The Perception of Emotional Expression in Music: Evidence from Infants, Children and Adults

  title={The Perception of Emotional Expression in Music: Evidence from Infants, Children and Adults},
  author={Elizabeth Nawrot},
  journal={Psychology of Music},
  pages={75 - 92}
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, sad, anger, fear and neutral). While children did not agree with the adult majority interpretation for most pieces, their pattern of responding to the music, both with photograph choices and spontaneous verbal labels, was similar to the adults. Important methodological differences between this and… 
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Infants’ Responses to Affect in Music and Speech
Existing literature demonstrates that infants can discriminate between categories of infantdirected (ID) speech based on the speaker’s intended message – that is, infants recognize the difference
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7-month-old infants discriminate among happy, interested, angry, and sad expressions, demonstrating differentiation among specific, dynamic expressions during infancy.
Emotional Reactions to Music by Gender, Age, and Expertise
Experts in music and nonexperts ascribed similar emotions to pieces of music and there was no difference in emotional response to music by gender, although women linked to music stronger emotions of anger than girls.
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
Intermodal perception of expressive behaviors by human infants.
  • A. Walker
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    Journal of experimental child psychology
  • 1982
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