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Open AccessArticle

Emotional Effects of Live and Recorded Music in Various Audiences and Listening Situations

Department of Music, Pedagogy and Society, Royal College of Music Box 27711, SE-115 91 Stockholm, Sweden
Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, SE-171 77 Stockholm, Sweden
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Medicines 2019, 6(1), 16;
Received: 13 December 2018 / Revised: 14 January 2019 / Accepted: 19 January 2019 / Published: 22 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Music Therapy)
Background: We assume that the emotional response to music would correspond to increased levels of arousal, and that the valence of the music exemplified by sad or joyful music would be reflected in the listener, and that calming music would reduce anxiety. This study attempts to characterize the emotional responses to different kinds of listening. Methods: Three experiments were conducted: (1) School children were exposed to live chamber music, (2) two adult audiences who were accustomed to classical music as a genre listened to chamber music, and (3) elderly listeners were exposed to recorded classical music of a sad character with and without words. Participants were asked to fill in visual analogue 10-cm scales along dimensions of: tiredness-arousal, sadness-joy, and anxiety-calmness. Ratings before exposure were compared with ratings after exposure. Results: The strongest positive emotional responses were observed in the live performances for listeners accustomed to classical music. School children tended to become tired during the concert, particularly the youngest children. There was a calming effect among school children, but in the oldest category increased joy was reported. Conclusions: The findings indicate that emotional response to music varies by type of audience (young, old, experience of classical music), and live or recorded music. View Full-Text
Keywords: age; anxiety; arousal; joy; live music; recorded music age; anxiety; arousal; joy; live music; recorded music
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Theorell, T.; Bojner Horwitz, E. Emotional Effects of Live and Recorded Music in Various Audiences and Listening Situations. Medicines 2019, 6, 16.

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