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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Edinburgh College of Art : Music

Undergraduate Course: Contemporary Issues in Psychology of Music (MUSI10088)

Course Outline
SchoolEdinburgh College of Art CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryMusic and psychology represent constantly developing spheres of ideas and knowledge. This course offers an informed and critical engagement with issues raised by recent research findings on music from the main psychological disciplines.
Course description Music is vitally important to human life. An expanding field of psychological research seeks to explain our musical tastes and abilities, the ways we are able to make and enjoy music together, and the value of involvement in music. As with all psychological fields, theories are proposed and debated, not least by music practitioners and teachers for whom this work can have profound implications.
This course will familiarise students with evidence informing current thinking, explaining the methods used to generate research findings and contextualising key studies within the psychological traditions they reflect.

Class discussions will refine students' abilities to evaluate and critique published psychological research on music, and to engage with the arguments made by psychologists relevant to their own practice. Topics relating to a broad range of musical genres and behaviours will include:

- the expanding scope of music psychology
- music in everyday life
- music, health and well-being
- improvisation and creativity
- musical identities
- music and language
- music and the brain
- embodiment and musical performance; an
- musical development.

The course will provide the opportunity to pursue an individually developed topic of personal interest though writing a 5000 word essay. This can include a minimal thought experiment devising and testing the methods by which their topic might be researched.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should have at least three Music courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this). We will only consider University/College level courses. All visiting students should contact the Course Organiser before enrolling to the course.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2017/18, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  1
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 20, Summative Assessment Hours 1, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 175 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 80 %, Practical Exam 20 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Essay: 80%
Presentation: 20%

Students will write one 5000 word essay (80%) on a topic of their choice, developed in consultation with the course leader. This essay may constitute either a review or a short review with report on a thought experiment carried out. At interim stages students will submit a title and subsequently an abstract for comment and formative feedback.

Students will also give a short presentation within the class on a separate topic (20%).
Feedback Written feedback is provided within 15 working days of the essay submission date and the presentation date.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Students will have gained specific knowledge about key topic areas with psychology of music. For example, the cognitive psychology of music, the social psychology of music, the developmental psychology of music, music therapy.
  2. Students will have gained specific knowledge about the types of research questions and research methods utilised by contemporary music psychologists.
  3. Students will have an 3. understanding of how to evaluate psychological research evidence and engage with current debates in music psychology
Reading List
Hallam, S, Cross, I and Thaut, M.EDS (2009) The Oxford Handbook of Music Psychology Oxford: Oxford University Press.
MacDonald R.A.R, &. Kreutz, G Mitchell, L.A., EDS (2012). Music, Health and Wellbeing Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Hargreaves D.J. Miell D & MacDonald R.A.R, EDS (2012). Musical Imaginations Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Miell, D. MacDonald R.A.R, & Hargreaves D.J. EDS (2005). Musical Communication Oxford: Oxford University Press.
MacDonald R.A.R, Miell D & Hargreaves D.J. EDS (2002). Musical Identities Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Other reading:
Hargreaves, DJ & North, A (2008) The Social Psychology of Music
Patel, A (2008) Music Language & the Brain
Deutsch, D. (2012) The Psychology of Music (3rd edition). Academic Press

Key Journals:
The Psychology of Music
Musicae Scientiae
Music Perception
Psychomusicology: Music, Mind & Brain

General journals with some recent coverage of music psychology include Frontiers in Psychology and PLoS One.

Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Course organiserProf Raymond Macdonald
Tel: (0131 6)50 2424
Course secretaryMiss Carrie Lyall
Tel: (0131 6)50 2422
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