Recognition of the Emotional Content of Music Depending on the Characteristics of the Musical Material and Experience of Students



We studied the effect of the factors affecting the recognition of the emotional content of the music. We tested hypotheses about the influence of the valence of the music, ethnic style and the listening experience on the success of music recognition. The empirical study involved 26 Russian musicians (average age of 25,7 years). For the study of musical perception we used bipolar semantic differential. We revealed that the valence of music material affects the recognition of the emotional content of music, and the ethno style does not. It was found that senior students recognize the emotional context of the music more effectively. The results show the universal nature of emotional and musical ear, equally successfully recognizing music of different ethnic style, as well as support the notion of higher significance of negative valence of emotional content in the process of musical perception. A study of factors influencing the emotional understanding of music is important for the development of models of emotion recognition, theoretical constructs of emotional intelligence, and for the theory and practice of music education.

General Information

Keywords: emotional content of music, music emotion recognition, emotion valence, ethnic style, listening experience

Journal rubric: Developmental Psychology

Article type: scientific article


For citation: Knyazeva T.S., Toropova A.V. Recognition of the Emotional Content of Music Depending on the Characteristics of the Musical Material and Experience of Students [Elektronnyi resurs]. Psikhologicheskaya nauka i obrazovanie [Psychological Science and Education], 2014. Vol. 6, no. 4, pp. 33–45. DOI: 10.17759/psyedu.2014060404. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

T. S. Knyazeva, PhD in Psychology, Senior researcher, The laboratory of psychology and psychophysiology of creative activity, Institute of Psychology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia, e-mail:

A. V. Toropova, Doctor of Education, Doctor of Pedagogical Sciences, Professor of the Department of Methodology and Technology of Pedagogy of Music Education, Moscow State Pedagogical University, Leading Researcher of the Laboratory of Differential Psychology and Psychophysiology, RAO Psychological Institute (FGNU PI RAO), Moscow, Russia, e-mail:



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