Type of Document Treatise Author Large, Karen McLaughlin Author's Email Address email@example.com URN etd-12222009-204432 Title Affective Responses To Music: A Flutist's Perspective Degree Doctor of Musical Arts Department Music, College of Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Eric Ohlsson Committee Co-Chair Eva Amsler Committee Co-Chair Patrick Meighan Committee Member Matthew Shaftel University Representative Keywords
- Affective Responses
Date of Defense 2009-12-04 Availability unrestricted AbstractIn music, the field of affective (or emotional) response research is significant not only in the number of studies published, but in its study of the motivation behind music-making. Most composers, performers, and listeners participate in music to communicate—to convey or receive some meaning. Much of that communication is emotional in nature; yet as with human emotions, musical emotions are difficult to study and describe due to their complex nature.
There is a large amount of research on affective responses within a number of different musical sub-fields. The first chapter of this treatise looks at the subject of emotion in music from three perspectives: performance, theoretical, and experimental. Scholars in each of these fields approach emotion in music very differently, yet many conclusions are the same between groups. One of the purposes of this treatise is to present some of the main ideas from each of these groups in order to elicit communication between the groups and provide a broad background for research on this topic.
The second chapter presents an experiment performed specifically for this treatise. Knowing that so much research exists on emotion in music, it is surprising that many teaching techniques are limited to imagery, metaphors, and aural modeling. The goal of the experiment was to evaluate the emotional content of fifteen flute themes from the standard solo literature to determine if the emotions traditionally assigned to this music could be empirically, or numerically, validated or rejected. Most traditional emotions assigned to these themes were empirically validated. Those themes that did not match the traditional emotion in the experiment showed at least a high degree of representation of the traditional emotion, in addition to other emotions.
The results of the experiment show that listeners, regardless of the instrument they play, agree on emotional content within music. Additionally, valence and arousal, or sentiment and activity, play a large part in this process especially in determining the intensity of the emotions portrayed.
The third chapter is a proposed plan for teaching emotional expression in music lessons. It fuses the information from the first chapter and results of the experiment in the second chapter to provide a well-rounded approach to performing with emotion. The benefit of this approach versus traditional imagery-, metaphor-, and aural-based techniques is that it provides articulated physical goals toward which students can strive and is deeply rooted in the scholarly research previously conducted in this field.
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