Recently, Vuoskoski, Thompson, Clarke, and Spence (2014) demonstrated that visual kinematic performance cues may be more important than auditory performance cues in terms of observers’ ratings of expressivity perceived in audiovisual excerpts of piano playing, and that visual kinematic performance cues had crossmodal effects on the perception of auditory expressivity. The present study was designed to extend these findings, and to provide additional information about the roles of sight and sound in the perception and experience of musical performance. Experiment 1 investigated the relative contributions of auditory and visual kinematic performance features to participants’ subjective emotional reactions evoked by piano performances, while Experiment 2 was designed to explore the effect of visual kinematic cues on the perception of loudness and tempo variability. Experiment 1 revealed that visual performance cues seem to be just as important as auditory performance cues in terms of the subjective emotional reaction of the observer, thus highlighting the importance of non-auditory cues for music-induced emotions. The results of Experiment 2 revealed that visual kinematic cues only affected ratings of loudness variability, but not ratings of tempo variability.
The field of music and emotion research has grown rapidly and diversified during the last decade. This has led to a certain degree of confusion and inconsistency between competing notions of emotions, data, and results. The present review of 251 studies describes the focus of prevalent research approaches, methods, and models of emotion, and documents the types of musical stimuli used over the past twenty years. Although self-report approaches to emotions are the most common way of dealing with music and emotions, using multiple approaches is becoming increasingly popular. A large majority (70%) of the studies employed variants of the discrete or the dimensional emotion models. A large proportion of stimuli rely on a relatively modest amount of familiar classical examples. The evident shortcomings of these prevalent patterns in music and emotion studies are highlighted, and concrete plans of action for future studies are suggested.
although people generally avoid negative emotional experiences in general, they often enjoy sadness portrayed in music and other arts. The present study investigated what kinds of subjective emotional experiences are induced in listeners by sad music, and whether the tendency to enjoy sad music is associated with particular personality traits. One hundred forty-eight participants listened to 16 music excerpts and rated their emotional responses. As expected, sadness was the most salient emotion experienced in response to sad excerpts. However, other more positive and complex emotions such as nostalgia, peacefulness, and wonder were also evident. Furthermore, two personality traits – Openness to Experience and Empathy – were associated with liking for sad music and with the intensity of emotional responses induced by sad music, suggesting that aesthetic appreciation and empathetic engagement play a role in the enjoyment of sad music.