Intercultural music psychology Better late than never. Richard Parncutt Centre for Systematic Musicology University of Graz, Austria Joint Meeting of the National Committees o f Austria, Slovenia, Croatia and Slovakia of the International Council for Traditional Music
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Centre for Systematic Musicology
University of Graz, Austria
Joint Meeting of the National Committees
of Austria, Slovenia, Croatia and Slovakia
of the International Council for Traditional Music
Vienna, Austria, 27 May 2011
Any social group
Definition of group membership
religions, academic disciplines…
Short term aim
Long term aim
Equal rights and obligations
Analysis, exposure and deconstruction of implicit theories of
One billion people are hungry. They are mostly black.
A child dies due to hunger or poverty every 5 s.
International Conference on
Financing for Development
Monterrey, Mexico, 2002
world’s 22 richest countries
pledge: 0.7% of national income in ODA
(official developmental assistance)
~$200 billion/year (cf. Iraq war: ~$100 bn/year)
~could eliminate extreme poverty (Sachs, 2005)
Average current level of ODA ~0.33%
includes multi-, cross- and transcultural
psychol. research methods musical questions
Intercultural music psychology
equal, deep, detailedcollaboration
1. Object of study
Individual musical “cultures”
Ethnomusicology (mainly humanities)
Music psychology (mainly sciences
Have you ever thought that scientists* have no right to talk about non-Western cultures or intercultural comparison?
Has a scientist* ever given you the impression that ethnomusicologists have no right to talk about sciences such as music psychology?
“Science” in English refers to natural, social and formal sciences; excludes humanities
1. Cultural relativism versus universalism
2. Humanities versus sciences
Aim in both cases: an appropriate balance
Take advantageoftheunused potential ofinterdisciplinarity?
Practicaldifficulty: become a psychologist, get a job, thengo on ethnomusicologicalfieldtrip?!
Empiricaldemoofeffectofenculturation on musiccognition
“It is clear from these results that any study of music cognition needs to consider the match between the culture of the listener and that of the stimulus material. Future work examining ‘universal’ properties of music processing must include participants and musics from several distinct cultures to account for possible effects of enculturation. Research in music cognition that includes diverse music and subject populations will provide an effective empirical complement to the qualitative work of anthropologists and ethnomusicologists and lead to a more unified view of the role of culture in shaping cognitive development in music.” (p. 221)
3 psychological components, all universal?
Arguments for a cross-cultural approach
“Of critical importance in cross-cultural research is an awareness of one‘s own cultural perspectives and how they can bias every facet of the research, from the question being asked, to the methodology employed, to the analysis strategy employed, to the interpretation of observations. Consulting with members of the cultures under investigation is one important way of increasing an awareness of one‘s biases.” (p. 759)
“Cross-cultural emotional decoding”:
In evolutionary psychology we separate
…ismusicitself an adaptation?
relationbetweenearlymusicalpredispositions & enculturation?
+ pulse (Winkler et al., 2009; Phillips-Silver & Trainor, 2005)
These are “predispositions”
“evident in infancy, before they have obvious utility”
selection for music (mate attraction, training, social glue, motherese…)
prenatal exposure to changing maternal sound, movement and hormone levels
Both imply universal musical sensitivities!
Hot topic in musicpsychology
e.g. Juslin & Sloboda (2010)
e.g. in rock: joyandanger
Not evenunderstood in West
My tip for psychologists: To avoid reification, anchor emotions to functions (survival, reproduction)
After World War Two
Interdisciplinary peer-review procedures
Forums for constructive interaction among all subdisciplines or paradigms of musicology:
analytical, applied, comparative, cultural, empirical, ethnological, historical, popular, scientific, systematic, theoretic
...and all musically relevant disciplines:
acoustics, aesthetics, anthropology, archeology, art history and theory, biology, composition, computing, cultural studies, economics, education, ethnology, gender studies, history, linguistics, literary studies, mathematics, medicine, music theory and analysis, neurosciences, perception, performance, philosophy, physiology, prehistory, psychoacoustics, psychology, religious studies, semiotics, sociology, statistics, therapy
promote interdisciplinary collaboration within musicology
All contributions have at least two authors. They represent at least two of the following three groups: humanities, sciences, practically oriented disciplines.
focus on quality rather than quantity
Academic standards are promoted by anonymous peer review of submitted abstracts by independent international experts in relevant (sub-) disciplines. The review procedure is transparent, and the reviews are impersonal and constructive.
promote musicology's unity in diversity
CIM promotes all interdisciplinary music research and treats all musically relevant disciplines and musicological subdisciplines equally.
1600 1700 1800 1900 2000
Ambiguous use of word “musicology”
Ambiguous use of “science”
Status of humanities
Europeans can’t evaluate Ghanaian music
Psychologists can’t evaluate historical research