Music Psychology

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Although music psychology as a research topic can be traced back to at least the 1880s, it was not until the 1980s that it became an academic discipline with its own identity. The autobiographies in this issue describe the transformation of music psychology from a topic pursued by isolated individuals in many different disciplines, into a more unified field. The turning point for the field came in the 1980s and 1990s when there was a rapid growth of specialized venues for interdisciplinary research in music: journals, national and international conferences, national and international societies, institutes and centers for research, and educational programs. Research was disseminated as never before, connecting researchers all over the world and forming a community of music psychology practitioners who share a common set of methods and theories. This has resulted in the bringing together of formerly separate lines of research, for example, research on music and the brain has now become an important part of music psychology; the formation of educational programs where students can earn degrees in music psychology; the building of a historiography for the field; and an expansion of research topics to cover all major aspects of music.


This article was originally published in Psychomusicology: Music, Mind & Brain, volume 20, issue 1, in 2009.

Please contact Prof. Amy Graziano (graziano@chapman.edu) for information on how to access this paper.

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American Psychological Association

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