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The Aesthetic MindPhilosophy and Psychology$
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Elisabeth Schellekens and Peter Goldie

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199691517

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199691517.001.0001

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Music and Emotion: Psychological Considerations

Music and Emotion: Psychological Considerations

(p.357) 21 Music and Emotion: Psychological Considerations
The Aesthetic Mind

William Forde Thompson

Lena Quinto

Oxford University Press

This chapter reviews theoretical accounts of the relation between music and emotion and presents a cognitive-motor framework for understanding some of its most powerful effects. We first review selected theories and investigations of emotional responses to music. We next discuss evidence that specific attributes of music are individually associated with distinct emotional interpretations, and may be manipulated by performers and composers to convey complex and dynamic emotional messages. We also describe empirical investigations that attempt to disentangle the contributions of cross-cultural and culture-specific associations between music and emotion. Finally, we introduce a body of theory and data concerning the cognitive-motor implications of music, and argue that important emotional effects can arise because music is optimally tailored to instantiate cognitive-motor processes of synchronization. This conception focuses on the capacity of music to resonate with psychological processes that function in human synchronization, and to elicit emotional effects related to these processes.

Keywords:   emotional responses to music, cognitive-motor processes of synchronization, interpretation

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