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Sweet Anticipation demands careful attention from music scholars who still believe that experimental psychology is too primitive to speak to their concerns. In unpacking the process of expectation, long understood to play a crucial role in our emotional response to music, David Huron makes a powerful case for a musicology that is empirically informed and statistically based. Even those who question whether musical cognition is as strongly determined as he suggests will be challenged by his questioning of basic theoretical assumptions and won over by his continual emphasis on pleasure as a goal, perhaps the goal, of musical experience. -- William Benjamin, Professor of Music, University of British Columbia The quintessence of the French mind -- precision, concision, elegance -- as it should be, Pascal rather than Derrida. Everyone who knows William Thomson knows that he is not only a great economist but also a master expositor, be it in his papers and books or in his talks. In this book, he shares his remarkable know-how with us young and not-so-young economists. -- Maurice Salles, Professor of Economics, Universite de Caen, and Coordinating Editor, Social Choice and Welfare David Huron draws on evolutionary theory and statistical learning to situate the particular issue of musical expectation within the study of human expectation in general. The result is a widely knowledgeable and engagingly written book that will serve as a landmark in the cognitive science of music. -- Fred Lerdahl, Fritz Reiner Professor of Music, Columbia University
David Huron is Distinguished Professor in the School of Music and in the Center for Cognitive and Brain Sciences at the Ohio State University; he is author of Sweet Anticipation: Music and the Psychology of Expectation (MIT Press).
I can't put the book down! A must read for anyone who has read Meyer, Narmour, or Lerdahl. An exploration of human expectation as exemplified through a rigorous and systematic understanding of music cognition. -- Dr. David Spondike * Auditory.org * Huron writes with humour and humanity. -- Dr. Adam Ockelford * Psychology of Music * Apart from anything else, David Huron's book provides a wealth of fascinating insights amassed throughout 20 years of research in the field. -- Marcus Pearce & Daniel Mullensiefen * Musicae Scientiae * Sweet Anticipation should be required reading for all composers and musicologists.... This is certainly the best music theory book that I've read in many, many, years.... Highly recommended! -- David Stutz * Amazon.com * This really is a very significant book on our responses to, and understanding of, music -- and one that has a disarming ability to simplify previously tangled debates without becoming simplistic.... Anyone interested in understanding the extraordinary range and dynamic character of listeners' responses to music will find a huge amount here to think about, some very entertaining anecdotes and examples, and inspiring model of how to tackle a complex subject with care, rigour, great scholarship and an awareness of the power of simplicity. -- Prof. Eric Clarke * Music Analysis * By persuasively putting forward a general theory of expectation by way of music, Huron's book will not only draw the attention of specialists in other fields to the work done by music theorists but also establish a benchmark for the future role of music in psychological research. For his theory implicitly demonstrates the significance of music not merely as a heuristic tool but also as a fundamental and highly symptomatic aspect of mental life. -- Prof. Giorgio Biancorosso * Music & Letters * One of the strengths of Sweet Anticipation is that it is an ambitious work that offers a Big Theory. Huron draws together insights from disparate fields such as music theory, evolutionary theory, neurobiology, and cognitive science into a theory that is coherent, parsimonious, and powerful. -- Drs. Catherine Stevens & Tim Byron * Music Perception * This is a remarkable publication that reflects a keen vision. It casts the meaning of music within a broad, scientific scenario. -- Dr. Rita Aiello * Empirical Musicology Review * Huron's ability to show the link between the biologically driven need to acquire knowledge for survival and the phenomenology of 'hypermetric anticipation', 'tonal syncopation', and other such specific, highly technical musical procedures is one of the book's greatest triumphs. -- Prof. Giorgio Biancorosso * Music & Letters * Sweet Anticipation is a brilliant work that will continue to inspire for many years to come. -- Dr. Adam Ockelford * Psychology of Music * David Huron's superb book Sweet Anticipation: Music and the Psychology of Expectation ... is an exceptional contribution to the field of music cognition and represents a clear advance in our understanding of the role of expectancy in musical experience. As a cognitive psychologist, I find Huron's proposals for expectancy mechanisms and their possible evolutionary origin convincing and novel. Indeed, throughout the book musical issues are connected with human psychology in a way that reflects a deep and nuanced understanding of both disciplines.... On the whole, Huron provides an extraordinarily rich analysis of the phenomenon of musical expectation and provides a persuasive account of its psychological sources. Sweet Anticipation is without question one of the most exciting pieces of scholarship to emerge in the past decade, and should be read by anyone with a serious interest in the psychology of music. -- Prof. William Thompson * Empirical Musicology Review * Having worked on the question of musical expectancy for a number of years myself reading David Huron's recent book has been, for me, a real treat. My interest in this topic does, however, make me a harsh critic of work on this topic. It is within such a context, then, that I praise this book. Quite simply, Sweet Anticipation is excellent. -- Prof. Mark Schmuckler * Philosophical Psychology * Sweet Anticipation... in its range, rigour and insights constitutes an astonishing achievement. Although it announces itself as a book about expectation in music, it goes well beyond what that might imply and is more like a broad and encompassing theory of music perception and cognition, with expectation as the central concept. -- Prof. Eric Clarke * Music Analysis * A richly detailed theory of how and why the audience has particular expectations and emotions.... A fascinating journey into the inner workings of music and how it tickles the human mind. -- Petr Janata * Nature *