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Course & Subject Guides

Psychology of Music @ Pitt: Books About Music Psychology

This LibGuide introduces students and faculty to resources relevant to the study of music psychology. Resources covered include scholarly journals, monographs, scholarly associations and citation guidelines.

Browsing the Collection

One of the interesting ways to find books about a new field is to go to the library and browse the stacks! All you need to know is the general area in which to look.

Books about the psychology of music are generally located in and around the call number ML3830. You can also use PITTCat+ to search by call number.

If you can't find this area when you make your trip to the Music Library, any one of the friendly staff will be happy to assist you!


Search PITTCat+ for articles, books, & more


PITTCat+ is the gateway searching tool for all of the materials owned by the University Library system (ULS), including articles, books, e-books, journals, e-journals, e-audio and e-video, digital images, government documents, microfilm and movies.

Searching PITTCat+

Enter your search terms and click on the Search Library button. PITTCat+ will offer correct spellings, and search for variations of our search terms. 

The Result List will include articles, books, e-materials, and images. Click on the title of an item for more detailed information about the item, such as an abstract or the shelf location for a book. If full-text content is available, you can get the full-text by clicking on the full-text icon to the left of the item. 

You can Refine Your Results by using the options on the left. Narrow your results to items in the catalog, a specific campus, format, publication date, limiting to scholarly information, and more.

If Full-Text Content is available, you can get the full-text by clicking on the full-text icon to the left of the item.

Selecting Search Terms

The search terms you use determine the results your search will yield. Engaging in an exercise like the one described below should help you choose an effective set of search terms for your search:

1.  Express your topic in a topic sentence: “What effect does music listening have on emotion in children?”

 2.  Generate keyword search terms by identifying the main ideas or concepts within that topic sentence:  “What effect does music have on emotion?” = Effect;  Music,  Listening, Emotion, or  Music Listening; and Children

 3.  Expand your search terms by brainstorming related terms or synonyms that describe your main ideas:

  • Music – aural stimuli, sound
  • Emotion - affect, mood
  • Effect – influence
  • Children - youths, youngsters, boys, girls

Combining Search Terms

You can create complex search strategies by combining keywords using the linking words AND, OR and NOT.

These terms are called Boolean operators. For example, if your search terms are music and emotion:

  • AND – Narrows and focuses the search results.  The search music and emotion will bring only results where both the terms music and emotion are present.  
  • OR – Broadens the search results.  Using or will bring results where the term music is present, or results where emotion is present, or results where both terms are present.  Or is useful if you have more than one way to refer to a concept -- Example: emotion or affect.
  • NOT – Excludes anything where the term after the NOT is present.