HC221H: Music and Emotion

Professor: Zachary Wallmark

4.00 credits

  • CRN 21043: Wednesday & Friday, 1200-1320 @ CHA 201

How does music move us? In this discussion and activity-based introduction to the psychology, philosophy, and history of music and emotion, we will explore contemporary approaches to the music-emotion connection from music theory, musicology, and cognitive science.

Topics will include: evolutionary perspectives, theories of musical expectation (prediction, tonality, repetition, surprise), social psychology, and sociology of music. Students will engage with the scholarly literature on musical affect, with a focus on applying theory and research to diverse musical case studies. The class will culminate in a final annotated playlist project that synthesizes music analysis and psychology to explore the affective basis of music in a context chosen by the student.