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Sound Theology: Disc 1
Sound Theology: Disc 1

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rundman takes risk - scores big, April 1, 2002
This review is from: Sound Theology: Disc 1 (Audio CD)
In this ambitious collection of songs, Rundman reaches new heights as a songwriter and singer. He experiments with diverse musical styles -- including a couple of witty forays into 70s pop and disco -- while still filling out the substance of this album with his own compelling style of Americana roots rock. Nominally inspired by his Christian faith, this is NOT an album of simple or one-dimensional devotions, but rather, a complex tapestry of lyrics and music that reflect the artist's ongoing struggle with his own faith, and with the people and music that inhabit the world around him. Rundman staunchly avoids preaching, offering platitudes, or solutions, but instead, finds what is common in all of us. Whether singing about his girlfriend, a midwest tornado that nearly took his life, or being on the road, he is able to tap into the universal experience. All of Rundman's albums are excellent. This one is possibly the best of them all. He is somewhere in the space between John Prine, Liz Phair, James Taylor and REO Speedwagon, if that makes any sense, but he is definitely an original.

Psychology and Life
Psychology and Life
by Philip Zimbardo
Edition: Hardcover
6 used & new from $88.00

23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Psychology and Life - One of the best "intro" books, June 1, 2000
This review is from: Psychology and Life (Hardcover)
I have about 30 introductory psychology books on my shelf, and none is more dog-eared and appreciated than this latest edition by Zimbardo and Gerrig. The breadth of coverage is astonishing, and they do so without sacrificing depth - several of the chapters (such as the outstanding ones on sensation and perception) are rigorous enough even for a graduate course in cognition.
The style is eminently readable and still manages to cover all the important points. This is one of the best selling textbooks in the field of psychology with a long history of satisfied students and instructors, and this is no accident.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 19, 2011 6:43 PM PDT

The Psychology of Music, Second Edition (Cognition and Perception)
The Psychology of Music, Second Edition (Cognition and Perception)
by Diana Deutsch
Edition: Paperback
31 used & new from $6.52

95 of 101 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Psychology of Music, Second Edition, March 30, 2000
This Second Edition of Deutsch's seminal work opens with a chapter by John R. Pierce, which provides a whistle-stop tour through nearly every concept important to the perception end of music psychology, touching on major findings in the physics of sound, time resolution of the ear, theories of consonance, pitch perception, Fourier analysis and spectra, the science of singing, speech, timbre, scales and tuning.
Schroeder's Chapter 2 describes modern attempts to understand the mathematics of acoustical design. Weinberger's "Music and the auditory system" is an indispensable review of auditory system anatomy, functional organization of the auditory pathway, attention and learning. In Chapter 4, Rasch and Plomp explain that the perception of complex tones can be conceived as a pattern recognition process. Risset & Wessel completely reorganized their chapter on timbre with new sections on global/non-linear synthesis, sampling, controlling musical prosody in Real Time Synthesis, and an expanded section on physical modeling. "The perception of singing" by Sundberg explains that the choice of acoustic characteristic of vowel sounds that singers learn to adopt represents deviations from typical, normal speech for specific requirements of performance and intelligibility.
Chapter 7 by Burns comprises an essential treatment of psychophysical and perceptual studies relating to the human perception of pitch and pitch relations. The chapter has been completely reworked, and Burns employs smoothly pellucid prose, making it my favorite chapter of the book (tied with Dowling's). "Absolute pitch" (by Dixon Ward) is an updated, comprehensive overview of 100 years of research, summarizing key theories and a host of methodological traps in the study of this poorly understood ability.
Chapter 9 by Deutsch surveys the literature on auditory scene analysis, stream segregation, and the attempts to find auditory correlates to the Gestalt principles of visual grouping. In Chapter 10, Deutsch discusses feature abstraction and its neural substrates, local vs. global processing, hierarchical encoding, memory for music, and a thorough review of the various auditory illusions and paradoxes that Deutsch has been studying for more than 20 years.
The third entry new to this edition is Bharucha's "Neural nets, temporal composites, and tonality." Neural nets have demonstrated (with varying degrees of success) learning of pitch class, chords, keys, and musical style, and provide "a framework in which aspects of cognition can be understood as the result of the neural association of patterns" (p. 413).
In "Hierarchical expectation and musical style," Narmour gives a cogent overview of his implication-realization model enhanced by his more recent ideas about the role in music listening of bottom-up and top-down processing, schemata, and "filling in" of missing (or implied) tonal elements. Eric Clarke's "Rhythm and timing in music" surveys research on rhythmic grouping, meter, perception and production of timing, and the relation between musical timing and movement. Gabrielsson's entry on "Music performance" reviews the literature on performance planning, sight-reading, improvisation, feedback, motor processes, measurements, physical, psychological, and social factors affecting performance, and performance evaluation. In "Development of music perception and cognition" Dowling concludes that there is a converging body of evidence suggesting that "memory for music typically operates in terms of more precise representations of particular stimuli than has been generally thought," (p. 620) and with this makes an important link to current "multi-trace theories" of memory. Rosamond Shuter-Dyson's contribution on "Musical ability" has improved in organization with reworked sections on concepts, methods, and studies of musical aptitude, achievement, and ability, as well as investigations into correlations between music and other cognitive abilities. Perry and Marin's "Neurological aspects of music perception and performance" is the best single source of information on the topic including discussions of amusia, auditory agnosia and verbal deafness, and the current state of knowledge about functional localization of various component abilities in music perception, understanding, and production. Capping the volume is Edward Carterette and Roger Kendall's, "Comparative music perception and cognition," which roves across the ethnomusicological landscape with a fairly in-depth treatment of pitch systems (including structural, perceptual, and tonality issues in Indian and other Asian musics).
On the other hand ... The book does have its biases which trace their roots to the first edition, and chief among them is that it focuses almost exclusively on the cognitive psychology of music, a bias I can understand given that Deutsch is a cognitive psychologist. As it is, the book is so eminently coherent that it would be a mistake to change it or add to it; but it would have been more accurate to title it "The Cognitive Psychology of Music," so as not to lure readers interested in topics not covered. In particular, there is minimal coverage of music therapy, personality and individual differences, learning, music education, musical imagery, musical savants, the social psychology of music, or the role of music in people's lives. And not covered at all are the following intrinsically interesting, and potentially important topics: musicogenic epilepsy (e.g., Critchley, 1977; seizures induced by music listening, often by listening to one's favorite song!); memory for music in naturalistic contexts, á la Wallace and Rubin (1988a; 1988b); the nature of talent (whether musical ability is learned or genetically transmitted, as was insightfully explored by Howe, Davidson & Sloboda, 1998); chromesthesia and other synesthesias (Baron-Cohen & Cytowic, 1989); and theories of musical emotion. After reading the entire book I am no closer to understanding why music moves us; why we like music; or why, as Stewart Hulse (1985) asked in his review of the first edition, yesterday's noise becomes today's musical favorite. I am not faulting the book for this - at 800 pages it is already long enough - I only point this out so that readers (and potential purchasers) will know what to expect. And to be fair, the answers to these last three questions are probably not known, but I would at least have liked to read about the struggle to deal with them. --Daniel J. Levitin, Asst. Professor, Dept. of Psychology McGill University

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