Specific Emotional Reactions to Tonal Music - Indication of the Adaptive Character of Tonality Recognition
Podlipniak, P. (2013). Specific Emotional Reactions to Tonal Music - Indication of the Adaptive Character of Tonality Recognition. In: Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Music & Emotion (ICME3), Jyväskylä, Finland, 11th - 15th June 2013. Geoff Luck & Olivier Brabant (Eds.). University of Jyväskylä, Department of Music.
People report that specific emotional reactions accompany the perception of tonal relations during listening to tonal music. These reactions are not restricted only to people living in the Western culture. Different types of tonality which are observed in all musical cultures seem to evoke similarly strong emotional reactions. The emotional response to a tonal sound sequence has been predominantly explained by fulfilling or not the pitch-related expectations of listeners. However, although this model indicates the general mechanism of prediction as the main source of an emotional reaction, it does not explain why the musical pitch-related expectation causes a stronger emotional reaction than other sound stimuli such as speech. Thus, an adaptive character of a general mechanism of expectation cannot explain specific emotional reactions in response to tonal stimuli. Because a strong emotional reaction accompanying a specific behaviour is usually an indicator of the adaptive value of this behaviour, it is suggested that the ability of tonality recognition has to possess an adaptive character. This view is supported by the fact that tonal music is still the most popular music in the world, although atonal music has been intensively promoted for almost one hundred years. The origin of the ability to recognize tonal hierarchies could be related to the social character of tonal music performance observed among primitive cultures. A better memory for tonal than atonal sequences suggests additionally that the emergence of tonality could have been gradual and based on genetic assimilation. ...
PublisherUniversity of Jyväskylä, Department of Music
ConferenceThe 3rd International Conference on Music & Emotion, Jyväskylä, Finland, June 11-15, 2013
Is part of publicationProceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Music & Emotion (ICME3), Jyväskylä, Finland, 11th - 15th June 2013. Geoff Luck & Olivier Brabant (Eds.). ISBN 978-951-39-5250-1
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- ICME 2013