What is it about?

Why does music you know well usually impact your feelings? This work sought to explain how music experience turns emotional. For one, music evokes feelings based on contagion (it sounds joyful or sad) and memories (it makes you think of joyful or sad events from your past). Also, your own susceptibility to emotional contents and emotional goals aided by music play a role. For example, if you turn to sad music for solace, it makes you both feel sad and joyous at once; or if you are good at identifying emotion portrayed in music, you tend to be less influenced by it (think of it like: it's the music that is sad, not me).

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Why is it important?

Different frameworks and concepts from cognitive science / psychology come together in the two studies presented here and offered interesting insights into how music perception and characteristics of the listener influence the experience of sad and joyful music.


The fusion of theories and testing of approaches to experiment with these was novel, meaning there is a lot to improve. At the same time, it offers a comprehensive conceptualisation to better understand the interplay of music and listener to bring forth music perception. From here, it offers many possibilities ofr application.

Juliane Völker
Universitat Trier

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Personalising music for more effective mood induction: Exploring activation, underlying mechanisms, emotional intelligence, and motives in mood regulation, Musicae Scientiae, September 2019, SAGE Publications, DOI: 10.1177/1029864919876315.
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