Music Psychology

Articles, Information and Research

Music Psychology

Music psychology, also known as the psychology of music, is a branch of psychology and musicology. Music Psychology aims to explain and understand more about musical behavior and experience, including the processes through which music is perceived, created, responded to, applied therapeutically and incorporated into our everyday lives. Below is just some of the information available that we found beneficial to understanding sound and music and their effects on human psychology. We will publish any new content via our newsletter ‘soundbytes’, on our Blog, or you can follow us by clicking on the social media icons below.


Music Psychology

At BAST, our courses are based on ongoing research into music and sound. For your own interest we have included the following texts.


Universal Recognition of Three Basic Emotions in Music – Fritz et al 2009

A Music and health perspective on music’s perceived “goodness” – Edwards 2009
(links through to the Nordic Journal of Music Therapy)

Abstract: In this paper consideration is given to aspects of social and professional music use premised from a “music as health” perspective. This critical exploration is intended to reveal values about music participation and music listening, with consideration of the way music is constructed as a contributor to social gains within music as health application. The frequently encountered expectation that music participation and music listening are innately good and “helpful” is examined. A range of projects are described and examined with reference to the theme of music’s “commodified goodness” or what has elsewhere been termed, the ubiquitous “goodness of music” (Edwards, 2008b).

Psychological Connotations of Harmonic Musical Intervals – Costa et al (2000)
Links through to the abstract on Sage Publications – Psychology of Music Journal

Subjective Reactions to Musical Intervals Assessed by Rating Scales – Krantz et al (2004)

Recommended reading:
Music and Mind in Everyday Life
Starting from ‘real world’ examples of musical experiences, ‘Music and Mind’critically examines the ways in which psychology can explain people’s diverse experience of, and engagement with music, focusing on how music is used, acquired, and made in a range of familiar musical contexts. Using a framework of real and imagined musical scenarios, the book draws on a wide range of research in the psychology of music and music education….