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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences : Lifelong Learning (PPL)

Undergraduate Course: The Psychology of Music (LLLI07014)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 7 (Year 1 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThis is a for-credit course offered by the Office of Lifelong Learning (OLL); only students registered with OLL should be enrolled.
Music is one of the defining differences between humans and other species. How can music affect our psychology, and why is it so very important to our lives? This course will provide a comprehensive overview of topics in music psychology, from the role of music as a tool for social cohesion to how music can shape our perceptions, and how companies and politicians can use this to their advantage.
Course description 1. What is music? Why is the psychology of music relevant? Introduction of underlying concepts, addressing why it is important to look at the psychological effects of music. What counts as music?
2. Music and emotion. Why do we feel a certain way when we listen to certain music? What are the physical, psychological and emotional changes that occur?
3. Music and manipulation. How can music be used to manipulate us? What effect can music have on our voting or purchasing power?
4. Music and the self / music and the group. The role of music in forging individual and group identity. The use of music (and dance) in ritual, gathering, and team cohesion.
5. Music in other species. Do other species make music? An overview of the literature on birdsong, whale song, and music-like features in other species.
6. Musical origins and evolution. Overview of theories on the origins and evolution of music. Different theories will be compared and contrasted.
7. The "Mozart Effect". Can music really make you smarter? A critical analysis of the putative "Mozart Effect", and its effect on music pedagogy.
8. Music therapy. What can the psychology of music tell us about music in the brain? Can music be used to help people with disabilities and cognitive deficits? An overview of music and Parkinson's Syndrome, William's Syndrome, Autism etc.
9. Creativity and Preference. What is creativity? How do we see it in our everyday lives? Why do we prefer some kinds of music to others? How does dance relate to music?
10. Music and Technology/ Recap. Does how we listen to and make music change how we engage with it? Does modern musical technology change the role of music in our lives, and how? Overview of the major topics covered throughout the course.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
By the end of this course, students should be able to:
Demonstrate an understanding of basic psychological and musicological concepts;
Critically evaluate a range of information from various disparate sources;
Compare the role of music with other human faculties, such as language;
Understand the manifold effects of music on everyday life.
Reading List
North, A. and Hargreaves, D., .2008. The social and applied psychology of music. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Mithen, S. 2005. The Singing Neanderthals. London: Wiedenfeld & Nicolson. Ch. 3, 4, 7, 14.
Wallin, N., Merker, B., and Brown, S., eds. 2000. The Origins of Music. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press. Ch. 3, 5, 7, 9, 15.
Other essential/ recommended reading will be provided in the form of photocopied text/ PDF file during the course.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Special Arrangements Please contact Reception to arrange a confidential appointment with our Student Guidance Advisor if you feel you have specific study requirements to enable you to study an Open Studies course or complete assessments. Giving us this information will enable us to make arrangements to meet your requirements for studying in accordance with the Equality Act 2010.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserMr James Mooney
Tel: (0131 6)50 3077
Course secretaryMrs Diane Mcmillan
Tel: (0131 6)50 6912
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