysis of an approved topic may be substituted for the literature review.
Other Course Information
Review and Approval
April 9, 2013