First cycle
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Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Psychology
Course unit
PSP5070339, A.A. 2019/20

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2019/20

Information on the course unit
Degree course Second cycle degree in
PS1978, Degree course structure A.Y. 2017/18, A.Y. 2019/20
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Number of ECTS credits allocated 6.0
Type of assessment Mark
Course unit English denomination PSYCHOLOGY OF MUSIC
Department of reference Department of General Psychology
Mandatory attendance No
Language of instruction English
Single Course unit The Course unit can be attended under the option Single Course unit attendance
Optional Course unit The Course unit can be chosen as Optional Course unit

Teacher in charge MASSIMO GRASSI M-PSI/01

ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Core courses M-PSI/01 General Psychology 6.0

Course unit organization
Period Second semester
Year 1st Year
Teaching method frontal

Type of hours Credits Teaching
Hours of
Individual study
Lecture 6.0 42 108.0 No turn

Start of activities 02/03/2020
End of activities 12/06/2020
Show course schedule 2019/20 Reg.2017 course timetable

Examination board
Board From To Members of the board
5 2019 01/10/2019 30/09/2020 GRASSI MASSIMO (Presidente)
BEGLIOMINI CHIARA (Membro Effettivo)
CAMPANA GIANLUCA (Membro Effettivo)

Prerequisites: Psychology of music will be illustrated from the point of view of cognitive science. Therefore, the student needs to have clear in his/hers mind the main concepts of cognitive psychology such as perception, attention, memory, learning and intelligence. In addition, because I will show several results of quasi experimental and correlational studies, it is important that the students has a solid methodological background. If the student needs to review the above topics, s/he can use any textbook of cognitive psychology.

The exam, the lessons and all the materials of the course are in English.
Target skills and knowledge: This course introduces the student to the most advanced issues of the Psychology of Music. Whenever it is possible, the student will be introduced to the application of the concepts of psychology of music in the everyday life. During the course I will highlight the positive aspects of music listening (e.g., inducing a positive mood, relaxation, etc.) and the positive aspects connected to musical practice (e.g. better memory skills, spatial skills, etc.). I will provide the student all the necessary information to understand autonomously whether the results of the literature are reliable.

By the end of the course the student should possess all the knowledge that is necessary and sufficient to exploit music (music listening or short music trainings) as a tool to improve cognition and welfare.
Examination methods: The exam can be taken in two alternative ways. The student can decide to take the exam in one (or the other) way at any time.

Option 1. In Option 1 the exam is a questionnaire including 56 questions (multiple choice or true or false). The time to complete the questionnaire is 50 minutes. If the course is hosting a visiting professor, the materials presented by the visiting professor are not included in the questions of the exam. The student can ask for an additional oral exam to top-up the mark (or the number of credits in the case of Erasmus).

Option 2. The students are asked to perform the direct replication of one literature experiment. The direct replication can be performed individually or in groups (I recommend no more than five students per group). Students need to contact the teacher to select the study and to set how the replication has to be performed. After the experiment has been selected and carried out, the student(s) needs to write a short report (max 7/8 pages including figures) that includes:
[1] the question that the experiment is addressing and what topics and concepts of the course it is addressing;
[2] the experimental method;
[3] the results. Results have to be presented via graphs and descriptive statistics (compulsory) but the student(s) can also add inferential statistics or more complex statistical analysis;
[4] a discussion that compares the results with the question and the results of the replication with the results of the original experiment. Plus, the student(s) needs to highlight the limits of the experiment (original and replication).
In the moodle page of the course students can find a template that can be used to write the short report.
Assessment criteria: Option 1. In the questionnaire each question has one correct answer per question. Each correct response receives 1 point and each wrong response receives -1/3 points and blank responses receive zero points. The sum of correct, incorrect and blank responses is calculated, the resulting score is multiplied by thirty and rounded. If the resulting score is equal or greater than 32 the mark of the student is "30 e lode", if the resulting score is 31 the mark of the student is "30", in all remaining cases the mark of the student is equal to the score (e.g., score equal to "24", mark equal to "24"). If the score is equal or lower than 17, the mark of the student is insufficient.

Option 2. At least one week before the exam the student has to send the report to the professor. The day of the exam, the report is discussed individually in an oral examination. The final mark will depend upon the oral examination and will be evaluated according to the following criteria: complexity/difficulty of the selected-replication weighted by the number of students participating in the replication group. Clarity of the written report. In particular: integration of the course contents with the replication; clarity in presenting the question; clarity in representing the data and the results; clarity and cleverness of the discussion in particular about presenting the limits of the experiment and the critical points of the study and the suggestion to improve the study.
Course unit contents: The course is divided in two parts. In the first I will teach the facts that are necessary to understand the topic (i.e., acoustics, music theory, methodology, physiology) and successively I will teach the topics linked to music psychology. The aim of the first part of the course is to provide the students the necessary tools to understand independently the literature of auditory perception and psychology of music.

Basic concepts:
- sound, sound waves and acoustics
- the sound in music and music theory
- the methods of psychology of music
- anatomy and physiology of the auditory system
- loudness and absolute threshold

Psychology of music contents:
- music training in hearing loss
- music training in aphasia
- psychoacoustics and mp3
- music and cognition: Mozart effect
- music and cognition: background music and cognition
- music and cognition: music talent and cognition
- music and cognition: the cognitive abilities of musicians and nonmusicians
- pitch: illusions
- pitch: pitch coding of simple and complex tones
- pitch: musical intervals, harmonic and melodic
- pitch: consonance
- pitch: the representation of pitch
- pitch: amusia
- pitch: absolute pitch
- music as a universal language: music perception in infants
- music as a universal language: music perception in animals
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: Lectures. Students will be also asked to participate in the psychology of music experiments that may be carried out during the course. This will enable the student to practice some of the concepts discussed in the course.
The student is encouraged to use moodle as much as possible: in the moodle-page of the course, the student will find videos, audio examples and links related to the psychology of music. All the materials in moodle are in English. Some of the tools introduced in the lectures (e.g. PROMS) will be also tested in class.
Additional notes about suggested reading: Materials for the exam will be taken from:
- Deutsch (2013). The psychology of music (third edition). Academic Press. (chapter 1, 4, 5, 6, 12, 13, 14, 16)
- slides (slides can be found in the moodle-page of the course)
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)
  • Deutsch, The psychology of music (third edition). London: Academic Press, 2013. Capitoli (chapters) 1, 4, 5, 6, 12, 13, 14, 16 Cerca nel catalogo

Innovative teaching methods: Teaching and learning strategies
  • Lecturing
  • Laboratory
  • Working in group
  • Use of online videos
  • Loading of files and pages (web pages, Moodle, ...)

Innovative teaching methods: Software or applications used
  • Moodle (files, quizzes, workshops, ...)

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
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