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RICHARD WALLASCHEK (1860-1917) is most widely known for his contributions to comparative musicology; however, he also made significant contributions to the field of music psychology. From 1890 to 1895, Wallaschek pursued interdisciplinary studies at the British Museum in London. During this time Wallaschek proposed theories about the perception and production of music. According to Wallaschek, the perception of music occurs through two types of mental representation: Tonvorstellung (tone representation), which referred to the perception of individual musical elements, and Musikvorstellung (music representation), which referred to the perception of the higher-order structure of music. Wallaschek emphasized Gestalt-like concepts in his discussion of Musikvorstellung. He also proposed a theory about the production of music, arguing that music and language involve different brain processes. For Wallaschek, music is an expression of emotion while language is an expression of the intellect. Although not widely recognized, Wallaschek was an early contributor to the field of music psychology.


This article was originally published in Music Perception, volume 23, issue 3, in 2006. DOI: 10.1525/mp.2006.23.4.293

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University of California Press