Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Music’s emotional pitch revealed

24.05.2004


Music’s ability to make us feel chirpy, sad, excited or just plain bored can be accurately predicted by only a few of its basic elements, an Australian scientist has discovered.



"Among other things, loudness, tempo and pitch have a measurable impact on people’s emotional response to music," says University of NSW music psychologist, Dr Emery Schubert.

His is the first study of its kind to mathematically quantify the emotional impact of music. Sixty-seven subjects listened to four classical musical compositions while they moved a mouse over a computer screen to indicate the emotion they felt was being expressed musically.


Their mouse movements indicated whether they found the music to be happy or sad and arousing or sleepy, on what Dr Schubert calls a "two-dimensional emotional space". These movements were automatically recorded by the computer once each second throughout the musical performance.

"The results tell us that arousal is associated with a composition’s loudness and to a lesser extent its tempo," says Dr Schubert, whose paper is to be published in the forthcoming issue of the journal, Music Perception. This was evident in the four compositions examined -- Slavonic Dance Opus No. 46 (Anton Dvorak), Concerto de Arunquez (Joaquin Rodrigo), Pizzicato Polka (Johan Strauss Jr and Josef Strauss) and ’Morning’ (Edvard Grieg).

"The happy-major, sad-minor relationship in music is already well known. My study suggests that the perception of happiness in music is associated with pitch and the number of instruments, although this was only evident in scores by Rodrigo and Grieg," says Dr Schubert. "Increasing happiness was associated with rising pitch in the Rodrigo, and more instruments in the Grieg composition."

Will the findings lead to a "compose-by-numbers" approach to music? "Not yet," says Schubert. "While we know that some musical parameters predict some emotions with a degree of certainty, musical features interact in complex ways, as do listener responses. Before we can compose musical emotions by numbers, we need to convert human experience and cultural knowledge variables into numbers, too. It will be some time before we can do this."

"Our emotional response to music is highly complex -- and has a lot to do with what we bring to the listening experience, such as memory, expectation and conditioning. Still, it’s true that composers through the ages have exploited mathematical relationships among rhythms, melodies, harmonies and other aspects of music to create and change emotion. What we’ve shown is that it is already possible to locate and quantify some of these emotions with some precision."

Dan Gaffney | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.unsw.edu.au/
http://music.arts.unsw.edu.au/aboutus/research/Schubert/EmotionInMusic.shtml#EmotionFace

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht New measure for the wellbeing of populations could replace Human Development Index
07.11.2018 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

nachricht Because not only arguments count
30.10.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Mathematik in den Naturwissenschaften (MPIMIS)

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New studies increase confidence in NASA's measure of Earth's temperature

A new assessment of NASA's record of global temperatures revealed that the agency's estimate of Earth's long-term temperature rise in recent decades is accurate to within less than a tenth of a degree Fahrenheit, providing confidence that past and future research is correctly capturing rising surface temperatures.

The most complete assessment ever of statistical uncertainty within the GISS Surface Temperature Analysis (GISTEMP) data product shows that the annual values...

Im Focus: The geometry of an electron determined for the first time

Physicists at the University of Basel are able to show for the first time how a single electron looks in an artificial atom. A newly developed method enables them to show the probability of an electron being present in a space. This allows improved control of electron spins, which could serve as the smallest information unit in a future quantum computer. The experiments were published in Physical Review Letters and the related theory in Physical Review B.

The spin of an electron is a promising candidate for use as the smallest information unit (qubit) of a quantum computer. Controlling and switching this spin or...

Im Focus: Self-repairing batteries

UTokyo engineers develop a way to create high-capacity long-life batteries

Engineers at the University of Tokyo continually pioneer new ways to improve battery technology. Professor Atsuo Yamada and his team recently developed a...

Im Focus: Quantum Cloud Computing with Self-Check

With a quantum coprocessor in the cloud, physicists from Innsbruck, Austria, open the door to the simulation of previously unsolvable problems in chemistry, materials research or high-energy physics. The research groups led by Rainer Blatt and Peter Zoller report in the journal Nature how they simulated particle physics phenomena on 20 quantum bits and how the quantum simulator self-verified the result for the first time.

Many scientists are currently working on investigating how quantum advantage can be exploited on hardware already available today. Three years ago, physicists...

Im Focus: Accelerating quantum technologies with materials processing at the atomic scale

'Quantum technologies' utilise the unique phenomena of quantum superposition and entanglement to encode and process information, with potentially profound benefits to a wide range of information technologies from communications to sensing and computing.

However a major challenge in developing these technologies is that the quantum phenomena are very fragile, and only a handful of physical systems have been...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

SEMANTiCS 2019 brings together industry leaders and data scientists in Karlsruhe

29.04.2019 | Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

First dust conference in the Central Asian part of the earth’s dust belt

15.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

On Mars, sands shift to a different drum

24.05.2019 | Physics and Astronomy

Piedmont Atlanta first in Georgia to offer new minimally invasive treatment for emphysema

24.05.2019 | Medical Engineering

Chemical juggling with three particles

24.05.2019 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>