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date: 20 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter provides a review of psychological studies of expression and communication of emotions in the performance of music. First, we provide working definitions of key concepts, and consider how performers may conceive of these issues. Subsequently, we outline various research paradigms, and review evidence on how performers express emotions. We show that a wide range of musical features is systematically related to both performers’ expressive intentions and listeners’ perception of emotion. The communicative code involved is explained in terms of a functionalist framework, which postulates that the code derives from mostly innate affect programs for vocal expression, and captures the essential characteristics of the communicative process by means of a modified version of Brunswik’s “lens model.” We demonstrate that the communicative process can be successfully modeled by means of multiple regression analysis and conclude that music students could be given systematic training in expressive skills based on empirical research.

Keywords: music, performance, emotion, expression, communication, perception, lens model

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