The Science and Psychology of Music: From Beethoven at the Office to Beyoncé at the Gym

Greenwood. Jan. 2021. 349p. ed. by ed. by William Forde Thompson & Kirk N. Olsen. ISBN 9781440857713. $97. REF
Thompson (psychology, Macquarie Univ., Sydney), Olsen (research manager, Music, Sound, and Performance Lab and the Centre for Elite Performance, Expertise, and Training, Macquarie Univ.), and over 60 other experts in science and psychology offer an accessible, thoroughly researched exploration of how music affects our minds, emotions, and well-being. The editors and contributors define music, then consider its impact on everything from memory to health to physical movement. Of particular interest are studies of three musical prodigies trained in jazz, classical music, and the blues; impaired music processing (such as tone deafness); and music’s ability to protect the aging brain. The work delves into the personality traits of many musicians and the reasons they experience performance anxiety. It also examines the evolution of music, specifically via technology, and the emergence of community music as a field of study.
VERDICT Intended to “inspire the next generation of researchers,” this volume provides plenty of stand-alone independent resources, in concise language that will be useful to students of music or psychology.
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