The complex cognitive and social mechanisms responsible for human musical behavior are topics of great interest to scientific disciplines such as psychology and neuroscience. Many of the concepts with which these disciplines operate, however, are inheritances of past musical practices and theories, some of them centuries old, and many of them tied to particular cultures and ways of thought. The goal of the “Histories of Music, Mind, and Body” Research Group is to investigate the ways in which scientists, practitioners, and the public have thought, and still think, about music: its component elements, its structures and conventions, and its corporeal, emotional, and aesthetic effects. Departing from traditional musicological approaches which often consider these features individually, we triangulate between histories of music, mind, and body to illuminate the conceptual lineages of the ideas about music which continue to influence research in music cognition today.
This project traces the role of music in theories of the mind and body, as well as the ways in which understandings of the mind and body have been historically applied to explain the effects of music during the period bookended by Descartes and Charcot.
This anthology aims to capture the range and variety of human music theorizing by offering excerpts (with commentary) of more than three hundred documents selected from across the world’s musical traditions.
Heraclitus, invoking the tensed string of a bow, conceived harmony as the stasis and equilibrium of conflicting forces held in continuing tension. Plato in the Symposium rejects this view in favor of a concept of harmony in which all conflict must already have been resolved.
This book focuses on the proto-cognitivist music theory advanced by John Holden (1729-1772) and on its afterlife in the work of a remarkable pair of Scottish siblings, Walter (1745-1814) and Anne Young (1756-1811)...
This open-access database features digitized original-language versions of all of the music-theoretical sources included in the Global Anthology of Sources in the History of Music Theory, and will then gradually expand to include sources beyond the reader.
This book examines the dissolution, and at the same time some especially noteworthy ramifications, of speculative music theory in the Pythagorean style, the central component of what the Middle Ages and Renaissance called musica theorica.
June 2021 – present
Prof. Marc Perlman (Brown University)
October 2019 – July 2020:
Prof. Thomas Christensen (University of Chicago)
August – October 2018:
Prof. Nathan Martin (University of Michigan)
James Grande and Carmel Raz, eds. Sound and Sense in British Romanticism. Cambridge University Press, 2023. Link
David E. Cohen, “‘A Body Composed of Many Parts’: The Concept of Harmony in Leonardo da Vinci’s Paragone.” Music and Visual Culture in Renaissance Italy, ed. Chriscinda Henry and Tim Shephard. Routledge, 2023. DOI : 10.4324 / 9781003029380-3. Link
Russell O'Rourke, “Armida on the Beach: A Cinquecento Rhetorical Model of the Emotions and its Musical Reception.” Forthcoming, Journal of the American Musicological Society 76.3
Carmel Raz, “Hector Berlioz’s Neurophysiological Imagination.” Journal of the American Musicological Society 75.1 (2022): 1-37. Link
David E. Cohen, “Melodia and the 'Disposition of the Soul': Giulio Cesare Monteverdi’s ‘Platonic’ Defense of the Seconda Pratica.” Journal of Musicology 39.2 (2022): 180-209. Link
Caleb Mutch, “‘Something Else is Possible’: Transcultural Collaboration as Anti-Apartheid Activism in the Music of Juluka.” Popular Music 44.2 doi:10.1017/S026114302100043X Link
Carmel Raz, “Sound Minds and Tuning Forks: Neuroscience’s Vibratory Histories,” in The Science-Music Borderlands: Reckoning with the Past and Imagining the Future, ed. Elizabeth Hellmuth Margulis, Psyche Loui, and Deirdre Loughridge. MIT Press, 115-129.
David E. Cohen, “From Ramos to Rameau: Toward the Origins of the Modern Concept of Harmony.” Journal of Music Theory 66,1 (Spring 2022): 1-42. Link
Caleb Mutch, “How the Triad Took (a) Root,” Journal of Music Theory 66.1 (Spring 2022): 43-62. Link
Carmel Raz, “‘To ‘Fill Up, Completely, the Whole Capacity of the Mind’: Listening with Attention in Late Eighteenth-Century Scotland.” Music Theory Spectrum 44.1 (2022): 141-154. Link.
