July 2014 - News!

Conferences, Symposiums, Workshops     view all upcoming

  • Researchers and other interested people are invited to come to Linköping, Sweden for the First international meeting on Internet & Audiology, which will be held the 3-4 October 2014. This is not a typical conference as there will be no conference fee. Abstracts for short presentations (15 minutes) which present new and innovative research are invited; submission deadline is July 15, 2014  Website


  • Dr. Bing-Yi Pan is presenting a paper at The Canadian Society for Brain, Behaviour and Cognitive Science (CSBBCS) conference in early July:  Pan, B.Y., & Cohen, A.J. (2014). Music training enhances implicit imitation of timing in both music and language domains.

The AIRS Test Battery of Singing Skills was employed to explore whether music training enhances the implicit rhythm acquisition in music and language imitating. 20 musicians and 20 non-musicians were asked to repeat 17 speaking and singing pieces after voice models. Normalized rhythms (responding rhythm divided by model rhythm) were compared. Over all 17 (4 language tasks) comparisons, musicians’ mean performances were closer to the model.


Recent Publications

  • Arla J. Good, Frank A. Russo, & Jennifer Sullivan. (2014). The efficacy of singing in foreign-language learning. Psychology of Music. DOI:  10.1177/0305735614528833

    This study extends the popular notion that memory for text can be supported by song to foreign-language learning. Singing can be intrinsically motivating, attention focusing, and simply enjoyable for learners of all ages. The melodic and rhythmic context of song enhances recall of native text; however, there is limited evidence that these benefits extend to foreign text. In this study, Spanish-speaking Ecuadorian children learned a novel English passage for 2 weeks. Children in a sung condition learned the passage as a song and children in the spoken condition learned the passage as an oral poem. Children were tested on their ability to recall the passage verbatim, pronounce English vowel sounds, and translate target terms from English to Spanish. As predicted, children in the sung condition outperformed children in the spoken condition in all three domains. The song advantage persevered after a 6-month delay. Findings have important implications for foreign language instruction.

  • Patrick E. Savage & Steven Brown. (2014). Mapping music: Cluster analysis of song-type frequencies within and between cultures. Ethnomusicology, 58(1), 133-155.

Understanding cross-cultural patterns of musical diversity requires some method of visualizing these patterns using maps. The traditional methods of cross-cultural comparison have been criticized for ignoring the rich diversity of musical styles that exists within each culture. We present a compromise solution in which we map the relative frequencies of different "cantogroups" (stylistic song-types) both within and between cultures. Applying this method to 259 traditional group songs from twelve indigenous peoples of Taiwan, we identified five major cantogroups, the frequencies of which varied across the twelve groups. From this information, we were able to create musical maps of Taiwan.


  • Annabel J. Cohen. (2014). Resolving the paradox of film music through a cognitive narrative approach to film comprehension. In The Social Science of Cinema edited by James C. Kaufman & Dean Keith Simonton. Oxford University Press.

In the cinematic context, the domain of sound is typically taken for granted and subordinated by visual information. People go to concerts to hear music, and they go to the cinema to see a film. Yet music plays an important role in the cinema. It has done so since its earliest days, when live piano accompanied silent films, initially to mask the noise of the film projector and later to serve dramatic functions (Marks, 1997). Every theater for silent film employed live musicians. At the peak of the silent film era in the late 1920s, musicians in the Western world owed their livelihood to silent film: more than 80 percent of performing musicians in the United Kingdom, for example worked in silent film theaters (Cooke, 2008, p. 46). The success of The Jazz Singer in 1927, the first feature film with recorded speech and music, heralded the arrival of the "talkies" and the demise of the music for silent film industry.



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