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Beyond Happiness and Sadness: Affective Associations of Lyrics with Modality and Dynamics

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1811/52809

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Title: Beyond Happiness and Sadness: Affective Associations of Lyrics with Modality and Dynamics
Creators: Tiemann, Laura; Huron, David
Keywords: emotion
lyrics
vocal music
happy
sad
tender
passionate
Issue Date: 2011-07
Publisher: Empirical Musicology Review
Citation: Empirical Musicology Review, v6 n3 (July 2011), 147-154
Abstract: A study is reported investigating the relationship between modality (major/minor) and dynamics (piano/forte) on four affects – as evident in the content of musical lyrics. Forty solo vocal works were sampled: 10 in the major mode with a loud (forte) dynamic level, 10 in the major mode with a quiet (piano) dynamic level, 10 in the minor mode with a loud dynamic level, and 10 in the minor mode with a quiet dynamic level. Sampled compositions were all tonal works from the Western vocal repertoire. Without hearing the music, 60 native-speakers of English, German, and French judged the language-appropriate lyrics according to four affects: sadness, happiness, passion, and tenderness. Results were consistent with predicted associations between minor-piano music and sadness, major-forte music and happiness, and minor- forte music and passion. A fourth predicted association between major-piano music and tenderness was skewed in the predicted direction, but was not statistically significant.
Series/Report no.: EMR000109a
ISSN: 1559-5749
Other Identifiers: EMR000109a
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1811/52809
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