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.
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