Why do we like music? Why do we invest so much time, effort and passion into music? Why do we identify so strongly with the music that we like to hear and perform? People have been asking questions like this for millennia.
Is music an evolutionary adaptation or an evolutionary byproduct? Is it a form of social glue or a cue to partner selection? Auditory drug or ritual feature? If music can be all of these things, what is the real answer to the question of why we like it so much?
These are some overarching questions asked by systematic musicologists. At a more detailed level, there are thousands more interesting research questions. For example research in every subdiscipline of psychology raises interesting musical issues that systematic musicologists may address either empirically or theoretically.
The Centre for Systematic Musicology addresses both the big picture and the detail. We are particularly interested musical and other abilities and the perception of musical structures (tonality, rhythm) and emotion. Although our approach is mainly scientific (empirically based quantitative research in the tradition of physics, psychology and neuroscience), we also "systematically" incorporate and promote the musical humanities and practice-based disciplines.
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