“Beautiful” Music (09-09-19)

Omigie and colleagues probed the implications of listening to “beautiful” music; their findings may be applicable to other sensory experiences.  Via an online survey and lab-based research, during which physiological data were collected, the investigators assessed how “self-identified beautiful passages (BPs), in self-selected music, may be distinguishable in terms of their affective [emotional] qualities. . . .  three BP subtypes that we labeled Low-Tension/Low-Energy (LTLE), Low-Tension/High-Energy (LTHE), and High-Tension/High-Energy (HTHE) BPs [were identified]. LTHE and HTHE BPs induced greater interest and were more liked than LTLE BPs. Further, LTHE and HTHE clusters were associated with increases in skin-conductance, in accordance with the higher arousal reported for these BPs, while LTLE BPs resulted in the increases in smiling and respiration-rate previously associated with processing fluency and positive valence. LTLE BPs were also shown to be lower in tempo and polyphony than the other BP types. Finally, while both HTHE and LTHE BPs were associated with changes in dynamics . . . HTHE BPs were associated with increases in pitch register and LTHE BPs, with a tendency towards the major mode and reductions in harmonic ambiguity.”

Diana Omigie, Klaus Frieler, Christian Bar, R. Muralikrishnan, Melanie Wald-Fuhrmann, and Timo Fishinger “Experiencing Musical Beauty:  Emotional Subtypes and Their Physiological and Musico-Acoustic Correlates.” Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, in press, http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/aca0000271