Research interests in music psychology, music, well-being and health, music and consciousness, music education and the psychology of performance.
Ruth Herbert gained a BMus Hons and MA in performance practice from Cardiff University before winning a Munster Trust scholarship to pursue postgraduate advanced solo studies (piano) at the Royal Academy of Music. In 2009 she was awarded a PhD in music psychology from the University of Sheffield. Positions held include Head of Performance at Dartington College of Arts (now University College, Falmouth) and Lecturer in Music (fixed term) for the Open University. As a professional pianist, she has performed widely both as a soloist and with various ensembles, notably recording soundtracks for two classic silent films with the piano trio Triptych (British Film Institute publications).
Psychological and cultural approaches to the study of music (including music and consciousness, music and emotion, music in everyday life, musical preferences, music and evolution), performance psychology, performance practice, historical and contextual studies, musicianship (including harmony and counterpoint, keyboard skills, aural skills, improvisation), classical and popular compositional techniques, aesthetics, theory and analysis, cross-repertory issues e.g. music and ritual.
Psychology (social and applied), performance psychology. Dissertation supervision.
Young People and Music Project: Call for Research Participants
I am currently running a study on young people’s subjective experience of music outside school and the impact of age, personality and training upon music listening. Individuals (aged between 10-18) and schools are invited to participate. For details get in touch.
Music psychology (social and applied; music cognition), music, wellbeing and health, music and consciousness, music education and the psychology of performance. Current research centres around empirical exploration of the psychological processes involved in everyday listening, the nature of musical engagement and the self-regulatory use of music as an everyday health technology. I am a member of the editorial board for the Journal of Sonic Studies.
Everyday Music Listening: Absorption, Dissociation and Trancing. Aldershot, Ashgate (October 2011). (Read a review of this book.)
Herbert, R (forthcoming). Multimodal Music Listening and Erickson’s Everyday Trance. In Aringer, K., Prassl, F.K., Revers, P. and Utz, C. Geschichte und Gegenwart des musikalischen Hörens, Freiburg: Rombach-Verlag
Herbert, R (forthcoming). Sonic Subjectivities. In Cobussen, M., Meelberg, V, & Truax, B The Routledge Companion to Sounding Art London, Routledge.
Herbert, R. (2011). Consciousness and everyday music listening: trancing, dissociation and absorption. In Clarke, D.I., & Clarke, E.F. Music and Consciousness: Philosophical, psychological, and cultural perspectives, Oxford, OUP.
Articles in Refereed Journals
‘Herbert, R. (2013) An empirical study of normative dissociation in musical and non-musical everyday life experiences. Psychology of Music, 41(3) 372-394 This research featured in the December blog of mainstream magazine ‘Psychology Today’ Read a discussion of this article here: Psychology Today Magazine
Herbert, R. (2012). Modes of music listening, modes of subjectivity. Journal of Sonic Studies, 2(1). (Read this article online).
Herbert, R. (2011). Musical and non-musical involvement in daily life: the case of absorption. Musicae Scientiae, 16(1).
Herbert, R. (2011). Reconsidering Trance: cross-cultural differences and cross-disciplinary perspectives. Ethnomusicology Forum, 20(2) pp. 100-127.
Articles in Professional (Non-Refereed) Journals
Herbert, R. (2014). Music & Me: Musical engagement at KS2 Teach Primary magazine 8, 110-111.
Herbert, R. The private (musical) lives of tweens and teens. Music Teacher, July 2012. (Download a PDF of this article. You can find out more about Music Teacher here.)
Herbert, R. (2008). Theory for the early grades. Libretto, vol. 3, p. 6.
Herbert, R. (2007). Surround Sound: The vital role of specialist music teachers in primary education. Music Teacher, vol. 86/8, pp. 30-31.
Herbert, R (2006). Listen up! Different ways of listening – or not – to music.Music Teacher, vol. 85/6, pp. 35-37.
Herbert, R (2005). Adults Only: How understanding student & teacher presumptions can speed up the learning process. Music Teacher, vol. 84/9, pp. 59-61.
Herbert, R (2005). Practice makes Perfect: Techniques that can lead to improved motivation. Music Teacher, vol. 84/2, pp. 29-31.
Herbert, R (2004). A Popular Approach: Bridging the divide between classical and popular piano. Music Teacher, vol. 83/6, pp. 32-34.
Herbert, R (2004). Mind your Language: How the right choice of words can improve communication and results. Music Teacher, vol. 83/1, pp. 32-33.
Herbert, R (2014) ‘Trance’. In Thompson, B., & Golson, G. (eds),Music in the Social and Behavioural Sciences. Los Angeles: Sage Publications
Herbert, R (2014) ‘Dissociation’. In Thompson, B., & Golson, G. (eds),Music in the Social and Behavioural Sciences. Los Angeles: Sage Publications.
Herbert, R. (2013) Review of Harris M. Berger, Stance: Ideas about Emotion, Style and Meaning for the Study of Expressive Culture. Volume! La revue des musiques populaires/The French journal of popular music studies, 10(1).
Herbert, R. (2013) Music and Dissociation: Experiences without valence? ‘Observing Self and ‘Absent’ Self. Proceedings of 3rd International Conference on Music and Emotion. Finland: University of Jyväskylä, June 2013. Geoff Luck & Olivier Brabant (Eds.)
Herbert, R. (2012). Conceptualizing the Subjective Experience of Listening to Music in Everyday Life. In Cambourpoulos, E., Tsougras, C., Mavromatis, P., Pastiadis K. (eds), 12th International Conference on Music Perception and Coghnition and the 8th Triennial Conference of the European Society for the Cognitive Sciences of Music (pp. 421-22). Thessaloniki, Greece: Aristotle University.
Herbert, R. (2012). Young People’s Use and Subjective Experience of Music Outside School. In Cambourpoulos, E., Tsougras, C., Mavromatis, P., Pastiadis K. (eds), 12th International Conference on Music Perception and Coghnition and the 8th Triennial Conference of the European Society for the Cognitive Sciences of Music (pp. 423-31). Thessaloniki, Greece: Aristotle University.
Herbert, R. Music and Dissociation: Experiences without valence? ‘Observing Self and ‘Absent’ Self. Member of Altered States Symposium at 3rd International Conference on Music and Emotion. Finland: University of Jyväskylä, June 2013.
Herbert, R. Musical Engagement and Wellbeing in Real-World Contexts: Subjective Experience of Young People between 10 and 18 years old. SEMPRE International Conference ‘Setting the Tempo’. Canterbury Christchurch University, April 2013.
Striking a Balance: Mobile Music Listening, Self-Regulation and Well-Being in Everyday Life. SEMPRE Conference of Music Health and Well-Being. Canterbury Christchurch University, September 2011.
Moving Beyond the Horizon of Emotion: The Subjective Experience of Listening to Music in Everyday Life. Royal Musical Association (RMA) Annual Conference, University of Sussex, July, 2011.
Normative Dissociation and Absorption in Everyday Life Experiences of Music. British Psychological Society Annual Conference, Glasgow, May 2011.
Pleasure and Detachment in Everyday Music Listening Experiences: Absorption, Dissociation and Involvement. British Forum for Ethnomusicology one day conference, London, November, 2009.
Range of Consciousness in Everyday Listening Experiences. International Conference on Music & Consciousness, Sheffield, July 2006.
Herbert, R. Multimodal Music Listening and Erickson’s Concept of the “Common Everyday Trance”. Invited speaker at Historical and Contemporary Modes of Musical Listening Symposium. Graz, University of Music and Dramatic Arts.
Herbert, R. (2014). The Private Musical Worlds of Tweens and Teens. SEMPRE conference ‘Children’s Musical Worlds’. University of Reading October 2014.
After Death. (2002) British Film Institute Publications (DVD soundtrack for silent film).
Lady Windermere’s Fan. (2001) British Film Institute Publications (VHS: soundtrack for silent film).
Non-academic invited talks
Music Education Expo, Barbican Centre, London, February 2014. Experiencing Music: Inside the Minds of Tweens and Teens.
Musical Progressions Roundtable, Musician’s Benevolent Fund, London, April 2013. Private Musical Lives of Tweens and Teens.
Dr R Herbert
Faculty of Music