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The Ohio State University

School of Music

Methods in Empirical Music Research

An intensive four-day workshop for music scholars taught by Prof. David Huron
May 16-19, 2017

This workshop will be of interest to anyone wishing to expand or enhance their research skills in music.

Participants will learn how to design and carry out music experiments, and how to apply empirical, systematic and statistical techniques to problems in music-related topics. The workshop is designed specifically to develop practical research skills for musicians and music scholars with little or no previous background in empirical methods.

In this workshop you will be introduced to:

  • descriptive, exploratory, and questionnaire methods
  • field research, including interview techniques
  • correlational and experimental methods
  • research design & introductory statistics
  • theory formation and hypothesis testing

The methods and tools learned by participants will be applicable to most areas of music scholarship, including performance research, music history, music analysis, theory, music psychology, education, semiotics, music sociology & anthropology, cultural policy, and other areas.

Fee: $475. Application Deadline: March 31, 2017.

For more information please contact: XXX


The workshop is limited to 15 participants. Due to limited space, participants are selected in advance. Applications are welcome from graduate students, post-doctoral scholars, academic faculty, as well as senior undergradate students. The application consists simplyh of a personal narrative not to exceed one page describing the applicant's background and interests. Selection is based on ensuring a balance of interests, backgrounds, and need. An application narrative should be sent by email to Lindsey Reymore (reymore.1@osu.edu) by March 31, 2017. Applicants will be notified of their status by April 2.



The registration fee for the workshop is $475, payable via US Mail prior to May 9 or upon arrival May 16. The registration fee includes the workshop program only. Participants are responsible for thei rown transportation, accommodation, and food. Make your check or money order payable to "Stanton's Sheet Music Co." To ensure accurate payment processing, please print the participant's name on the memo line of your check or money order. Mail to XXX



Accommodation is booked separately by workshop participants. Several hotels are located nearby, including a hotel on campus. Participants can also take advantage of low-cost student dormitory accommodation with a choice of air conditioned or non-AC rooms. Up-to-date details regarding accommodation are available by writing to reymore.1@osu.edu



In addition to workshop taught in Columbus, Ohio, previous workshop have also been held at the Royal Academy of Music, Aarhus, Denmark (2009), Graduate school of Culture Studies and Arts, Tartu, Estonia (2013), and the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics, Frankfurt, Germany (2016).



The workshop instructor is David Huron, Arts and Humanities Distinguished Professor of Music at the Ohio State University. Trained as a performer with a PhD in musicology, Dr. Huron has produced over 150 scholarly publications, receiving more than 5,000 citations. In 2002 he received the Outstanding Publication Award from the Society for Music Theory. His book, Sweet Anticipation: Music and the Psychology of Expectation received the 2007 Wallace Berry Award. Among other distinctions, Dr. Huron has been the Ernest Bloch Visiting Lecturer at the University of California, Berkeley, the Donald Wort Lecturer at Cambridge University, and the Astor Lecturer at Oxford. Dr. Huron has delivered over 400 lectures in 25 countries, including 28 keynote conference addresses. His research has employed a wide range of methods, including perceptual and cognitive experiments, computer-based corpus studies, simultation and modeling, Internet-based surveys, and physiological and endocrine studies. In addition, his research has drawn on traditional historical, hermanuetic, and analytic methods, as well as qualitative ethnographic field methods conducted in various regions of the world.



A sample of past participant testimonials from analymous feedback:

"I think that the way of presenting the course content was extraordinary. It makes seemingly heavy material more easily understood."

"Huron explains things very, very well. For me, all the information was very new, so I learned a ton."

"David Huron is radiant, both emotionally and intellectually His teaching style and enthusiasm are contagious and resonate with those who are equally passionate."

"I am now feeling inspired to connect with some colleagues at my university and get them into some research projects with me! Thanks for offering this!"

"What an eye-opening week!"



For further information regarding registration, accommodation and organizational matters, contact Lindsey Reymore (reymore.1@osu.edu).

For further information regarding the workshop content contact Dr. David Huron (huron.1@osu.edu).


A number of studies have been conducted in the CSML exploring the intelligibility of vocal music. On average we've found that people mishear one out of every four words they hear sung. However, different styles of music can be better or worse when it comes to intelligibility. We've found that people can understand about 90% of the words they hear when listening to Jazz, Country, and Musical theater. In contrast, when listening to Classical music people mishear as many as half the words!

We've identified several problems that generally lead to poor intelligibilty. One thing is high singing. When singers, especially female singers, sing really high it becomes really difficult to understand what they are saying. Another thing that throws people off a lot is using archaic or unusual vocabulary: if you write a song and use the word 'thou' people will probably mishear you! Use 'the' instead if you want to be understood.

Harmony and Intelligibiltiy, at COSI

Thanks to participants volunteering at the COSI museum in Columbus, we've been gathering data on how the number of singers changes the intelligibility of singers. Are choirs harder to understand than single singers? Are four singers better than eight singers? These are the questions we're seeking to answer. Results will be posted my July 2014.