EEG-Based Measurement of Emotion Induced by Mode, Rhythm, and MV of Chinese Pop Music

  • Mao Mao
  • Pei-Luen Patrick Rau
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8528)


This present study aims to gain insights of how listeners feel about Chinese pop music and music video (MV) by examining music-induced emotion through subjective, physiological and regional brain activation measurement. This study focused on how the following aspects influence emotion: a) mode (major, minor, pentatonic), b) rhythm (firm vs. flowing), c) MV (narrative, live performance, parody). The results suggest that Chinese traditional pentatonic mode elicits sublime feelings, corresponding to lower HRV and less frontal-parietal beta power difference. Emotion elicited by major/minor mode is predictable according to discovered mode-emotion pattern from previous studies. As for the effect of MV on emotion, previous studies concerning emotion induced by narrative and live performance MV can be extended to Chinese pop MV. Extreme positive emotion and corresponded beta power spectrum are distinctive emotion cues for parody MVs. We also noted that firm rhythm in Chinese pop music is associated with high arousal level, while flowing rhythm may induce sublime feelings. This study indicates that musical features (audio) and music video styles (visual) in Chinese pop music can elicit different emotions. Emotion measures such as psychological ratings, HRV and EEG power spectral analysis should be comprehensively considered when interpreting listeners’ emotion.


Chinese pop music emotion music video EEG measurement 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mao Mao
    • 1
  • Pei-Luen Patrick Rau
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUnited Kingdom
  2. 2.Department of Industrial EngineeringTsinghua UniversityBeijingP.R. China

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