David E. Cohen, “‘Latet discordantia quartae’: An Early Natural-Scientific Explanation of Upper-Voice Fourths.” Music and Science from Leonardo to Galileo, ed. Victor Coelho and Rudolf Rasch. Brepols, 3-19. Link
Carmel Raz, “The Kinetic Universe of Philippe Leroux’s De La Texture (2007): Drum Rudiments, Waveform Profiles, and Process Polyphony.” Music Theory & Analysis 8.2 (2021): 327-340. Link
Caleb Mutch, “Canons and Contestable Cadences in Brahms’s Op. 118 No. 4.” Music Theory & Analysis 8.1 (2021), 143-151. Link
Carmel Raz, “Séances, “Sperrits,” and Self-Playing Accordions: Musical Instruments in Victorian Spiritualism.” Journal of Musicology 38.2 (2021). Link
Carmel Raz, “How the Sheng became a Harp,” Journal of Sound Studies 6.2 (2020): 239–56. DOI: 10.1080/20551940.2020.1794648 Link.
David E. Cohen, “Before and After John of Garland: The Concept of Directed Dyadic Progression and Its Prehistory.” Music Theory & Analysis 7.1 (2020), 63-113. Link
Carmel Raz and Francesca Brittan, “Attention, Anxiety, and Audition’s Histories,” introduction to colloquy on “Music and Forms of Attention in the Long Nineteenth Century.” Journal of the American Musicological Society 72.2 (2019), 541–546. Link.
Carmel Raz, “Talking to the Hand: The “Hysterical Epistemology” of the Migrating Sensorium.” Colloquy on “Music and Forms of Attention in the Long Nineteenth Century.” Journal of the American Musicological Society 72.2 (2019), 552–557. Link.
Carmel Raz, “Operatic Fantasies in Early Nineteenth-Century Psychiatry.” In Nineteenth-Century Opera and the Scientific Imagination, ed. David Trippett and Benjamin Walton. Cambridge University Press, 2019, 63–83. Link.
Carmel Raz, “Music of the Squares: David Ramsay Hay and the Reinvention of Pythagorean Aesthetics,” Public Domain Review, May 16, 2019. Link.
Carmel Raz, David E. Cohen, Roger M. Grant, Andrew Hicks, Nathan J. Martin, Caleb Mutch, Melanie Wald-Fuhrmann, Felix Wörner, and Anna Zayaruznaya, “Going Global, in Theory,” Musicological Brainfood 3.1 (2019). Link.
Carmel Raz and Stanley Finger, “Musical Glasses, Metal Reeds, and Broken Hearts: Two Cases of Melancholia Treated by New Musical Instruments.” In The Routledge Companion to Music, Mind and Wellbeing: Historical and Scientific Perspectives, ed. Penelope Gouk, Jacomien Prins, Wiebke Thormaehlen, and James Kennaway. Routledge, 2018, 77–92. Link
Carmel Raz, “An Eighteenth-Century Theory of Musical Cognition? John Holden’s Essay Toward a Rational System of Music (1770),” Journal of Music Theory 62.2 (October, 2018): 205–248. Link
Carmel Raz, “Anne Young’s Introduction to Music (1803): Pedagogical, Speculative, and Ludic Music Theory,” SMT-V: Videocast Journal of the Society for Music Theory 4.3 (October, 2018). Link
Carmel Raz, “Anne Young’s Musical Games (1801): Music Theory, Gender, and Game Design,” SMT-V: Videocast Journal of the Society for Music Theory 4.2 (September, 2018). Link
David E. Cohen, “Rhythm, Number, and Heraclitus' River,” AMS / SMT History of Music Theory Blog, August 2018. Link