Aesthetic responses to music: A questionnaire study
Istók, E., Brattico, E., Jacobsen, T., Krohn, K., Müller, M. & Tervaniemi, M. (2009). Aesthetic responses to music: A questionnaire study. Musicae Scientiae 13(2), 183-206.
We explored the content and structure of the cognitive, knowledge-based concept underlying aesthetic responses to music. To this aim, we asked 290 Finnish students to verbally associate the aesthetic value of music and to write down a list of appropriate adjectives within a given time limit. No music was presented during the task. In addition, information about participants musical background was collected. A variety of analysis techniques was used to determine the key results of our study. The adjective beautiful proved to be the core item of the concept under question. Interestingly, the adjective touching was often listed together with beautiful . In addition, we found music-specific vocabulary as well as adjectives related to emotions and mood states indicating that affective processes are an essential part of aesthetic responses to music. Differences between music experts and laymen as well as between female and male participants were found for a number of adjectives. These findings suggest the existence of a common conceptual space underlying aesthetic responses to music, which partly can be modified by the level of musical expertise and gender. ...