Over a century ago, William James proposed that people search through memory much as they rummage through a house looking for lost keys. We scour our environments for territory, food, mates, and information. We search for items in visual scenes, for historical facts, and for the best deals on Internet sites; we search for new friends to add to our social networks, and for solutions to novel problems. What we find is always governed by how we search and by the structure of the environment.
As one of our highest expressions of thought and creativity, music has always been a difficult realm to capture, model, and understand. The connectionist paradigm, now beginning to provide insights into many realms of human behavior, offers a new and unified viewpoint from which to investigate the subtleties of musical experience. Music and Connectionism provides a fresh approach to both fields, using the techniques of connectionism and parallel distributed processing to look at a wide range of topics in music research, from pitch perception to chord fingering to composition.