Emotion Experiment

April 22, 2009 6:33 AM

This is a piece I've composed to express or represent emotion. Please let me know what you think it expresses. If you really want to be serious, then copy and paste the questionnaire posted inside (without reading the comments!) and send your answers to me by email.

You can put less formal comments here if you want, but it would be great to get some formal responses as well. Just copy and paste the below questions and send them to me by email (see my profile).

Instructions for Music Experiment 1

Approximate time required: 25 minutes (piece length 8 minutes).

This piece of music is intended to be expressive or representative of emotion. Please listen to it once all the way through and note your initial impressions. Then please listen again, and as many times as you like to refine/modify your judgement. You may also skip to particular sections if you want.

A: Please mark with an 'X' any/all emotions that you hear represented or expressed during this piece of music (for any length of time). If you wish, you may also note repeated instances of a label, use larger Xs for greater intensities, give more specific emotion labels, or note the particular times in the track at which the emotion is expressed.

01. Happiness/joy/bliss/ecstasy
02. Sadness/regret/disappointment/sorrow/despair
03. Fear/anxiety/panic
04. Anger/rage/irritation/frustration
05. Surprise/shock/relief
06. Pride
07. Wonder/awe
08. Boredom
09. Nostalgia
10. Contentment/calm/peacefulness
11. Amusement
12. Hope
13. Disgust
14. Love/tenderness
15. Hate
16. Guilt/shame
17. Envy/resentment
18. Jealousy
19. Sympathy/compassion
20. Grief
21. Admiration
22. Contempt
23. Gratitude
24. Humiliation/embarrassment

Other (please specify):

B: Please describe the music in your own words, using any adjectives or imagery that you like, as well as your own personal reaction.
initial impression:
considered impression:

C: Is there any emotion or scenario that you think the piece as a whole expresses or represents?
initial impression:
considered impression:

posted by leibniz (3 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Man, what an incredible piece, both in how it was composed, and how it was performed. Kudos! I don't have eight minutes to spare right now, but yet I found myself listening until the end. I really loved it, and I'm not usually that excited by classical music.

I have a visceral reaction against your methodology, so I'll just leave it at that and not go into the numbers. It feels scientistic to me, so I wonder how it could actually end up productive. Maybe if you gave us a link to a page outlining your broader aims, it would help the listener/participant. I should say that I am generally skeptical of the questionnaire format, and 'scientific experiments' involving music of this sort. It's probably just a professional clash.
posted by umbĂș at 7:20 AM on April 22, 2009


Thanks for the comment. I guess there are both scientific goals and artistic goals for this, and the questionnaire is the best way to validate the scientific goals.

I don't want to say too much about the context, but if people are really interested they can check out some of the background theory in my articles here. If this is successful I was considering writing a piece for each of the 24 emotion types listed in the questionnaire above.
posted by leibniz at 12:17 PM on April 22, 2009


I really love this. It is amazing. But the questionnaire feels like homework.
posted by The World Famous at 2:27 PM on April 22, 2009


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