Before the first day in this class, I had no idea what to expect. From the title ‘Music Cognition and Perception,’ I assumed it would be about the relationship between music and psychology. I have an extensive background in music performance, and am studying music entrepreneurship and business at San Diego State University. Because of this, I am always interested in learning anything new about music, and how it may apply to me as I continue my studies and when I enter the workforce. I looked forward to learning about music research and how that has affected the creation and perception of music today.
The first day mainly consisted of a lecture concerning important figures of music scholarship, from the days of Pythagoras to today. This portion of the day in particular was most intriguing to me because of its emphasis on research, which is an aspect of music not regularly studied or practiced at all in my university. The individual whose music research intrigued me most was Carl Stumpf, mainly because he studied aspects which had more to do with the technicalities of music, such as tones and the origins of music. His research on the difference between consonance and dissonance was most compelling to me for the reason that these concepts are most important when it comes to composing music, underlying the basic harmonic structure of music. For me, it’s important to know and discover the differences between the two, as they communicate different moods and are things that many composers use to convey different emotions.
Overall, a majority of the research discussed in the first day of class seemed to cover a branch of the field known as ‘music psychology’. Before taking the class I had some knowledge of what music psychology was, but only to a certain extent. In the lecture I learned that music psychology “aims to map consistent patterns in musical behavior to understand the how and why of musical phenomena” which is something, that I would like to learn more about.
Overall, I look forward to learning more and more about music and music psychology, both in this class and beyond. Because I am very musically inclined, I would love to see the benefits of music proven through science (such as psychology). I have always been an avid supporter of music and music education, and I firmly believe that music as a whole can be cognitively beneficial to the individual.