Familiarity underpins our engagement with music. This book highlights theoretical and empirical considerations about familiarity from three perspectives: listening, musicology and performance. Part I, ’Listening’, addresses familiarity as it relates to listeners’ behaviour and responses to music, specifically in regulating our choice and exposure to music on a daily basis; how we get to know music through regular listening; how comfortable we feel in a Western concert environment; and music’s efficacy as a pain-reliever. Part II, ’Musicology’ exposes the notion of familiarity from varied stances, including appreciation of music in our own and other cultures through ethnomusicology; exploration of the perception of sounds via music analysis; philosophical reflection on the efficiency of communication in musicology; evaluation of the impact of researchers’ musical experiences on their work; and the influence of familiarity in music education. Part III, ’Performance’, focuses on the effects of familiarity in relation to different aspects of Western art and popular performance, including learning and memorizing music; examination of ’groove’ in popular performance; exploration of the role of familiarity in shaping socio-emotional behaviour between members of an ensemble; and consideration about the effects of the unique type of familiarity gained by musicians through the act of performance itself.
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.