Grant to aid study of mu­sic re­sponse

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NORTHWEST ARKANSAS -

FAYET­TEVILLE — A Na­tional Sci­ence Foun­da­tion grant will help a Univer­sity of Arkansas, Fayet­teville mu­sic pro­fes­sor study how and why lis­ten­ers re­spond to mu­sic by imag­in­ing nar­ra­tive sto­ries.

El­iz­a­beth Mar­gulis will re­ceive $294,268 over three years and work with re­searchers from Michi­gan State Univer­sity and Chi­nese Univer­sity of Hong Kong.

“It wasn’t un­til stu­dents in my classes started telling me that they imag­ined pi­rates and thun­der­storms while lis­ten­ing to or­ches­tral mu­sic that I un­der­stood how com­mon it is for mu­sic to trig­ger per­ceived sto­ries,” Mar­gulis, direc­tor of UA’s Mu­sic Cog­ni­tion Lab, said in a statement.

The project will in­volve both Amer­i­can and Chi­nese lis­ten­ers to test whether un­fa­mil­iar mu­sic stokes nar­ra­tive lis­ten­ing.

Re­searchers will also in­ves­ti­gate how nar­ra­tive lis­ten­ing af­fects other re­sponses to mu­sic.

“To­gether, our team hopes to un­cover some of the mech­a­nisms crit­i­cal to mak­ing sense of mu­sic,” Mar­gulis said in a statement.

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