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MUSICÆ SCIENTIÆ publishes empirical, theoretical and critical articles directed at increasing understanding of how music is perceived, represented and generated.


Any systematic work within the domains of psychology, philosophy, aesthetics, music analysis, musicology, cognitive science, education, artificial intelligence, modelling and neuropsychology that advances that aim will be considered for publication.

MUSICÆ SCIENTIÆ is a trilingual journal (English, French, German) and the official organ of ESCOM, the European Society for the Cognitive Sciences of Music.

MUSICÆ SCIENTIÆ was founded by Irène Deliège and first appeared in spring 1997.

Editor-in-Chief: Prof. Jane Ginsborg, Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, U.K.


ISSN: 1029-8649, appears four times per year

(March, June, September, December)

2020 Impact Factor: 3.182

Now ranked 30/90 in Psychology, Experimental

Source: 2020 Journal Citation Reports

Detailed statistics for MUSICÆ SCIENTIÆ at SCImago

Irène Deliège Translation Fund

The Origins of Music

ESCOM edits a series of Classic European Music Science Monographs (series editor John Sloboda). This project aims to create and publish English translations of seminal historic European treatises on systematic and scientific musicology from the 20th and earlier centuries. The translations are commissioned and funded by the ESCOM Irène Deliège Translation Fund, a fund of the King Baudouin Foundation, Belgium. 

The first volume in the series is The Origins of Music (Die Anfänge der Musik) by Carl Stumpf (1911), translated and edited by David Trippett, and published by Oxford University Press on 26 July 2012 (288 pages, ISBN 978-0-19-969573-7).

David Trippett was awarded the Bruno Nettl Prize of the Society for Ethnomusicology in December 2013 for the translation and editing of this volume.


The second is Music Lessons: the Collège de France Lectures by Pierre Boulez (2005), translated and edited by Jonathan Dunsby, Jonathan Goldman and Arnold Whittall, and published by Faber on 1 November 2018 (662 pages, ISBN 9780571334278).

Music Lessons marks the first publication in English of a groundbreaking group of writings by French composer Pierre Boulez, his yearly lectures prepared for the Collège de France between 1976 and 1995. The lectures presented here offer a sustained intellectual engagement with themes of creativity in music by a widely influential cultural figure, who has long been central to the conversation around contemporary music. In his essays Boulez explores, among other topics, the process through which a musical idea is realized in a full-fledged composition, the complementary roles of craft and inspiration, and the degree to which the memory of other musical works can influence and change the act of creation. Boulez also gives a penetrating account of problems in classical music that are still present today, such as the often crippling conservatism of established musical institutions. Woven into the discussion are stories of his own compositions and those of fellow composers whose work he championed, as both a critic and conductor: from Stravinsky to Stockhausen and Varèse, from Bartók to Berg, Debussy to Mahler and Wagner, and all the way back to Bach.


Including a foreword by famed semiologist Jean-Jacques Nattiez, who was for years a close collaborator and friend of the composer, this edition is also enriched by an illuminating preface by Jonathan Goldman. With a masterful translation retaining Boulez’s fierce convictions, cutting opinions, and signature wit, Music Lessons will be an essential and entertaining volume.


The third is Tone Psychology (Tonpsychologie) by Carl Stumpf (1885), translated and edited by Robin D. Rollinger. Volume 1: The Sensation of Successive Single Tones was published on 20 September 2019 by Routledge

(368 pages, 20 B/W illustrations, ISBN 9781472435231; also available as an e-book. Volume 2 is currently in preparation).

The subject of Volume I is the sensation of successive single tones. Stumpf demonstrates that analysis leads to the realisation of a plurality (is there only one tone or are there several tones?), which is then followed by a comparison: an increase may be observed (one tone is higher than the other) or a similarity may be realised (both tones have the same pitch or the same loudness). With almost mathematical stringency, Stumpf developed a topology of tones. Volume II deals with the sensation of two simultaneous tones (musical intervals). The books are stimulating, rewarding and provocative and will appeal to music psychologists, music theorists, general psychologists, philosophers, epistemologists and neuroscientists.


Book Review in Musicae Scientiae


Carl Stumpf, Tone Psychology: Volume I, The Sensation of Successive Single Tones

Robert O Gjerdingen

Published: 7th May 2020

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The fourth is The Origin of Musical Instruments (Origine des Instruments de Musique) by André Schaeffner (1936), translated and edited by Rachelle Taylor, Ariadne Lih and Emelyn Lih, and published by Routledge on 27 February 2020 (418 pages, 103 B/W illustrations, ISBN 9781472463999; also available in paperback and as an e-book).

Almost 80 years after its first publication, the scientific relevance and influence of Schaeffner’s primary hypothesis—that the origins of music can be traced to the human body through gesture, dance and the movements in the use of musical instruments and their ancestor tools—remains pertinent in fields which have returned to informed speculative and empirical research on the origins of music.

This first English edition is accompanied by editorial footnotes and introductory texts, and the influence of Schaeffner’s thought on several generations of musicologists makes his work an essential piece of reading for ethnomusicologists, music psychologists, organologists and musicologists interested in the history of their field.


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The fifth is Music Psychology (Musikpsychologie) by Ernst Kurth (1931), translated and edited by Daphne Tan and Christoph Neidhöfer. It is currently scheduled for publication by Routledge on 15 March 2022 (360 pages, 1 B/W illustration, ISBN 9781138234093).

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