Music, Neurology, and Psychology in the Nineteenth Century
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This chapter examines connections between research in music, neurology, and psychology during the late-nineteenth century. Researchers in all three disciplines investigated how music is processed by the brain. Psychologists and comparative musicologists, such as Carl Stumpf, thought in terms of multiple levels of sensory processing and mental representation. Early thinking about music processing can be linked to the start of Gestalt psychology. Neurologists such as August Knoblauch also discussed multiple levels of music processing, basing speculation on ideas about language processing. Knoblauch and others attempted to localize music function in the brain. Other neurologists, such as John Hughlings Jackson, discussed a dissociation between music as an emotional system and language as an intellectual system. Richard Wallaschek seems to have been the only one from the late-nineteenth century to synthesize ideas from musicology, psychology, and neurology. He used ideas from psychology to explain music processing and audience reactions and also used case studies from neurology to support arguments about the nature of music. Understanding the history of this research sheds light on the development of all three disciplines—musicology, neurology, and psychology.
mental representation, Tonvorstellung, Stumpf (Carl), Gestalt psychology, aphasia, amusia, Knoblauch (August), origins of music, music and emotion, Jackson (John Hughlings), Wallaschek (Richard)
Music Theory | Neurosciences | Other Music | Other Psychology | Psychology
Graziano, Amy B., and Julene K. Johnson. "Music, Neurology, and Psychology in the Nineteenth Century." In Music, Neurology, and Neuroscience: Historical Connections and Perspectives (Progress in brain research 216), edited by E. Altenmüller, F. Boller & S. Finger, 33-49. Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2015.