York Music Psychology Group

Research to explain and understand musical behaviour and experience.

Study with us and join YMPG

 

We are always looking for motivated students at any level or postdocs! 

If you are interested in joining the York Music Psychology Group please contact Hauke Egermann in order to discuss your options (hauke.egermann@york.ac.uk).

Undergraduate modules

Introduction to the Psychology of Music:

Music Psychology aims to explain and understand musical behaviour and experience, including the processes through which music is created, perceived, responded to, and incorporated into everyday life (Tan, Pfordrescher, Harré, 2010). Accordingly, this module will introduce students to the basic mechanisms underlying these human capacities. We will start by engaging with the functionality of the auditory system and from there, elaborate on the perception and cognition of musical elements, such as melody, timing (rhythm, meter, tempo), harmony, timbre and higher level structures like compositional form and expressiveness. Subsequently, we will focus on basic principles underlying listener experience (aesthetics, emotion, and preferences). Finally, the module will provide a short introduction to the mechanisms that underlie musical performance skills, like sensorimotor learning, training, and musical talent. During the course of this module, students will also be introduced to basic principles of empirical research methods.

Music and Emotion

Emotional responses to music are often described as the main motivation to engage in music performance and listening. In this module, participants are introduced to psychological research in the field of music and emotion. It will detail theoretical and empirical approaches to studying musical expressiveness and the induction of emotion through music. Here, we will focus on the role of structural, performance, listener, and context features in determining emotional responses to music. Furthermore, emotion genesis mechanisms will be discussed with respect to the literature available.

MA in Music: Music Psychology pathway

We teach the 1-year-long MA in Music: Music Psychology pathway (180 credits). The MA in Music (taught): Music Psychology pathway is designed to develop research skills and knowledge in the field of Music Psychology. It is targeted at students coming from Music, Psychology, or any other related areas like Education, Engineering or Computer Science. It will cover theoretical and empirical approaches to music performance, perception, and cognition.

Our taught MA in Music gives you time, facilities and authoritative guidance from academics and professional musicians to concentrate on your own musical interests.

Typically there are around six students working with a particular supervisor on a pathway, and during the year you will concentrate on your own particular projects. There are no major pieces of work thrust upon you that do not respect the independent nature of your pursuits. Instead, you produce Guided Projects for the first two terms and an Independent Project during the summer term and summer vacation.

Music Psychology aims to explain and understand musical behavior and experience, including the processes through which music is created, perceived, responded to, and incorporated into everyday life. Accordingly, in this pathway, students will learn about the basic mechanisms underlying these human capacities. It will cover the functionality of the auditory system and from there, elaborate on the perception and cognition of musical elements, such as melody, timing (rhythm, meter, tempo), harmony, timbre, and higher level structures like compositional form and expressiveness. Accordingly, the pathway will also look at basic principles underlying listener experience (aesthetics, emotion, and preferences). Furthermore, it aims to provide an understanding of the mechanisms that underlie musical performance, including skills and learning. While the focus of this pathway lies at conducting pure and basic research, it will also consider application areas outside academia (media, technology, creative industries, education and therapy). The research conducted in this pathway will draw on methods from the social and behavioral sciences.

Postgraduate scholarships, awards and bursaries

The Music Department offers a number of scholarships, awards and work opportunities for postgraduate students. However, applicants are advised to investigate as wide a range of funding sources as possible, and are encouraged to pursue external funding sources before and during their postgraduate studies. If you’ve completed an undergraduate degree at York you could be eligible for a 10% Masters fee discount.