42565 - Psychology of Music (1)

Academic Year 2023/2024

  • Docente: Marco Costa
  • Credits: 6
  • SSD: M-PSI/01
  • Language: Italian
  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: First cycle degree programme (L) in Drama, Art and Music Studies (cod. 5821)

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course students will know: - the main empirical researches concerning mental processes in listening to music, musical performance and musical composition; - the main problems concerning musical education and learning, the main aspects concerning the relationship between music and emotion especially considering the studies on the influence of music on individual well-being and considering music therapy models and techniques, too; - the most recent researches on psychology of music with reference to their theoretical background as well as to their practical applications.

Course contents

Lessons will focus on these topics:

- Origin of music in evolutionary perspective

- Musical perception (pitch, relative and absolute pitch, tonal cognition, timbre, musical time)

- Music and memory

- Bodily, emotional and cognitive responses to music

- The relationship between musical structure and perceived expression

- Aesthetics and neuroaesthetics of music

- Music and the brain

- Musical development

- Learning musical skilles

- Musical performance

- The psychology of composition

- The role of music in our everyday live

- Individual differences in musical preference and fruition, the role of music in establishing personal identity

- Music therapy 


Lecture notes and presentions available on the Virtuale section of the course.

Ball, P. (2011). The music instinct: How music works and why we can't do without it. Vintage Publishing

Teaching methods

Lessons with frequent exemplification from the musical repertoire. Live experiments focused on psychoacoustic phenomena. Discussion of scientific papers. 

Assessment methods

Written exam with six open question in 60 m. Each question will be evaluated on a 0-5 scale. 

Teaching tools

Digital presentations and materials available in the Virtuale.unibo.it space of the course.

Office hours

See the website of Marco Costa