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Handbook of Music and Emotion: Theory, Research,
Applications$
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Patrik N. Juslin

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199230143

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199230143.001.0001

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Emotion and Composition in Classical Music

Emotion and Composition in Classical Music

Historiometric Perspectives

Chapter:
(p.346) (p.347) Chapter 13 Emotion and Composition in Classical Music
Source:
Handbook of Music and Emotion: Theory, Research, Applications
Author(s):

Dean Keith Simonton

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199230143.003.0013

This chapter presents a historiometric study of the composers and compositions that define the classical repertoire. Historiometrics means the adaptation of psychometric methods to examine data about historic individuals. In the case of classical composers, these data can include both (a) biographical information about their lives and (b) content-analytical information about their works. The chapter begins by describing an objective and quantitative measure of a composition's melodic originality. It then shows that scores on this computerized measure have certain aesthetic consequences, consequences apparently consistent with the assumption that the measure gauges something of a composition's ‘arousal potential’. These content-analytical scores are next shown to relate to the composer's biography in a manner seemingly compatible with the same assumption. It concludes with a general evaluation about what this research programme may possibly suggest about music and emotion.

Keywords:   classical music, historiometrics, emotion, composers

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