Skip navigation


An Introduction to Psychoacoustics
Edited by Perry R. Cook

How hearing works and how the brain processes sounds entering the ear to provide the listener with useful information are of great interest to psychologists, cognitive scientists, and musicians. However, while a number of books have concentrated on individual aspects of this field, known as psychoacoustics, there has been no comprehensive introductory coverage of the multiple topics encompassed under the term. Music, Cognition, and Computerized Sound is the first book to provide that coverage.

The book begins with introductory chapters on the basic physiology and functions of the ear and auditory sections of the brain, then proceeds to discuss numerous topics associated with the study of psychoacoustics, including cognitive psychology and the physics of sound. The book has a particular emphasis on music and computerized sound. 

An Introduction

This far-ranging book shows how human memory influences the organization of music. The book is divided into two parts. The first part presents basic ideas about memory and perception from cognitive psychology and, to some extent, cognitive linguistics. Topics include auditory processing, perception, and recognition. The second part describes in detail how the concepts from the first part are exemplified in music. The presentation is based on three levels of musical experience: event fusion (the formation of single musical events from acoustical vibrations in the air, on a time scale too small to exhibit rhythm), melody and rhythm, and form. The focus in the latter is on the psychological conditions necessary for making large-scale—that is, formal—boundaries clear in music rather than on traditional musical forms. The book also discusses the idea that much of the language used to describe musical structures and processes is metaphorical. It encourages readers to consider the possibility that the process of musical composition can be "a metaphorical transformation of their own experience into sound."

The book also touches on unresolved debates about psychological musical universals, information theory, and the operation of neurons. It requires no formal musical training and contains a glossary and an appendix of listening examples.

Perspectives in Software Synthesis, Sound Design, Signal Processing, and Programming

Created in 1985 by Barry Vercoe, Csound is one of the most widely used software sound synthesis systems. Because it is so powerful, mastering Csound can take a good deal of time and effort. But this long-awaited guide will dramatically straighten the learning curve and enable musicians to take advantage of this rich computer technology available for creating music.

Written by the world's leading educators, programmers, sound designers, and composers, this comprehensive guide covers both the basics of Csound and the theoretical and musical concepts necessary to use the program effectively. The thirty-two tutorial chapters cover: additive, subtractive, FM, AM, FOF, granular, wavetable, waveguide, vector, LA, and other hybrid methods; analysis and resynthesis using ADSYN, LP, and the Phase Vocoder; sample processing; mathematical and physical modeling; and digital signal processing, including room simulation and 3D modeling.

Supplemental Content is now available for download at