With this blog, we hope to explore the relationship between music and mind, and how technology is used to study this relationship. The posts are written by students enrolled in the International Masters Program in Music, Mind & Technology at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland, and their instructors. The aim of this project is to allow students to practice writing for a larger audience than just their instructor, and to encourage them to pursue their various interests around the topic of music and mind.
Music is ever-present in the modern world, and effects people’s lives strongly in various ways. We are currently in a moment in which our relationship to music is changing. For example, until very recently, music recordings were purchased individually as physical objects, and music consumers made economic choices about what to add to their collection. Currently, most people with an internet connection have access to an abundance of music unheard of in any other era. The decision involved in choosing which song to listen to now has little to do with individual purchases. The result is that while people purchase individual recordings less than before, music consumption has never been higher.
The above is only one instance in which our relationship to music is changing. Currently music technology makes music production simpler and faster, while social media makes distribution so convenient that the option of music-creation is open to a larger set of people: Fancy studios, record contracts and even proficiency on musical instruments are no longer needed—the personal computer has replaced all three.
The effects of music in how we behave, how it impacts our emotions, social interactions and physical body movements is complicated yet fascinating. Modern research and technology enable us to describe such effects of music at different levels (e.g. emotional, cognitive, neurological). With this blog we hope to acquaint readers with the main areas of contemporary research into music perception and cognition, and to show examples of how music technology can be applied to study this relevant and captivating topic.