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A framework for examining emotion perception in tone quality: theory and future application

presentation
posted on 23.11.2021, 11:42 by Kristal SpreadboroughKristal Spreadborough
This record contains the presentation and transcription for a paper given at the International Symposium on Sensory Cognition 2021 (conference poster is attached to this record for reference).

Presentation abstract:
A sounds tone quality, its unique sound characteristic or tone colour, can be a highly salient emotional cue. It can at once convey the literal source of a sound, evoke abstract interpretation, and signify socially constructed meaning. Tone quality plays an important role in musical expression. Its potential to convey literal, abstract, and social meanings may render it a salient emotional cue in music. However, how, and the degree to which, tone quality impacts emotional perception in music is not well understood. One reason is that the variety of characteristics that comprise tone quality can be challenging to quantify and isolate in an empirically and ecologically valid way. This paper presents a framework for theorising emotional expression in tone quality and outlines how the theory may inform future empirically grounded approaches. Drawing on previous research in music psychology, social semiotics and multimodality, this paper outlines a set of discrete tone quality features, and considers how different configurations of these features may convey different emotions. It presents an emotional model which can be used to interrogate emotional expression. In doing so, it presents a multimodal approach which integrates literal, abstract, and social meaning potentials of sound and considers how these contribute to emotional expression.

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