The purpose of the present study is to investigate the effect of congruence between music and paintings on the aesthetic preference of paintings. Congruence was specified as the similarity in perceived regularity and the complexity of jazz compositions and abstract paintings (the ratings of regularity and complexity in both sets of stimuli were obtained in the pilot study). In the main experiment, 32 participants rated the aesthetic pleasantness of paintings with congruent, incongruent, and no music background. In addition, they rated the music-paintings matching (how well the music goes with the painting). The results show no effect of congruence on aesthetic pleasantness ratings. The effect on the perceived matching was significant; matching is higher in the congruent compared to the incongruent condition. These findings suggest that congruency has a strong effect on the perceptual aspect of the music-paintings compatibility (visuo-auditory similarity) and no effect on the aesthetic aspect (liking).
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