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A Comparison of Average Pitch Height and Interval Size in Major- and Minor-key Themes: Evidence Consistent with Affect-related Pitch Prosody

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1811/31940

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Title: A Comparison of Average Pitch Height and Interval Size in Major- and Minor-key Themes: Evidence Consistent with Affect-related Pitch Prosody
Creators: Huron, David
Keywords: music
minor key
sadness
pitch
speech prosody
Issue Date: 2008-04
Publisher: Empirical Musicology Review
Citation: Empirical Musicology Review, v3 n2 (April 2008), 59-63
Abstract: An analysis of 9,788 instrumental themes shows that minor-key themes are, on average, slightly lower in pitch than major-key themes. The lower pitch is not merely an artifact of structural differences in the scales. In addition, instrumental themes in minor keys show a weak though significant tendency to use smaller pitch intervals. Both results are consistent with observations in speech prosody, where sad speakers exhibit a lower F0 and narrower pitch fluctuation compared with normal or happy speakers.
ISSN: 1559-5749
Other Identifiers: EMR000044a
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1811/31940
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