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AMPS: Past Seminar Series

Past Seminar Series

Select the that year you would like to see

2015 Seminar Series

Pitches at missing fundamentals in musical chords: Are they really perceived?
Speaker : Richard Parncutt
Date :26th Feb


Location: University of Melbourne, Old Arts, Theatrette B

According to Parncutt (Music Perception, 1988) - a musical simplification of the pitch algorithm of Terhardt et al. (Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 1982) - everyday musical chords have or imply pitches at missing fundamentals. The major triad CEG implies pitches at F and A: F is a fundamental if C is the 3rd (or 6th) harmonic and G is the 9th, and A is a fundamental if E is the 3rd harmonic and G is the 7th. Similarly, the minor triad ACE implies D and F. The chord DEG implies pitches at C and A, and so on. These predictions are plausible given that most pitches heard in everyday complex sounds correspond to the fundamentals of harmonic patterns of spectral pitches; such fundamentals are often missing or inaudible. Parncutt (1993) presented chords of octave-complex (Shepard) tones followed by single octave-complex tones and asked listeners how well the tones went with the chords. We have replicated this study with more numerous and diverse participants, chords, and tasks. Participants were fundamental and spectral listeners according to Seither-Preisler et al. (2007). In Experiment 1, listeners judged how well the tone goes with the chord; in Experiment 2, whether it was part of the chord. In Experiment 3, listeners chose which of 12 comparison tones best matched the chord. In the results of Experiments 1 and 2, ratings for missing fundamentals were on average higher than ratings for other non-chord tones. The effect was small, but it was larger than the difference between diatonic tones (tones belonging to the same diatonic scale as all chord tones) and non-chord tones. We are developing a new model based on musical experience: the frequency of occurrence of chord progressions in a large database of western tonal music. Results of Experiments 1 and 2 may explain the (psychohistorical origin of the) music-theoretic concept of scale-chord compatibility. Experiment 3 produced markedly different profiles and is consistent with Terhardt's claim that chord roots are virtual pitches, whose perception is moulded by music experience.


Personal music listening: Modelling emotional outcomes through mobile experience sampling.
Speaker : Dr Will Randall
Date :16th Apr


Personal music listening has become central to everyday music use, with mobile technology defining a new era of music consumption. This portable and flexible style of listening allows for the immediate selection of music to fulfil emotional needs, presenting it as a powerful resource for emotion regulation. The experience sampling method (ESM) is ideal for observing personal music listening, as it assesses current subjective experience during natural everyday music episodes. The current study aimed to develop a comprehensive model of personal music listening, and to determine the interaction of variables that produce either hedonic benefit or detriment. Data were collected from 195 participants using the MuPsych app, a mobile ESM designed for the real-time and ecologically valid measurement of personal music listening. Multilevel structural equation modelling was utilised to determine predictors of emotional outcomes on both experience and listener levels. Results revealed the strongest predictors of affective change to be initial emotional state and selected music, with certain interactions of these variables critical in determining hedonic benefit or detriment. Furthermore, it was demonstrated that emotional outcomes of listening are produced almost entirely within contexts, with relatively little influence from the listener level. This comprehensive model has provided unprecedented insight into personal music listening, and the variables that are influential in producing desired emotional outcomes.

Music as an intervention in paediatric and adult populations with disorders of consciousness
Speaker : Assoc Prof Wendy Magee
Date :20th May
Downloads :Click for info


Using clinical illustrations and examples from neuroscience, this presentation will outline the latest evidence for using music as a diagnostic tool and medium for intervention with children, adolescents and adults who have complex needs stemming from acquired brain injury and disorders of consciousness.

The flyer is attached (includes hyperlink to booking site) and bookings can be made at Eventbrite as follows:

Two presentations: Vocal emotion processing in relation to Autism Spectrum Disorder and Twin Study on Singing Ability
Speaker : Yi Ting Tan and Valerie Yap
Date :23rd Jul
Downloads :Click for info


Topic 1: Individual Differences in Vocal Emotion Processing: Findings from the General Population and Implications for Autism Spectrum Disorder
Speaker: Yi Ting Tan

Topic 2: “Let’s Hear Twins Sing!”: The first online twin study on singing ability
Speaker: Valerie Yap

see attached for Abstracts.

Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose: What is human musicality and why it is important.
Speaker : Professor Raymond Macdonald
Date :13th Aug


This presentation outlines a number of different perspectives investigating the relationship between music and health while presenting evidence to support the assertion "We are all Musical". Possible reasons relating to why music may have beneficial effects on health are explored; these include a discussion of social, cultural neurological, medical, developmental and education issues. The contrasting but related contributions of music therapy, community music and music education will be discussed and research examples will highlight various ways in which music and health can be studied. Particular emphasis will be placed upon the importance of improvisation as an accessible, unique, spontaneous, social and creative process that can facilitate collaboration between many musical genres and across disciplines.

Raymond MacDonald is Professor of Music Psychology and Improvisation and Head of The School of Music at University of Edinburgh.
As a saxophonist and composer he has released over 50 CDs and toured and broadcast worldwide. He has written music for film, television, theatre, radio and art installations and much of his work explores the boundaries and ambiguities between what is conventionally seen as improvisation and composition. Collaborating with musicians such as David Byrne, Evan Parker, Jim O'Rourke and Marilyn Crispell his work informed by a view of improvisation as a social, collaborative and uniquely creative process that provides opportunities to develop new ways of working musically. He is a key player and a founding member of The Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra.

After completing his PhD at the University of Glasgow, investigating therapeutic applications of music, he worked as Artistic Director for a music company, Sounds of Progress, specialising in working with people who have special needs. He runs music workshops and lectures internationally and has published over 60 peer reviewed papers and book chapters. He has co-edited four texts, Musical Identities (2002) and Musical Communication (2005), Musical Imaginations (2012) and Music Health & Wellbeing (2012) and was editor of the journal Psychology of Music between 2006 and 2012. He is an associate editor for The International Journal of Music Education, Jazz Research Journal, Research Studies in Music Education, Musicae Scientiae and The Journal of Music Therapy.

His on-going research focuses on issues relating to improvisation, musical communication, music health and wellbeing, music education and musical identities. He studies the processes and outcomes of music participation and music listening and has a particular interest in collaborative creativity. His new coedited text with David Hargreaves and Dorothy Miell "The Oxford Handbook of Musical Identities" is due for publication in 2016.

Music on the Mind Nurturing creativity: from infant songs to symphonies
Speaker : Professor Margaret Barrett
Date :23rd Sep


Book here:[10]=10

Creativity awaits the prepared mind.

For educators and parents alike what prepares the mind for creative thought and activity is of major interest. This lecture will draw on the findings of a series of longitudinal studies of infants and young children’s music-making to trace the developmental pathways to music creativity.

Prof. Barrett will discuss the facilitators and constraints on young children’s creative thought and activity in family settings and consider the implications for curriculum and pedagogy in music education. The discussion will be extended through reference to recent research on the pedagogy of creativity when expert composers work with non-neophyte student composers.

This lecture is part of Music on the Mind – a series of free talks exploring the relationship between music and the human brain and the related links to social well-being, participation, learning and development and the role of music in our contemporary communities.
Presented by Melbourne Recital Centre and the Music, Mind and Wellbeing initiative at the University of Melbourne.

Time-limited Guided Imagery and Music
Speaker : Prof Gro Trondalen, Norwegian Academy of Music, Oslo
Date :28th Oct


Musicians have the most wonderful profession; they have the opportunity to create music as an art form for a vibrant audience. However, being trained and working as a musician, also means confronting one’s physical, mental, and existential wellbeing. This presentation addresses time limited individual Guided Imagery and Music with professional musicians: exploring music listening as a health resource. I propose an open music listening approach, supported by drawings and verbal conversation, in order to integrate and balance the physical/mental and existential dimensions of life in the name of excellence in performance and an enriched personal life.

Book tickets here: