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October 2021

The role of timing patterns in recognition of emotional expression from musical performance

Author(s): Madison, G.

Journal/Book: Music Percept. 1999; 17: Journals Dept 2120 Berkeley Way, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA. Univ Calif Press. 197-221.

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to explore whether listeners can use timing patterns to decode the intended emotional expression of musical performances. We gradually removed different acoustic cues (tempo, dynamics, timing, articulation) from piano performances rendered with various intended expressions (anger, sadness, happiness, fear) to see how such manipulations would affect a listener's ability to decode the emotional expression. The results show that (a) removing the timing patterns yielded a significant decrease in listeners' decoding accuracy, (b) timing patterns were by themselves capable of communicating some emotions with accuracy better than chance, and (c) timing patterns were less effective in communicating emotions than were tempo and dynamics. Implications for research on timing in performance are discussed.

Note: Article Juslin PN, Uppsala Univ, Dept Psychol, POB 1225, S-75142 Uppsala, SWEDEN


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