THIS issue presents two target articles with accompanying commentaries, profiling work conducted in the laboratory of David Huron (Ohio State University). In their article on the interaction of music and lyrics, Randolph B. Johnson, David Huron and Lauren Collister report empirical evidence showing that the comprehension of sung words is improved by the presence of dipthongs and word repetition, but worsened by archaic language, melismatic settings, mismatch of prosodic and musical rhythm, and rhyming of target words. Jane Ginsborg and Edward Wickham provide a critique of the method and findings drawing on their expertise as scholars and performers. In "You Can't Play a Sad Song on the Banjo", David Huron, Neesha Anderson and Daniel Shanahan examine the acoustic factors influencing perception of sadness in the sound of different musical instruments. Whereas they suggest that low physical energy is the common characteristic underpinning perception of sadness in instrumental sound, Jonna K. Vuoskoski interprets these findings in relation to characteristics of sad vocal expression.
Empirical Musicology Review (EMR) aims to provide an international forum promoting the understanding of music in all of its facets. In particular, EMR aims to facilitate communication and debate between scholars engaged in systematic and observation-based music scholarship. Debate is promoted through publication of commentaries on research articles.
EMR publishes original research articles, commentaries, editorials, book reviews, interviews, letters, and data sets. Suitable topics include music history, performance, theory, education, and composition -- with an emphasis on systematic methods, such as hypothesis-testing, modeling, and controlled observation. Submissions pertaining to social, political, cultural and economic phenomena are welcome. Theoretical and speculative articles are welcome provided they contribute to the forming of empirically testable hypotheses, models or theories, or they provide critiques of methodology.
EMR was founded by David Huron and David Butler in 2004 and began publishing in January 2006. The editorial process for EMR pioneers a new "Public Peer Review" practice that is intended to encourage scholarly dialog and reward reviewers for timely and thoughtful engagement with submissions. Previous editors include David Butler, William Forde Thompson, Peter Keller, Nicola Dibben, Renee Timmers, and Daniel Shanahan. The current editors are Niels Chr. Hansen and Daniel Müllensiefen.