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Exploring the Musical MindCognition, emotion, ability, function$
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John Sloboda

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780198530121

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198530121.001.0001

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Empirical Studies of Emotional Response to Music

Empirical Studies of Emotional Response to Music

(p.203) Chapter 11 Empirical Studies of Emotional Response to Music
Exploring the Musical Mind

John Sloboda

Oxford University Press

There is a general consensus that music is capable of arousing deep and significant emotion in those who interact with it. These experiences deserves a more central position in the psychology of music than it currently enjoys because such experiences are widespread and seem to be important motivators for engagement with music. This chapter explores how empirical science may study this type of phenomenon and to summarise some of what is known about it. In a previously unpublished study, regular listeners to music described in their own words the nature of their most valued emotional experiences of music. Although every account was different in detail, some common themes emerged. The most commonly mentioned concept was that of music as change agent. Common to these examples is the characterisation of music as offering an alternative perspective on a person's situation, allowing him or her to construe things differently.

Keywords:   music, emotion, psychology of music, empirical science, emotional experiences, change agent

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