"To write a textbook that attempts to present all these disparate and wide-ranging topics is a challenging task. The style adopted by Thompson in Music, Thought, and Feeling is to introduce a number of select but important questions that face music cognition researchers and then to evaluate key contributing studies. What is great about the book is that there is no particular bias towards any one subject matter or methodology. All the major topic areas are covered with the same degree of care and attention, making this the most successful ‘general’ textbook in the field that I have come across."
"Each chapter of the book covers a distinct topic – much like an individual lecture on a course. The chapters then build up to give a far-reaching impression of the field as a whole. Every chapter begins with useful learning outcomes that define the aims of the review to follow. Each topic is then presented with a light but engaging introduction to the background literature at hand, explaining how pertinent questions have arisen, and in many cases outlining how methodologies were inspired and adapted to the study of musical behaviours. There is then a balanced presentation of theory development and current evidence from the literature. There is always a tightly written and concise evaluation paragraph, which frequently attempts to engage with relevant wider issues such as those of education and media. Finally, there are usually two suggested additional readings, which tend to encompass review chapters, books, and pivotal papers from the past five years."
"Music, Thought, and Feeling definitely fills a gap in the current literature. It is an excellent and, I am sure, extremely welcome resource for anyone who is planning a course on music cognition, either at undergraduate or graduate level. This is thanks to the combination of accessible and engaging language, clear structure, and relevant and illustrative resources. The demeanour of the book is one that assumes no specific artistic or scientific background: Just a desire to engage with the modern issues of music cognition."
Victoria Williamson, Goldsmiths University of London, UK, from a review in Psychology of Music, vol. 37(3), July 2009. Full review available here.
"Music, Thought, and Feeling is an important pedagogical contribution to the field as it not only manages to pull together the strings of the last thirty years of research from a broad range of topics within music cognition, but it performs this in a highly accessible format, and written in an enthusiastic and analytic style."
Tuomas Eerola, University of Jyväskylä, Finland, from a review in Musicae Scientiae, vol. 13(2), Fall 2009.↑