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And that’s a wrap!

For those of you interested in pursuing this body of knowledge further, here’s some more resources.
So thanks again for joining us. We look forward to hearing your comments and feedback on the course. We hope it’s been as rewarding for you as it has been for us and that you’ve come away with a new understanding of the music that you love.
For those of you interested in pursuing this body of knowledge further, here’s some more resources.

Firstly, in the music psychology course Tim teaches through the Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University, the textbook used is ‘Music, Mind, And Feeling: Understanding The Psychology Of Music’ by William Forde Thompson. This is an up-to-date and quite approachable textbook written by an expert in the field, and is a good place to start.

For those who might be interested in something less like a text book, there are some good, relatively recent, books on music psychology aimed at popular audiences including

  • ‘Musicophilia’ by Oliver Sacks (which focuses on music in people with brain injuries or unusual brains, and is beautifully written),

  • ‘This Is Your Brain On Music’ by Daniel Levitin (which focuses on music and the brain more generally), and
  • ‘You Are The Music’ by Victoria Williamson (which focuses on music and the mind). and

  • If you have ever enjoyed listening to a sad song, you might like to read a book by Dr. Sandra Garrido, called ‘Why Are We Attracted to Sad Music’?.

Additionally, for those with a more musical focus, Elizabeth Margulis’s, ‘On Repeat: How Music Plays The Mind’, looks at the intersection of music theory and music psychology, and is a much more in-depth treatment of the information in this course.

If you’re interested in a very detailed academic-level argument about the nature of music and expectation, David Huron’s, ‘Sweet Anticipation’, is what a lot of the information in this course is based on.

Additionally, there is a list of local academic societies in different countries/geographical areas to do with the psychology of music: ICMPC Participating Societies.

Finally there are a bunch of great resources at Victoria Williamson’s website, Music Psychology.

Your task

Please use the comments link to let us know:

  • How has your understanding of music changed as a result of doing this course?
  • Were there any comments that other learners made that you found particularly interesting?


Huron, D. (2006). Sweet Anticipation: Music and the Psychology of Expectation. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press.

Levitin, D. J. (2007). This Is Your Brain On Music: The Science Of A Human Obsession. London, UK: Plume/Penguin.

Margulis, E. H. (2013). On Repeat: How Music Plays The Mind. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Sacks, O. (2008). Musicophilia: Tales Of Music And The Brain. New York, NY: Vintage. Thompson, W. F. (2014). Music Mind And Feeling: Understanding The Psychology Of Music. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Williamson, V. (2013). You Are The Music: How Music Reveals What It Means To Be Human. London, UK: Icon.

Garrido, S. (2017). Why Are We Attracted to Sad Music?. London, UK: Palgrave Macmillan

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