Perceptions across cultures - Deepstash

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Perceptions across cultures

In a study, people from different cultures mostly agreed on general emotional characterizations of musical sounds, such as anger, joy, or annoyance. They agreed that a song is angry but differ on whether the feeling is positive or negative.

Music is a universal language

Music can evoke many nuanced emotions. We don't always pay enough attention to what music is saying or how it's being understood. For instance:

  • Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” make people feel energized. 
  • The Clash’s “Rock the Casbah” pump people up. 
  • Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together” evoke sensuality.
  • Israel (Iz) Kamakawiwoʻole’s “Somewhere over the Rainbow” elicits joy.
  • Heavy metal is widely viewed as defiant.

Music triggers feelings

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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