Music and Empathy: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Music and Empathy

1st Edition

Edited by Elaine King, Caroline Waddington


290 pages | 48 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2018-04-04
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In recent years, empathy has received considerable research attention as a means of understanding a range of psychological phenomena, and it is fast drawing attention within the fields of music psychology and music education. This volume seeks to promote and stimulate further research in music and empathy, with contributions from many of the leading scholars in the fields of music psychology, neuroscience, music philosophy and education. It exposes current developmental, cognitive, social and philosophical perspectives on research in music and empathy, and considers the notion in relation to our engagement with different types of music and media. Following a Prologue, the volume presents twelve chapters organised into two main areas of enquiry. The first section, entitled 'Empathy and Musical Engagement', explores empathy in music education and therapy settings, and provides social, cognitive and philosophical perspectives about empathy in relation to our interaction with music. The second section, entitled 'Empathy in Performing Together', provides insights into the role of empathy across non-Western, classical, jazz and popular performance domains. This book will be of interest to music educators, musicologists, performers and practitioners, as well as scholars from other disciplines with an interest in empathy research.

Table of Contents


Prologue: Revisiting the Problem of Empathy

Part 1: Empathy and Musical Engagement

Chapter 1: Towards a Developmental Model of Musical Empathy Using Insights from Children who are on the Autism Spectrum or who have Learning Difficulties

Chapter 2: Synchronisation – A Musical Substrate for Positive Social Interaction and Empathy

Chapter 3: Music: The Language of Empathy

Chapter 4: The Social Side of Music Listening: Empathy and Contagion in Music-Induced Emotions

Chapter 5: Audience Responses in the Light of Perception–Action Theories of Empathy

Chapter 6: Viewing Empathy in Jazz Performance

Part 2: Empathy in Performing Together

Chapter 7: Otherwise Than Participation: Unity and Alterity in Musical Encounters

Chapter 8: In Dub Conference: Empathy, Groove and Technology in Jamaican Popular Music

Chapter 9: Empathy of the Musical Brain in Musicians Playing In Ensemble

Chapter 10: When it Clicks: Co-Performer Empathy in Ensemble Playing

Chapter 11: Developing Trust with Others: Or, How to Empathise Like a Performer

Chapter 12: The Empathic Nature of the Piano Accompanist

About the Editors

Elaine King is Senior Lecturer in Music at the University of Hull. She co-edited Music and Gesture (Ashgate 2006), New Perspectives on Music and Gesture (Ashgate 2011) and Music and Familiarity (Ashgate 2013), and has published book chapters and articles on aspects of ensemble rehearsal and performance. She is a member of the Royal Musical Association (Council, 2009–12) and Society for Education, Music and Psychology Research (Conference Secretary, 2006–12) as well as Associate Editor of Psychology of Music. She is an active cellist, pianist and conductor.

Caroline Waddington received her Master of Music in Solo Performance from the Royal Northern College of Music and her PhD in Music from the University of Hull, for which she carried out research on peak performance and empathy in ensemble playing. She enjoys a busy portfolio career in music performance, research and education. Caroline also has a strong commitment to arts and health work and delivers various projects in hospitals, hospices and special schools around the UK.

About the Series

SEMPRE Studies in The Psychology of Music

The theme for the series is the psychology of music, broadly defined. Topics include (i) musical development at different ages, (ii) exceptional musical development in the context of special educational needs, (iii) musical cognition and context, (iv) culture, mind and music, (v) micro to macro perspectives on the impact of music on the individual (from neurological studies through to social psychology), (vi) the development of advanced performance skills and (vii) affective perspectives on musical learning. The series presents the implications of research findings for a wide readership, including user-groups (music teachers, policy makers, parents) as well as the international academic and research communities. This expansive embrace, in terms of both subject matter and intended audience (drawing on basic and applied research from across the globe), is the distinguishing feature of the series, and it serves SEMPRE’s distinctive mission, which is to promote and ensure coherent and symbiotic links between education, music and psychology research.


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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MUSIC / General