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  • Do certain attributes of music lead listeners to reliably have specific emotional experiences?
    Hevner (1936)

    Investigated four musical features:
    major vs minor key
    rising vs falling melodic line
    firm vs flowing motion in rhythm
    simple vs complex harmony
    For each feature, made two recordings of same piece differing only on that feature - subject only heard one version.
    Subjects asked what the music expressed to them

    Musically trained and untrained listeners agreed regarding emotion expressed
    Major key:

    happy, merry, graceful, playful

    Musically trained and untrained listeners agreed regarding emotion expressed
    Minor key:

    sad, dreamy, sentimental

    Musically trained and untrained listeners agreed regarding emotion expressed
    Complex (dissonant) harmony:

    exciting, agitated, vigorous, inclined toward sadness

    Musically trained and untrained listeners agreed regarding emotion expressed
    Simple (consonant) harmony:

    happy, graceful

    Musically trained and untrained listeners agreed regarding emotion expressed
    Firm rhythm:

    vigorous/dignified;

    Musically trained and untrained listeners agreed regarding emotion expressed
    Flowing Rhythm:

    happy, graceful, dreamy, tender
    Rising vs falling contours weren't clearly differentiated or consistent

    More research indicating listener agreement in emotion expressed by musical features
    Terwogt & van Grinsven (1991)

    Adults and children listened to musical excerpts and tried to link them to emotions of happiness, sadness, anger, and fear.
    Adults and children as young as age 5 easily identified happiness and sadness.
    Subjects did not differentiate anger and fear well.
    CONCLUSION: some emotions seem to be easily and consistently recognized, while others seem to be more difficult to identify

    More research indicating listener agreement in emotion expressed by musical features
    People can recognize certain intended emotions of music even from other cultures with different tonal systems of music

    Westerners recognized joy, anger, sadness in Hindustani music.
    Japanese recognized joy, anger, sadness in Western and Hindustani music.
    Studies show is that listeners' judgments of emotion correspond to judgments of basic musical features like tempo, loudness, and melodic complexity (e.g. Joy = fast and melodically simple, Anger = loud and melodically complex).
    Ability to accurately recognize emotional intent of music not entirely dependent on being familiar with specific tonal system!

    How Performers Communicate Emotion?

    The way a musicians performs a certain musical piece can also express emotion that can be very different than the emotion conveyed by the actual (written) score

    How Performers Communicate Emotion?
    Patrick Juslin

    Theory describes types of cues performers use to convey emotion.
    Looked at results of numerous studies and summarized them.
    Performers use cues reflecting kind of physical activity a person would engage in when feeling that emotion.

    Feeling emotion is different than recognizing it!
    Sloboda (2005)

    Looked at relationship between features of music and reports of physical responses related to emotional experience.
    Asked subjects to recall music to which they had a physical emotional reaction (and to identify specific parts that caused the reaction).
    Looked at three types of reaction: tears, chills, heart response.
    Sloboda located score for all of the reported pieces.
    Looked for relationships between musical features and the physical responses people reported experiencing as a result.

    Sloboda (2005) Results
    Most common responses?

    tears and shivers (racing heart rarely reported)

    Sloboda (2005) Results
    Tears

    Most often provoked by appoggiaturas and certain melodic or harmonic sequences.
    Appoggiaturas: brief non-harmonic tones (tones not part of accompaniment chord). Sound dissonant and create tension that gets released when tone gets resolved back to chord.
    Passages characterized by successive creating and releasing of tension in the music

    Sloboda (2005) Results
    Shivers

    Most often triggered by a new or unexpected harmony
    Guhn et al (2007) found that they tend to occur:
    1) in slow movements
    2) When a solo instrument emerged or became distinct from accompaniment
    3) When there was a swell of loudness in the music

    Sloboda (2005) Results
    Heart Response

    Most often triggered by sudden dynamic changes (volume) or by events occurring earlier than expected.

    How do physiological responses induced by music related to subjects' emotional experiences?

