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Emotion. 2007 Nov;7(4):774-88.

Emotions over time: synchronicity and development of subjective, physiological, and facial affective reactions to music.

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Institute of Music Physiology and Musicians' Medicine, Hannover University of Music and Drama, Germany.


Most people are able to identify basic emotions expressed in music and experience affective reactions to music. But does music generally induce emotion? Does it elicit subjective feelings, physiological arousal, and motor reactions reliably in different individuals? In this interdisciplinary study, measurement of skin conductance, facial muscle activity, and self-monitoring were synchronized with musical stimuli. A group of 38 participants listened to classical, rock, and pop music and reported their feelings in a two-dimensional emotion space during listening. The first entrance of a solo voice or choir and the beginning of new sections were found to elicit interindividual changes in subjective feelings and physiological arousal. Quincy Jones' "Bossa Nova" motivated movement and laughing in more than half of the participants. Bodily reactions such as "goose bumps" and "shivers" could be stimulated by the "Tuba Mirum" from Mozart's Requiem in 7 of 38 participants. In addition, the authors repeated the experiment seven times with one participant to examine intraindividual stability of effects. This exploratory combination of approaches throws a new light on the astonishing complexity of affective music listening.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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