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My Life as a Playlist


Date: Tuesday 20 May 2014
Time: 6.30-7.30pm
Venue: Tallis Room, Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, Royal Parade, Parkville
Keynote: Jane Davidson

Watch video of Jane Davidson's talk for My Life as a Playlist Book Launch

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Abstract: This talk explores how we use music to accompany us through our lives. It is approached from the perspective of music psychology, and surveys the way music imbues our lives, accompanying the everyday and highlighting peak moments such as ceremonies, as well as the way we ‘self-medicate’ with music, cumulatively using music to shape our daily experiences.  The presentation traces the music that becomes life-long triggers for vivid memories of the most significant events in our lives across cultures. It begins with a discussion of the psychological mechanisms by which music is believed to trigger emotional response in listeners as well as an overview of arguments as to its evolutionary origins and function in society. It goes on to contextualise beliefs and behaviours and by drawing from social psychological theory investigates personality and music preferences, discussing whether music also has the power to influence personality and behavior.  A final section of the talk explores the work undertaken on the ABC website entitled ‘My Life as a Playlist’ and concludes with a launch of Jane Davidson and Sandra Garrido’s book on the project.
Jane Davidson is  Deputy Director of the Australian Research Council’s Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions. She was Callaway/Tunley Chair of Music at The University of Western Australia (2006-2013) and has recently taken up a position at The University of Melbourne’s Faculty of the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music and Victorian College of the Arts. As a practitioner, she has worked as an opera singer and a music theatre director, collaborating with groups such as Andrew Lawrence-King’s Harp Consort, Opera North, and the West Australian Opera Company. She was Editor of Psychology of Music (1997-2001); Vice-President of the European Society for the Cognitive Sciences of Music (2003-2006); and President of the Musicological Society of Australia (2010 and 2011). Jane is the author of many academic as well as more popular publications on topics relating to emotion and expression in performance, vocal studies, historically informed performance practices, musical development and music and health.