Advertisement

Motivation and Emotion

, Volume 29, Issue 1, pp 19–39 | Cite as

Emotional Responses to Music: Interactive Effects of Mode, Texture, and Tempo

  • Gregory D. WebsterEmail author
  • Catherine G. Weir
Article

Abstract

Although much research has explored emotional responses to music using single musical elements, none has explored the interactive effects of mode, texture, and tempo in a single experiment. To this end, a 2 (mode: major vs. minor) × 2 (texture: nonharmonized vs. harmonized) × 3 (tempo: 72, 108, 144 beats per min) within-participants experimental design was employed, in which 177 college students rated four, brief musical phrases on continuous happy-sad scales. Major keys, nonharmonized melodies, and faster tempos were associated with happier responses, whereas their respective opposites were associated with sadder responses. These effects were also interactive, such that the typically positive association between tempo and happiness was inverted among minor, nonharmonized phrases. Some of these effects were moderated by the gender and amount of musical experience of participants. A principal components analysis of responses to the stimuli revealed one negatively and one positively valenced factor of emotional musical stimuli.

Key words

music emotion mode texture tempo gender musical experience 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Balkwill, L.-L., & Thompson, W. F. (1999). A cross-cultural investigation of the perception of emotion in music: Psychophysical and cultural cues. Music Perception, 17, 43–64.Google Scholar
  2. Cacioppo, J. T., Gardner, W. L., & Bernston, G. C. (1997). Beyond bipolar conceptualizations and measures: The case of attitudes and evaluative space. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 1, 3–25.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Crowder, R. G. (1984). Perception of the major/minor distinction: I. Historical and theoretical foundations. Psychomusicology, 4, 3–52.Google Scholar
  4. Dalla Bella, S., Peretz, I., Rousseau, L., & Gosselin, N. (2001). A developmental study of the affective value of tempo and mode in music. Cognition, 80, B1–B10.Google Scholar
  5. Gabrielsson, A., & Lindström, E. (2001). The influence of musical structure on emotional expression. In P. N. Juslin & J. A. Sloboda (Eds.), Music and emotion: Theory and research (pp. 223–248). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Gagnon, L., & Peretz, I. (2003). Mode and tempo relative contributions to “happy-sad” judgments in equitone melodies. Cognition and Emotion, 17, 25–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Garardi, G. M., & Gerken, L. (1995). The development of affective response to modality and melodic contour. Music Perception, 12, 279–290.Google Scholar
  8. Gregory, A., Worral, L., & Sarge, A. (1996). The development of emotional responses to music in young children. Motivation and Emotion, 20, 341–349.Google Scholar
  9. Gundlach, R. H. (1935). Factors determining the characterization of musical phrases. American Journal of Psychology, 47, 624–643.Google Scholar
  10. Heinlein, C. P. (1928). The affective characters of the major and minor modes in music. Journal of Comparative Psychology, 8, 101–142.Google Scholar
  11. Henkin, R. I. (1957). The prediction of behavior response patterns to music. The Journal of Psychology, 44, 111–127.Google Scholar
  12. Hevner, K. (1935). The affective character of the major and minor modes in music. American Journal of Psychology, 47, 103–118.Google Scholar
  13. Hevner, K. (1936). Experimental studies of the elements of expression in music. American Journal of Psychology, 48, 246–268.Google Scholar
  14. Hevner, K. (1937). The affective value of pitch and tempo in music. American Journal of Psychology, 49, 621–630.Google Scholar
  15. Husain, G., Thompson, W. F., & Schellenberg, E. G. (2002). Effects of musical tempo and mode on arousal, mood, and spatial abilities. Music Perception, 20, 151–171.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Jonas, K., Broemer, P., & Diehl, M. (2000). Attitudinal ambivalence. In W. Stroebe & M. Hewstone (Eds.), European review of social psychology (Vol. 11). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  17. Juslin, P. N. (1997). Emotional communication in music performance: A functionalist perspective and some data. Music Perception, 14, 383–418.Google Scholar
  18. Juslin, P. N., & Laukka, P. (2003). Communication of emotions in vocal expression and music performance: Different channels, same code? Psychological Bulletin, 129, 770–814.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Kastner, M. P., & Crowder, R. G. (1990). Perception of the major/minor distinction: IV. Emotional connotations in young children. Music Perception, 8, 189–202.Google Scholar
  20. Kellaris, J. J., & Rice, R. C. (1993). The influence of tempo, loudness, and gender of listener on responses to music. Psychology and Marketing, 10, 15–29.Google Scholar
  21. Kivy, P. (1990). Music alone: Philosophical reflections on the purely musical experience. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  22. Krumhansl, C. L. (2002). Music: A link between cognition and emotion. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 11, 45–50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Lundin, R. W. (1967). An objective psychology of music (2nd ed.). New York: Ronald.Google Scholar
  24. Peretz, I., Gagnon, L., & Bouchard, B. (1998). Music and emotion: Perceptual determinants, immediacy, and isolation after brain damage. Cognition, 68, 111–141.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Rigg, M. G. (1940). Speed as a determiner of musical mood. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 27, 566–571.Google Scholar
  26. Rigg, M. G. (1964). The mood effects of music: A comparison of data from four investigators. The Journal of Psychology, 58, 427–438.Google Scholar
  27. Robazza, C., Macaluso, C., & D’Urso, V. (1994). Emotional reactions to music by gender, age, and expertise. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 79, 939–944.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Russell, J. A. (1980). A circumplex model of affect. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 39, 1161–1178.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Schellenberg, E. G., Krysciak, A. M., & Campbell, R. J. (2000). Perceiving emotion in melody: Interactive effects of pitch and rhythm. Music Perception, 18, 155–171.Google Scholar
  30. Scherer, K. R., & Oshinsky, J. S. (1977). Cue utilization in emotion attribution from auditory stimuli. Motivation and Emotion, 1, 331–346.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Schimmack, U. (2001). Pleasure, displeasure, and mixed feelings: Are semantic opposites mutually exclusive? Cognition and Emotion, 15, 81–97.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Sloboda, J. A. (1991). Music structure and emotional response: Some empirical findings. Psychology of Music, 19, 110–120.Google Scholar
  33. Sopchak, A. L. (1955). Individual differences in responses to different types of music in relation to sex, mood, and other variables. Psychological Monographs, 69, 1–20.Google Scholar
  34. von Helmholtz, H. L. F. (1895). On the sensation of tone as a physiological basis for the theory of music (4th ed.) (A. J. Ellis, Trans.). New York: Longman, Green, and Co. (Original work published 1877)Google Scholar
  35. Watson, K. B. (1942). The nature and measurement of musical meanings. Psychological Monographs, 54, 1–43.Google Scholar
  36. Wedin, L. (1972). A multi-dimensional study of perceptual-emotional qualities in music. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, 13, 241–257.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. Zajonc, R. B. (1980). Feeling and thinking: Preferences need no inferences. American Psychologist, 35, 151–175.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Zajonc, R. B. (1984). On the primacy of affect. American Psychologist, 39, 117–123.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyColorado CollegeColorado Springs
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyCollege of William & MaryWilliamsburg
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Colorado at BoulderBoulder
  4. 4.Department of PsychologyUniversity of ColoradoBoulder

Personalised recommendations