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date: 31 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

A comprehensive review of studies on the relationship between musical structure and perceived emotional expression reveals that any structural factor (tempo, loudness, pitch, timbre, intervals, mode, melody, rhythm, harmony, etc.) may indicate a number of different emotional expressions. Conversely, perceived emotional expression is always a function of many structural factors which may work in additive or interactive ways. The most distinct results concern effects of basic variables in human audition (loudness, timbre, pitch) and motion (tempo/speed), while results concerning the effects of typical musical variables seem less clear. This chapter includes a review of the relationship between structural variables and other kinds of perceived expression, such as narratives in program music; human character, personality, and identity; motion and dynamic forces; social conditions and organization; and religious faith and transcendental phenomena.

Keywords: musical structure, emotional expression, absolutism, referentialism, program music, human character, motion, dynamic forces, social conditions, religious faith

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