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.