Music-evoked imagery and imagery for music: Subjective and behavioural measures

Rebecca W. Gelding*, Robina A. Day, William Forde Thompson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Humans enjoy a rich and complex relationship with music, in part because it has a unique capacity to stimulate the imagination. Individuals not only report experiencing imagery for scenery, objects, or events in response to music, but also imagine music in the absence of a musical stimulus. How do researchers investigate music and imagery? The aim of this chapter is to discuss selected subjective and behavioural measures that are employed to evaluate imagery in response to music, and imagery for music. To illustrate the features and challenges of measuring music-evoked imagery, we first describe investigations of the unfolding, dynamic nature of imagery, whereby online responses are provided by participants, as they experience visual imagery in response to music. Next, we discuss the prospects and challenges of measuring imagery for music itself, and the strategies used to corroborate such imagery. The chapter concludes with a discussion of how subjective and behavioural measures of imagery and music can be combined with neuroscientific measures to yield an integrative understanding of music and imagination.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMusic and Mental Imagery
EditorsMats B. Küssner, Liila Taruffi, Georgia A. Floridou
Place of PublicationOxon
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9780429330070
ISBN (Print)9780367352165
Publication statusPublished - 2023


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