Math Equation Predicts Musical Reactions

Subject: Math Equation Predicts Musical Reactions
From: Mauricio Duarte-Neira (039166d) (
Date: Thu Jul 22 2004 - 08:28:12 EDT

By Anna Salleh, ABC Science Online
The power of music to convey a certain emotion can now be predicted by a
mathematical model, an Australian psychologist has found. Emery Schubert
the University of New South Wales will report the first study of its
to mathematically quantify the emotional impact of music at the
International Conference on Auditory Display in Sydney in July.

Schubert has developed a formula that relates features such as the
loudness, tempo and pitch to an emotion perceived by the listener. "With
formulas I can play a piece of music and predict what emotional impact
will have," Schubert told ABC Science Online.

He found that the loudness of a piece of music was the most powerful
predictor of whether the music was arousing. Next in line was tempo: the
faster the music, the more arousing the music.

- from Roger Clough

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