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Music and Emotion: Theory and Research (Series in Affective Science) [Paperback]

Patrik Juslin , John Sloboda
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

30 Aug 2001 Series in Affective Science
The position of emotion in music has been a subject of considerable interest and debate. However emotional aspects of music have received surprising little attention in the 45 years since the publication of Leonard Meyer's classic work 'Emotion and meaning in music.' During that time, both 'music psychology' and 'emotion' have developed as lively areas of research, and the time is fitting therefore to try and bring together this multidisciplinary interest and take stock of what we now know about this important relationship. A new volume in the Series in Affective Science, Music and Emotion; Theory and Research brings together leading researchers interested in both these topics to present the first integrative review of this subject. The first section reflects the various interdisciplinary perspectives, taking on board views from philosophy, psychology, musicology, biology, anthropology, and sociology. The second section addresses the role of our emotions in the composition of music, the ways that emotions can be communicated via musical structures, the use of music to express emotions within the cinema. The third section looks at the emotions of the performer - how do they communicate emotion, how does their emotional state affect their own performance. The final section looks at the ways in which our emotions are guided and influenced while listening to music, whether actively or passively. Music and Emotion is a timely book, one that will interest psychologists, musicologists, music educators, and philosophers.

Product details

  • Paperback: 504 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford (30 Aug 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192631888
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192631886
  • Product Dimensions: 24 x 17 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 986,303 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


One of the major merits of the book, which I think deserves high praise, is its multidisciplinarity, showing that the link between music and emotion is broad and can be viewed from many different and equally valid points of view. (Journal of Consciousness Studies, Vol 11, No 2)

This is a comprehensive and enlightening text that will appeal to many. The diversity in contributions and scope of treatment of the topic makes it an essential read for anyone interested in music and emotion. (The Psychologist)

. . . the editors commissioned an excellent selection of papers, which sit well together within one volume. As one would expect from the combined forces of Juslin, Sloboda and Oxford University Press, the standard of editing is excellent, chapters are thoroughly cross-referenced and the two indices (one for authors and one for subjects) are actually useful. (Psychology of Music)

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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent! 12 Nov 2001
By A Customer
This book presents a series of thought provoking essays based on theories around the area of music and emotion. The subject is skillfully examined from a variety of theoretical standpoints (including philosophy, music in cinema and musicology) and provides not only descriptions and analyses of the recent theories from each of these diciplines but, more importantly, offers suggestions for furture research in the area of music and emotion. A must read for anyone studying music, the psychology of music or anyone interested in how music effects the emotions.
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2 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars don't ever, ever call me stupid 15 Jun 2004
By A Customer
Oopsie. That previous review reads very much like a publisher's blurb. Always a possibility worth considering.
"Oh no, whatever you do, don't ever, ever call me stupid".
-Calvin Klein as Otto in A Fish Called Wanda
All the same, it could be a good book. I heard this guy Sloboda on the radio today and he sounded very intersting.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.2 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars very integrative and all-encompassing 1 April 2007
By Passion4Music - Published on
Pulling together famous researchers, etc Juslin and Sloboda do an amzing job of pulling together resources from various social sciences to help understand the interconnection between emotion and music. I haven't plowed through it fully yet but every day there's a new insight I learn or even a twist on how we understand the mind's analysis of music-even with all the background i have.

I surely suggest reading this if you want a real skin and bones understanding and not just fluffy narrative.

Happy Reading!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A collection for the researcher 1 July 2014
By Basson - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This excellent collection of papers on a variety of aspects of the psychology and neuropsychology of listening and performance is not for the reader who want's a quick easy way to the complex issue of the effects of music on emotional states. This text is for the serious reader/researcher in musicology or psychology interested in the science of emotions and interactions with a wide range of issues in music, such as the brain and music, aesthetics and agency, music therapy the relation of musical structure on emotions, as well as sections on specific reference to the performer and the listener. A very good source book for academics.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Music and Emotions 7 Nov 2013
By Bernd Willimek - Published on
Unfortunately, you don't find a satisfying explanation in this book which could answer the question, why music can trigger emotions at all. You can't find a explanation, why minor chords often sound sad. You can't find an explanation, why music can express anything. And that is the point where significant weaknesses of the authors are visible.

The most difficult problem in answering this question is the fact that assignments of musical elements and emotions can never be defined clearly. The solution of this problem is the Theory of Musical Equilibration. It says that music can't convey any emotion at all, but merely volitional processes which the music listener is identifying with. Then, in the process of identifying, the volitional processes are colored with emotions. The same happens when we watch an exciting film and identify with the volitional processes of our favorite characters. The process of identification generates emotions here, too.

All music psychological and neurological studies to answer the question of the origin of emotions caused by music failed, because this detour of emotions by volitional processes was not detected so far.

But how can music convey volitional processes? These volitional processes have something to do with a phenomena called by earlier music theorists "lead", "leading tone" or "striving effects". If we reverse this musical phenomena in imagination into its opposite (not the sound itself wants to change - but the listener wants the sound to stay unchanged), then we have found the contents of will the music listener identifies with. In practice, everything becomes a bit more complicated, so that even more sophisticated volitional processes can be represented musically.

Further information is available via the free download of the e-book "Music and Emotions - Research on the Theory of Musical Equilibration":

Enjoy reading

Bernd Willimek
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-have for any scholar interested in the subject 7 Nov 2011
By Fred Highstep - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a must-have for anyone interested in the subject of musical expression and emotional response to music. Plus this is a relevant model of what a collective book should be: the same issue is adressed again and again under differents scopes (philosophy, musicology, psychology, biology, sociology, and so on) by experts of each discipline including Davies, Sloboda, Meyer, Scherer, Cook... throwing different light on the same subject. It is very useful.

But this book is first meant to be used by researchers, scholars and students. I wouldn't recommand it to lay people or average music lovers, who might feel lost with the complexity of the issues adressed here.
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