Online test for my master’s thesis

Dear readers,

I am in the early stages of testing for the online component of my master’s dissertation. Before I send this out to large mailing lists, I want to make sure that all the programming in place works properly.

Disclaimer: You do NOT have to have absolute/perfect pitch, and/or synesthesia of any sort to take this test. If you do it’s a bonus, but the point is to get as many people as possible to take it!

If you have approximately 20-30 minutes to spare, have interest in absolute/perfect pitch and tone-color synesthesia, and are able to take a test that uses sound, please help me (and science) out! Here is the link:

Thank you so much!

Thought process when writing a graduate school statement of purpose for a research PhD

You make a feeble attempt at creating an eye-catching, possibly witty, and definitively memorable opening statement. All at once. You cross this sentence out, rewrite it, and re-rewrite it. Rinse and repeat for about 4 hours. You finally write a sentence about this statement that you made, perhaps with some qualification about what exactly that statement meant. You may possibly recollect a younger, more foolish hopeful and inspired you. Segue into your amazingly detailed but concise autobiography here. Remember, you only have 1000 words or less (in most instances) to make your case.

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What is Music Cognition – A Primer

Considering that the field of music cognition has only started offering Masters degrees in the past ten years or so, it is a safe assumption that not many people know a whole lot about it. Those that do encounter the term in passing may simply scratch their heads and, if someone does not help enlighten them, will simply brush it off as us silly humanities people trying to be scientific. My goal is to have you, my awesome readers, walk/click away from here with a better understanding of the field of music cognition. Rest assured, this is pure, rigorous science backed by neuroscientists, psychologists, and musicians all at once. There’s nothing touchy-feely about this research…minus the music as healing part. More on that later, of course.

Oh yes, I ought to mention that I wish to contribute research to the music psychology/cognition sub-field during my career, so that is why I’m talking about this highly fascinating subject (to me, anyways, and hopefully to you as well). I’m writing this with as little citations as needed and am drawing from my own personal knowledge and understanding. At the end, I have included links of interest related to music cognition.

So first, on to the fundamental question: what is music cognition? The term “music cognition” is an overarching term that actually covers three subdivisions: computational models of music, music psychology/cognition, and music theory. Like all fields of study with subdivisions, there is some overlap here and there in the fields. Having taken courses in all of these, I can say a few things about these subdivisions.

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My Honors Thesis and Research

I know this may interest some of you or utterly bore some of you, but many of you asked me about my honors research and thesis in a variety of ways:

“How goes the thesis monster?”
“What are you…ew… never mind I’ll come back later”
“You’ve been starring very intently at that blank page for a while. What’re you writing?”  Continue reading