THIS issue of Empirical Musicology Review, the first in our fifteenth volume, contains some exciting new work on both the perception of song lyrics and the post-tonal music of the early twentieth century, as well as commentaries, responses to commentaries, and reviews of a number of recently published works in the field. Each of these articles is accompanied by commentaries suggesting ways of expanding these original theories and possible avenues for further analysis. In a study with an admirably large number of participants, Yke Schotanus's findings support the notion that singing facilitated the perception of lyrics and that music affected the emotional meaning of lyrics, specifically in terms of repeated phrases. Chris Lee points to some areas in need of methodological improvement, and questions whether these findings would be appropriately generalizable. Relatedly, Schotanus also provides a commentary on Sun and Cuthbert (2017), who similarly explored the relationship between text and affect. Additionally, Lahdelma and Eerola respond to a commentary by Michael Spitzer (2019) focusing on their article (Lahdelma & Eerola, 2015), in which they take issue with the treatment of nostalgia and tension in the perception of isolated chords, and they respond to the suggested role of appoggiatura as a marker of nostalgia.
Yvonne Teo's work explores the nature of physical and acoustical factors in the perception of tension in post-tonal music. In an accompanying commentary, Caitlyn Trevor, situates this work within the larger body of work focusing on the aspects of embodiment when analyzing musical tension. Paul von Hippel and David Huron provide a follow-up to work originally discussed in Huron (2006) discussing the idea of "anti-tonal" cognitive structure in the tone rows of the second Viennese school, suggesting that Schoenberg and Webern's rows have a significantly lower fit to key profiles than Berg's rows. Commentaries by both Jason Yust and Niels Christian Hansen explore this hypothesis with further methods of data analysis, the former employing discrete Fourier transforms extensively, and the latter uses a dynamic expectation model.
Miriam Piilonen's review essay on Gary Tomlinson's book Million Years of Music: The Emergence of Human Modernity, is an insightful, and in-depth examination of the role of the voice, placing this work within the larger context of the "vocal turn" in scholarship.
In celebration of his recent retirement, this issue also contains an interview with the co-founder of Empirical Musicology Review, David Huron, conducted by editor Daniel Shanahan. In the interview Huron's provides some fascinating thoughts and background stories on the founding of the journal, the creation of the Humdrum Toolkit, empirical musicology, corpus studies, and a number of other topics.
- Huron, D. (2006). Sweet Anticipation. Music and the Psychology of Expectation. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. https://doi.org/10.7551/mitpress/6575.001.0001
- Lahdelma, I., & Eerola, T. (2015). Theoretical proposals on how vertical harmony may convey nostalgia and longing in music. Empirical Musicology Review, 10(3), 245–263. https://doi.org/10.18061/emr.v10i3.4534
- Spitzer, M. (2019). Commentary on Lahdelma and Eerola. Empirical Musicology Review, 14(1-2), 87–88. https://doi.org/10.18061/emr.v14i1-2.5100
- Sun, S. H. & Cuthbert, M. S. (2017). Emotion, painting: lyric, affect, and musical relationships in a large lead-sheet corpus. Empirical Musicology Review, 12(3-4), 327–348. https://doi.org/10.18061/emr.v12i3-4.5889