Music creates an emotional atmosphere - Deepstash
Music creates an emotional atmosphere

Music creates an emotional atmosphere

Factors associated with emotion in music:

  • Musical pleasure: The positive feelings are beneficial to health and creative thinking.
  • Musical surprise: E.g. unexpected harmonies, or entry of a solo voice.
  • Appraisal: Evaluating music give rise to emotions such as pleasure or displeasure.
  • Action tendency: Music encourages the desire to coordinate with the music (dancing, foot-tapping).
  • Being in sync with the rhythm.
  • Memory: We listen to music that we associate with fond memories.
  • Emotional contagion: Music evokes emotions at a social level, such as concerts.
  • Imagination: What is perceived in the music.

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What is it?

Sadness is a primary emotion that is expressed and perceived equally across cultures. Basic emotions such as anger, happiness and sadness are innate and universal. Understanding basic emotions in music is very quick and does not require musical training. For instance, hearing a sad cello performance may induce a genuine state of sadness in a listener. Sadness is generally seen as a negative emotion. But we tend to find it pleasurable in an aesthetic context, which is known as the paradox of enjoying sad music. 

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Performer - audience synchrony

When you are at a concert and you get to the part with a refrain from your favorite song, you are swept up in the music. The performers and audience seem to be moving as one.

Research has shown there is a synchrony that can be seen in the brain activities of the audience and a performer. And the greater the degree of synchrony, the more the audience enjoys the performance.

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The subjective experience of music can be mapped within at least 13 overarching feelings: amusement, joy, eroticism, beauty, relaxation, sadness, dreaminess, triumph, anxiety, scariness, annoyance, defiance, and feeling pumped up.

Research findings on music can have potential applications:

  1. informing psychological and psychiatric therapies to produce certain feelings.
  2. helping music streaming services adjust their algorithms to satisfy their customers' audio needs.

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