Assignment for November 26 Meeting

I have prepared a few different things for us to look at on Tuesday, November 26. My goal for this session if to give you a general idea of what it means to do empirical music research, especially of the “experimental” type. I also want you to experience it a bit first-hand, which is why part of the assignment will involve participating in online experimental studies.

1. Preparatory reading: Before doing the core reading for your group discussions, it will be useful to read the following two pieces:

– David Huron (1999), The New Empiricism: Systematic Musicology in a Postmodern Age from the Ernest Bloch Lectures. Read PART 2 only (there are a lot of problems with PART 1, and it is not really that relevant to what we will be discussing). You might also want to start with the list summary at the end of the lecture. We had an online Forum discussion of this article at the beginning of this semester; you can read my introduction to this article and the students responses, and even add your own point of view to the discussion, if you want (search “Bridging the gap” on this site).

– Read the following two short introductions to doing/reading empirical research (from Huron’s Empirical Methods course): “Types of Empirical Studies” and “Reading Empirical Research.” (Make sure you have access to the first document for our meeting.)

2. Core reading: Review the following two experimental studies; don’t get bogged down by technical details, but rather focus on the main question and findings. Post a response to the readings on the Forum blog by Sunday, November 24, 11:59 PM (NOTE: The day/time and response manner are different than your usual schedule). I have included a few guiding questions in my post (“Music theory in the land of experimental psychology”). Each student should post a new thread; respond to your group members’ threads as soon as possible after the initial deadline, but not later than Tuesday morning.

– Petr Janata, Stefan T. Tomic, and Jason M. Haberman (2012), Sensorimotor Coupling in Music and the Psychology of the Groove, Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 141/1: 54-75.

– Peter Martens (2011), The Ambiguous Tactus: Tempo, Subdivision Benefit, and Three Listener Strategies, Music Perception, 28/5: 433-448.

3. Online experiments: There are three experiments that will be open on the MARL platform. (NOTE: The link will become active when the experiments are ready to run.) Each experiment takes about 20 minutes to complete. You may complete each experiment separately or complete them in one sitting; if you do them separately, you will need to fill the questionnaire before each experiment (but it should not take longer than 5 minutes to do it).

4. Optional reading: During the class meeting, I will present some on the work I did with Bruno Repp at the Haskins Laboratories. You may want to read the abstract and look at the figures ahead of time, but this is not necessary.

– Ève Poudrier & Bruno H. Repp (2013), Can Musicians Track Two Different Beats Simultaneously?, Music Perception, 30/4: 369-390.




I’m looking forward to my visit to this semester’s offering of “Current Trends in Music Theory” at the Graduate Center of CUNY on November 26. I have fond memories of the place, the people, and this course!

I invite you to explore this website, which I created to foster an environment of collaborative discovery for the participants of “Cognition of Musical Rhythm” at Yale. You might want to browse through past student project drafts, check-up the resources available for those interested in empirical musical research, read some of the Forum discussions, and/or comment on current students’ projects (proposals are available under the “Individual Projects” tab).

I will be posting your assignment for the November 26 meeting here, as well as all the necessary materials. Stay tuned!