Note: Papers are no longer being accepted for this special issue. Issue will be published in December 2014.


Psychomusicology: Music, Mind and Brain encourages submissions on the theme of "Performance Spaces for Music: Psychological and Acoustic Measures and Interactions" for a special issue planned for publication in December 2014.

Space is an intrinsic aspect of music experience — the space in which music is both performed and heard. Every space for music influences the sound that reaches the ear, altering the incident sound and consequently impacting the listening.

Architectural acousticians have developed ways to characterize some of these effects, and by application of design science principles, are enabling the improvement of performance spaces for particular music listening situations. Such optimization is also based on an in-depth understanding of what a variety of listeners might hear or might prefer to hear when they listen to live music.

This special issue of the journal will provide a forum for the presentation of recent acoustic, psychoacoustic, and psychological studies of the impact of acoustical spaces on performers and listeners, and of the impact their experiences have on the design of performance spaces.

The aim is to inform readers about this critical aspect of the musical experience and to provide a foundation for future collaboration among psychomusicologists and architectural acousticians.

The special issue will be dedicated to Dr. Leo Beranek, the eminent pioneer in the field of architectural and engineering acoustics who, as a musician himself, directed attention to listeners with expertise in evaluating performance spaces.

His studies have included the quantitative measurement of subjective experience in performance spaces and the development of acoustical measures to predict those experiences, while not losing sight of the importance of considering historic precedents in the acoustical design of those spaces. His texts in acoustics and in architectural acoustics are considered the classics in the field.

The year 2014 marks his 100th birthday, and the special issue will celebrate the centenary of this most remarkable luminary, who remains an active contributor to the field. Dr. Beranek will also share his insights through an autobiographical article.

Scope of the Special Issue

Submissions will be considered for publication related to interactions between acoustical and psychological measures of performance spaces for music and to modelling in performance spaces for music. The emphasis is on studies or experiments in which data on human responses has been systematically collected in an attempt to understand the impact of the performance space on the listener or performer.

Review or theoretical articles will also be considered, and a special invitation is extended for reports on work following the methods of Design Science.

Thus, in addition to basic research, there is an interest expressed here toward evidenced-based design work in the areas of music-acoustics-architecture, psychomusicology-music performance and a variety of interdisciplinary approaches to acoustics and buildings for music performance.

The resulting collection of articles representing the overlapping domains of the architectural acoustics and psychomusicological communities will honor Leo Beranek and carry forward his work.

Topics may include but are not limited to:

  • audience responses (including the role of expertise), depending upon location in the hall, acoustic behavior of structures within the space, visual aesthetics, etc.
  • performer responses (adjusting to variations in acoustical stage support and to the spaces in which audiences are located)
  • new research methodologies (e.g., simulated orchestras, measurement scales, computer simulations of performance spaces)
  • building tuning technology
  • binaural and multichannel loudspeaker simulation of virtual spaces
  • comparison of new and classic designs (e.g., prototypical halls such as shoebox, fan, vineyard, etc.)

Preference is given to articles with

  • a clear empirical component — whether including hypotheses testing, model building, or the evidence-based design of performance spaces
  • an emphasis upon discovering the relation between the psychological responses and acoustic measures of the listening space

In other words, a description of the acoustic properties of a particular performance space would not suffice, unless the submission also presents additional analysis that could include human behavioral observations, or summaries of interviews with performers, conductors, audience members).

Theoretical and speculative articles are welcome provided they contribute to the forming of testable (i.e., falsifiable) hypotheses, models or theories, or they provide critiques of methodology.

The journal will also consider short reports in addition to articles.

Submissions must be original and cannot have been published elsewhere; however, substantial expansions of work that may have appeared in a conference proceedings may be considered.

Articles would normally be at least 6,000 words, while short reports of approximately 2,000 words are also welcome.

Translation of key often-quoted or significant work unavailable in English may also be considered.

Contact Information for Guest Editors

Dr. William L. Martens
Associate Professor, Audio and Acoustics
Room 477, G04 Wilkinson Building, 148 City Road
The University of Sydney, NSW 2006
+61 2 9351 0865

Pamela Clements
Clements Acoustics Design Associates
10/23 Balfour Road, Rose Bay, NSW 2029 Australia
+61 431 159 915

Dipl.-Ing. Ingo Witew
Institute of Technical Acoustics
Aachen University, Germany
+49 242 / 80-97994

Or contact the Journal Editor
Annabel J. Cohen
Department of Psychology
University of Prince Edward Island

For technical matters regarding submission please contact:
John Hill
Manuscript Coordinator
APA, Washington, DC

About the Journal

Psychomusicology: Music, Mind and Brain is a quarterly peer-reviewed journal of research in music cognition and reports important new scientific work in the area of music and cognitive science, neuroscience, and cognitive musicology.

The journal was established in 1981.

The current editor is Annabel J. Cohen, and Associate Editors are W. J. Dowling, Lauren Stewart, and Renee Timmers.

As of July 2011, APA is the publisher of the journal, and every published article is included in PsycINFO® and PsycARTICLES®, the world's most comprehensive and widely used psychological databases.

Published articles are available to a global audience of over 3,000 institutes and 40 million potential users.

Recent special issues include

  • Interactions Between Emotion and Cognition in Music, edited by Renee Timmers and Eduardo Coutinho, March, 2014
  • Jazz Improvisation: Cognitive Perspectives, edited by Martin Norgaard, Susan Rogers, and Peter Vuust, December, 2013
  • Neurosciences and Music, edited by Lauren Stewart, December 2012

The present special issue is to be guest-edited by

  • William L. Martens, Associate Professor in Audio and Acoustics, in the Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning of the University of Sydney, who has a background in psychology, psychoacoustics, and architectural acoustics
  • Pamela Clements of Clements Acoustic Design Associates, Sydney, Australia, who has a background in music, architectural acoustics, and the publishing industry
  • Dipl.-Ing. Ingo Witew, of the Institute of Technical Acoustics, Aachen University, Germany

They will work in conjunction with the journal Editor.