    Krumhansl (1997)
    Presented 6 musical pieces (first three minutes of piece):
    Mars (from The Planets) by Gustav Holst
    La Primavera (from The Four Seasons) by Antonio Vivaldi
    Adagio in G minor by Tomaso Albinoni
    Night on Bald Mountain by Modest Mussorgsky
    Adagio for Strings, Opus 11 by Samuel Barber
    Midsommarvarka by Hugo Alfven

    One group of subjects indicated the degree of sadness, fear, happiness, and tension they were experiencing as the listened

    Second group listened to same pieces while physiological responses were recorded with polygraph (heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, temperature and dampness of skin)

    Krumhansl (1997) Results / Emotional Reports

    Consistently rated high in sadness (Albinoni, Barber)
    Consistently rated high in fear (Holst, Mussorgsky)
    Consistently rated high in happiness (Vivaldi, Alfven)
    Tension was correlated with each of the emotions

    Krumhansl (1997) Results /

    Physiological responses also differed systematically with these same pairs of pieces!

    Sadness
    1)Slower heart rate
    2)Decreased skin conductance level

    Fear
    1)Increase pulse transmission time
    2)Faster breathing rate

    Happiness
    1)Faster breathing rate
    2)Lower respiration depth

    DOES music seem to be inducing the actual experience of emotion?

    YES
    Not only are listeners reports of emotional responses to music consistent, but music also produces physiological changes that correspond to the type of musical emotion.

    Neural Bases of Emotional Responses to Music??

    There is neuroscientific research that shows differences in brain activity between listening to "pleasant" music versus listening to "scary" music

    Blood et al (1999) "pleasant" music versus listening to "scary" music?? amygdala?

    Consonant (pleasing) musical intervals stimulate an area of the ORBITOFRONTAL CORTEX associated with REWARD and reinforcement.

    Dissonant (those that sound unpleasant) increase activity in the parahippocampal gyrus (a region closely connected to the amygdala)

    The amygdala is involved in emotional responses - in particular FEAR responses (sort of a "warning center")

    Other research indicates that removal of the amygdala leads to the reduced ability to recognize scary music

    Thayer & Levenson (1983)
    Emotional Power of Music in Film: Physiological Responses

    Music has always been important to film

    Showed viewers graphic, stressful film about industrial accidents (3 accidents in film)

    One group watched film with no music
    One group watched film with "horror movie"
    soundtrack music (dissonant, harsh timbres)
    One group watched film with "documentary"
    soundtrack music (consonant, "major-sounding")

    Measured physiological responses of subjects as they watched film (heart rate, amount of physical movement of subject, skin conductance, blood pressure, anxiety level as reported by subject)

    Thayer & Levenson (1983)
    Results
    skin conductance ??

    Skin conductance (shown to be related to anxiety level) increased when watching film with "horror" soundtrack and decreased when watching film with "documentary" soundtrack compared to watching film with no music

    Intensity of Perception of Film's Emotional Content

    Bolivar, Cohen & Fentress (1994)

    Subjects rated aggressiveness or
    friendliness of filmed interactions of wolves
    Film clips were accompanied by either
    friendly or aggressive music (as previously rated)

    Bolivar, Cohen & Fentress (1994) Results
    aggressive vs. friendly music?

    Regardless of accompanying music type, subjects agreed on which interactions were aggressive vs. friendly
    However, aggressive interactions were rated as MORE aggressive when accompanied by aggressive music than with friendly music
    Friendly interactions were rated as MORE friendly when accompanied by friendly music than with aggressive music

    Effect of Music on Evaluation of Film's Characters and Relationships
    Boltz (2001) - Positive Mood vs. Negative Mood

    When watching scene accompanied by music with a positive mood, on-screen relationships are perceived as more harmonious or romantic

    When watching same scene accompanied by music with a negative mood, perceived to be more likely that one character might harm the other

    Positive music also led viewers to have more positive descriptions of a male character's traits (e.g. kind, loving, protective) than when the same scene was accompanied by more negative music (e.g. deranged, evil, manipulative)

    Diegetic music

    presented as if it exists in the film "world"

    Nondiegetic music

    added to soundtrack and does not exist in. The characters' world

    Tan et al (2008)

    Viewers who saw scene with diegetic music (i.e. played over the "mall's speakers" in the characters' world) viewed the scene as being more tense and suspenseful, and viewed the characters as being more antagonistic, hostile, and ill-intentioned

    Viewers who saw the scene with nondiegetic music perceived the male as being less afraid, less excited, and having less romantic interest in the female character.

    Tan et al (2008)
    conclusion

    Researchers also showed a version of the scene with "chase" music..
    At end of study they were told that the music had been manipulated, and asked to choose what they thought was the original version.
    Most chose the "chase" music - it was consistent with the apparent situation!
    However, they STILL gave highest "tension" ratings to the actual original (diegetic) version!

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