Music and Memory: An Introduction

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Overview

This far-ranging book shows how human memory influences the organization of music.

The book is divided into two parts. The first part presents basic ideas about memory and perception from cognitive psychology and, to some extent, cognitive linguistics. Topics include auditory processing, perception, and recognition. The second part describes in detail how the concepts from the first part are exemplified in music. The presentation is based on three levels of musical experience: event fusion (the formation of single musical events from acoustical vibrations in the air, on a time scale too small to exhibit rhythm), melody and rhythm, and form. The focus in the latter is on the psychological conditions necessary for making large-scale — that is, formal —boundaries clear in music rather than on traditional musical forms. The book also discusses the idea that much of the language used to describe musical structures and processes is metaphorical. It encourages readers to consider the possibility that the process of musical composition can be "a metaphorical transformation of their own experience into sound."

The book also touches on unresolved debates about psychological musical universals, information theory, and the operation of neurons. It requires no formal musical training and contains a glossary and an appendix of listening examples.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262692373
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 1/8/2001
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Structure of the Book
Acknowledgments
List of Illustrations
I Some Cognitive Concepts 1
1 Auditory Memory: An Overview 3
2 Echoic Memory and Early Processing 19
3 Grouping 31
4 Short-Term and Working Memory 47
5 Closure 59
6 Long-Term Memory 69
7 Categories 81
8 Schemas: Frameworks for Experience and Memory 95
9 Metaphor 107
II Some Musical Concepts 121
10 Event Fusion 123
11 Melody 135
12 Rhythm 159
13 Form 193
Postscript 243
App.: Listening Examples 245
Glossary 255
References 267
Index 283
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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2001

    Why can't I get that Tune out of my head?

    A remarkable book, even if it doesn't explain my problem. Seriously, this is an excellent book to consult for research on rhythms and melody, and how they interact. I especially liked his explanations of musical intervals, octaves, 5ths, and others, even non-western ones.I wish I had read it before I finished my chapter on Prosodic and Tonal Features of speech, motherese and all that, in my book 'The Acoustics of Speech Communication' Allyn and Bacon, 1999, ISBN 0-205-19887-0. J. M. Pickett

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