Sweet Anticipation: Music and the Psychology of Expectation

Author(s) : David Huron

Sweet Anticipation: Music and the Psychology of Expectation

Book Details

  • Publisher : MIT Press
  • Published : 2008
  • Category :
    Expressive Arts Therapies
  • Catalogue No : 27217
  • ISBN 13 : 9780262582780
  • ISBN 10 : 0262582783
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Suitable for readers interested in cognitive science and evolutionary psychology as well as music, this book uses a theory of expectations to explain how music evokes various emotions. It identifies some of the aesthetic possibilities afforded by expectation, and shows how common musical devices exploit the psychological opportunities. A theory of expectations is used to explain how music evokes various emotions; for readers interested in cognitive science and evolutionary psychology as well as music.The psychological theory of expectation that David Huron proposes in Sweet Anticipation grew out of the authors experimental efforts to understand how music evokes emotions. These efforts evolved into a general theory of expectation that will prove informative to readers interested in cognitive science and evolutionary psychology as well as those interested in music. The book describes a set of psychological mechanisms and illustrates how these mechanisms work in the case of music. All examples of notated music can be heard on the Web.Huron proposes that emotions evoked by expectation involve five functionally distinct response systems. For real-world events, these five response systems typically produce a complex mixture of feelings. The book identifies some of the aesthetic possibilities afforded by expectation, and shows how common musical devices (such as syncopation, cadence, meter, tonality, and climax) exploit the psychological opportunities. The theory also provides new insights into the physiological psychology of awe, laughter, and spine-tingling chills. Huron traces the psychology of expectations from patterns of the physical and cultural world through our imperfectly learned heuristics used to predict that world to the phenomenal qualia we experience as we apprehend the world.

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