Relationships between expressed and felt emotions in music
Evans, P. & Schubert, E. (2008). Relationships between expressed and felt emotions in music. Musicae Scientiae 12(1), 75-99.
This study examines empirically the possible relationships between the emotional quality one can attribute to musical stimuli (expressed emotion, or externallocus of emotion) and the subjective emotional response one can have as a result of listening to music (felt emotion, or internal locus). The relationship between the two loci of emotion is often assumed to be positive, that is, when listening to music, one feels the emotion that the music expresses. Gabrielsson has suggested, however, that this assumption is simplistic, and has proposed a model that describes other possible relationships. The present study quantitatively investigates Gabrielsson's proposal. Forty-five participants responded to questions about both expressed emotion and felt emotion for two familiar experimenter-selected pieces (Pachelbel's Canonand Advance Australia Fair, the Australian national anthem) and one or two pieces of their own selection. Participants were asked to "imagine" their self-selected pieces in the absence of recordings or a live performance. An experimenter-selected piece was both sounded and imagined, and no significant difference was observed in responses between the two conditions. Quantitative criteria were generated in order to compare the loci (internal and external) of each piece in geometric space. Results showed that the positive relationship, where the internal and external locus emotions are the same, occurred in 61% of cases. In general, these pieces were preferred more than those exhibiting non-positive relationships. Implications for practices that tacitly assume a 100% positive relationship, or are not specific about the locus of emotion, are discussed. ...