A Developmental Study of Children's Interpretation of Emotion in Music

  title={A Developmental Study of Children's Interpretation of Emotion in Music},
  author={John Kratus},
  journal={Psychology of Music},
  pages={19 - 3}
  • John Kratus
  • Published 1 January 1993
  • Psychology
  • Psychology of Music
The purpose of this study was two-fold: (1) to determine whether develop- mental, gender-based, or emotion-based differences exist in children's ability to interpret emotion in music, and (2) to determine which musical elements contribute to children's interpretations of emotion. Subjects aged 6 to 12 (N = 658) were asked on two occasions to interpret the emotion present in 30 recorded musical excerpts. On one measure subjects were asked to respond by circling happy or sad faces as they… 

Figures and Tables from this paper

Associating emotions with Wagner’s music: A developmental perspective
Brazilian listeners (N = 303) were asked to identify emotions conveyed in 1-min instrumental excerpts from Wagner’s operas. Participants included musically untrained 7- to 10-year-olds and university
The Perception of Emotional Expression in Music: Evidence from Infants, Children and Adults
Two studies investigated the development of the perception of emotion in music. In Study 1, preschool children and adults matched nine pieces of music to five photographed facial expressions (happy,
Preschoolers’ attribution of affect to music: A comparison between vocal and instrumental performance
Research has shown inconsistent results concerning the ability of young children to identify musical emotion. This study explores the influence of the type of musical performance (vocal vs.
Children's understanding of emotion in dance
This study investigated children's understanding of emotion in dance movements. Professional dancers were instructed to improvise on the emotions of joy, anger, fear, and sadness and to transform
Perception of emotional content in musical performances by 3–7-year-old children
The emotional content expressed through musical performance has become a widely-discussed topic in music psychology during the past two decades. However, empirical evidence regarding children’s
The Ability of Children With Language Impairment to Recognize Emotion Conveyed by Facial Expression and Music
The emotion understanding of children with language impairment (LI) was examined in two studies employing emotion-recognition tasks selected to minimize reliance on language skills. Participants
A Cross-Cultural Investigation of the Perception of Emotion in Music: Psychophysical and Cultural Cues
Studies of the link between music and emotion have primarily focused on listeners' sensitivity to emotion in the music of their own culture. This sensitivity may reflect listeners' enculturation to
Evidence for early arousal-based differentiation of emotions in children's musical production.
Differentiation of emotions by 5-year-old children was mainly driven by arousal of the target emotion, with differentiation based on both valence and arousal at 7 years, and the results indicate that the developmental trajectory of emotion understanding in music may differ from the developmental trajectories in other domains.
The effect of background music on the interpretation of a story in 5 year olds
Throughout development, children acquire knowledge both about the syntactical norms of tonal music, and about the relationship between musical form and emotion. The perception of emotional expression
Emotional experience in music fosters 18-month-olds' emotion-action understanding: a training study.
The findings suggest a privileged role of musical experience in prompting infants to form emotional representations, which support their understanding of the association between affective states and action.


Developmental change in the understanding of affective meaning in music
The development of the understanding of affective meaning in music was investigated. Subjects aged 4, 5, 6, and 19 assigned verbal labels to musical segments previously determined by adults to be
Age Changes in the Ability to Interpret Affect in Sung and Instrumentally-Presented Melodies
The purpose of this study was to determine the age at which children begin to recognise the affective qualities in sung and instrumentally-presented melodies. Four, seven, and nine-year-old children
Musical Expression of Moodstates
Three different age groups (5- and 10-year-old children, and adults) were asked to link a number of selected excerpts of music to one of the four moodstates: "happiness", "sadness", "fear" and
Sex and Emotional Responses to Classical Music
The data suggest that, while sex and familiarity seem to affect positive responses to music, there may also be an interaction between sex andamiliarity.
An Investigation of Emotional Response to Music and Text
The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of musical and textual settings (text alone, commercial-type background music, commeicial-type background music with text, atonal music, atonal
Affective Response to Meaningful Sound Stimuli
  • I. Breger
  • Psychology
    Perceptual and motor skills
  • 1970
The emotional response to meaningful sounds is basic to human experience yet has not been studied by the psychologists in perception, so affective responses of males and females to corn, plex auditory stimuli are compared.
Tempo Preferences of Different Age Music Listeners
The purpose of this study was to measure the effect of four levels of tempo on the self-reported preferences of six different age-groups for traditional jazz music listening examples. The authors
The Effects of Teaching and Learning Experiences, Tempo, and Mode on Undergraduates' and Children's Symphonic Music Preferences
The purpose of this study was to examine (a) the effect of high positive music appreciation I instruction or teaching presentations on 62 elementary education majors' preference ratings and listening
Musical Beliefs: Psychoacoustic, Mythical, and Educational Perspectives
In this book, the author argues that what constitutes "music" in various societies is culturally based, not the result of some universal aspect of human physical and psychological make-up. This is
The Dimensions of Aesthetic Reactions To Music
The experimental studies of aesthetic reactions to works of art that were carried out in the early part of this century were concerned with the identification of "types of apperception", or