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Durham e-Theses
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Emotion in Congregational Singing:
Music-Evoked Affect in Filipino Churches

BACHORIK-JR, DOUGLAS,JOSEPH (2020) Emotion in Congregational Singing:
Music-Evoked Affect in Filipino Churches.
Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

PDF (PhD in musicology thesis) - Accepted Version


The link between music and emotion is essential for understanding the importance of music in life. A significant variety of research has focused on perceived emotion in musical sound and music-evoked emotion in listening. However, what performers experience has only recently begun to attract scholarly attention. Research in non-performance music activities, such as communal singing or simply “jamming” with friends, is sparse. This thesis aims to answer the following questions about the latter: Do singers experience actual emotion while singing? If so, do such experiences fit with prevailing emotion models? What lingering effects come from emotion in music-making? The answers to these questions may promote the understanding of music and emotion in several fields of study, such as cognitive musicology, music therapy, music in education, and congregational music studies.

An examination of congregational singing addresses these questions. Two aspects of the activity suggest broader applications of the findings: communal singing does not include the elements of practice and performance inherent in choral music; and many Christian congregations sing for distinctly non-music goals, such as theological instruction, spiritual maturation, or a palpable engagement with God. Two Filipino Baptist churches with strong singing traditions agreed to an in-depth study of their congregational singing experiences to help answer the research questions.

The research was shaped by the use of the Component Process Model (CPM), a framework rooted in the idea that emotion is primarily a cognitive experience. A combination of ethnographic surveys and phenomenological interviews was used to gather data about the theological expectations of and personal experiences in congregational singing. The data was then examined through the lens of the CPM. The results of the study are presented after chapters detailing emotion theories, the theological perspectives of the case study churches, methodology, and descriptions about the churches and their congregational song repertory. A final chapter presents other pertinent findings.

The triangulation of emotion theory, theology of emotion, and phenomenology of emotion in performative music activity created for this thesis offers a significant approach to further study the complexity of emotion experience in communal singing and other music-making experiences.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:emotion, affect, music emotion, emotion theory, music-evoked affect, congregational music, Component Process Model, appraisal theory, theology, phenomenology
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Music, Department of
Thesis Date:2020
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:18 Mar 2020 15:02

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