The Universal Induction of Broad Emotions Through Music Reception




Dong, Daniel

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Different compositions of music instigate a variety of different feelings within audiences. These feelings are a component of emotion – a combination of physiological processes, behavioral responses, and feelings based on cognitive assessment in reaction to a particular situation and interpretation of one’s bodily states. Even so, there exists objections regarding the possibility of music possessing the ability to evoke, let alone express emotions within listeners. While the theoretical support behind this side of the debate provides insight, the empirical evidence and experience of listeners advocates its opposing argument. In this review, the goal is to present these counterarguments and even go so far as to compose and share final compositions that have the innate ability to induce a particular emotion by reception based on a literature review of past research as well as the execution of a newly developed experiment. An understanding of objective emotions and the distinction between how one feels or perceives them will be necessary. A framework regarding the physiological and psychological mechanisms by which music may evoke emotions has also been provided by music psychologists to construct a foundation for supporting research and review. Finally, a presentation of the music-based experimentation and associated survey will be outlined, and their corresponding results analyzed and discussed as a means to creating pieces that are aimed at inducting specific emotions within listeners universally.