We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Durham e-Theses
You are in:

Towards a Better Understanding of Emotion Communication in Music: An Interactive Production Approach.

MICALLEF-GRIMAUD, ANNALIESE (2022) Towards a Better Understanding of Emotion Communication in Music: An Interactive Production Approach. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

PDF - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA).



It has been well established that composers and performers are able to encode certain emotional expressions in music, which in turn are decoded by listeners, and in general, successfully recognised. There is still much to discover, however, as to how musical cues combine to shape different emotions in the music, since previous literature has tended to focus on a limited number of cues and emotional expressions. The work in this thesis aims to investigate how combinations of tempo, articulation, pitch, dynamics, brightness, mode, and later, instrumentation, are used to shape sadness, joy, calmness, anger, fear, power, and surprise in Western tonal music. In addition, new tools for music and emotion research are presented with the aim of providing an efficient production approach to explore a large cue-emotion space in a relatively short time. To this end, a new interactive interface called EmoteControl was created which allows users to alter musical pieces in real-time through the available cues. Moreover, musical pieces were specifically composed to be used as stimuli. Empirical experiments were then carried out with the interface to determine how participants shaped different emotions in the pieces using the available cues. Specific cue combinations for the different emotions were produced. Findings revealed that overall, mode and tempo were the strongest contributors to the conveyed emotion whilst brightness was the least effective cue. However, the importance of the cues varied depending on the intended emotion. Finally, a comparative evaluation of production and traditional approaches was carried out which showed that similar results may be obtained with both. However, the production approach allowed for a larger cue-emotion space to be navigated in a shorter time. In sum, the production approach allowed participants to directly show us how they think emotional expressions should sound, and how they are shaped in music.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:music psychology; musical cues; perceived emotion
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Music, Department of
Thesis Date:2022
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:22 Nov 2022 13:57

Social bookmarking: del.icio.usConnoteaBibSonomyCiteULikeFacebookTwitter