Music is so ubiquitous that it can be easy to overlook the powerful influence it exerts in so many areas of our lives - from birth, through childhood, to old age. The Social and Applied Psychology of Music is the successor to the bestselling and influential The Social Psychology of Music. It considers the value of music in everyday life, answering some of the perennial questions about music.
The book begins with a scene-setting chapter that describes the academic background to the book, before looking at composition and musicianship. It then goes on to look at musical preference. What aspects of music are crucial in determining whether or not you will like it?
In chapter 4 the authors consider whether rap and rock are bad for young people, highlighting some of the major moral scandals that have rocked pop music, and asking whether these have become more extreme over time. The following chapter looks at music as a commercial product. How does the structure of the music industry influence CD purchasing, and how does music affect customers in retail and leisure settings like shops and restaurants?
The book closes with an examination of music education. How does musical ability develop in children, and how does this relate to more general theories of how intellectual skills develop? Do musical skills develop independently of other abilities?
Exceptionally broad in scope, and written in a highly accessible style by the leading researchers in this field, The Social and Applied Psychology of Music will be required reading for anyone seeking an understanding of the role music plays in our lives.
Adrian North obtained his PhD on music psychology in 1996. He then took a lecturing position at the University of Leicester, before being appointed Professor of Psychology at Heriot Watt University in 2007. His research interests include musical preference, the effects of music on consumers, and the impact of pop music on adolescents. In his leisure time he enjoys watching football, playing guitar, and playing with his four cats. David Hargreaves is Professor of Education, Froebel Research Fellow, and Director of the Centre for International Research on Creativity and Learning in Education in the School of Education, Roehampton University, and Visiting Professor of Research in Music Education at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, by which he was awarded an honorary DPhil in 2004. He has appeared on BBC TV and radio as a jazz pianist and composer, and is organist at his local village church.
1. The social and applied psychology of music ; 2. Composition and musicianship ; 3. Musical preference and taste ; 4. 'Problem music' and subcultures ; 5. Music, business, work, and health ; 6. Musical development and education ; 7. Concluding remarks