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Emotional responses to Hindustani raga music: the role of musical structure

Mathur, A., Vijayakumar, S. H., Chakrabarti, B. and Singh, N. C. (2015) Emotional responses to Hindustani raga music: the role of musical structure. Frontiers in Psychology, 6. ISSN 1664-1078

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To link to this item DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00513

Abstract/Summary

In Indian classical music, ragas constitute specific combinations of tonic intervals potentially capable of evoking distinct emotions. A raga composition is typically presented in two modes, namely, alaap and gat. Alaap is the note by note delineation of a raga bound by a slow tempo, but not bound by a rhythmic cycle. Gat on the other hand is rendered at a faster tempo and follows a rhythmic cycle. Our primary objective was to (1) discriminate the emotions experienced across alaap and gat of ragas, (2) investigate the association of tonic intervals, tempo and rhythmic regularity with emotional response. 122 participants rated their experienced emotion across alaap and gat of 12 ragas. Analysis of the emotional responses revealed that (1) ragas elicit distinct emotions across the two presentation modes, and (2) specific tonic intervals are robust predictors of emotional response. Specifically, our results showed that the ‘minor second’ is a direct predictor of negative valence. (3) Tonality determines the emotion experienced for a raga where as rhythmic regularity and tempo modulate levels of arousal. Our findings provide new insights into the emotional response to Indian ragas and the impact of tempo, rhythmic regularity and tonality on it.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Centre for Integrative Neuroscience and Neurodynamics (CINN)
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Psychology
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Neuroscience
Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Centre for Cognition Research (CCR)
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Psychopathology and Affective Neuroscience
ID Code:40148
Publisher:Frontiers Media

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