Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Open Peer Commentary

The role of semantic association and emotional contagion for the induction of emotion with music

Thomas Fritza1 and Stefan Koelscha2

a1 Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Leipzig, Germany

a2 Department of Psychology, University of Sussex, Brighton BN1 9QU, United Kingdom.


We suggest that semantic association may be a further mechanism by which music may elicit emotion. Furthermore, we note that emotional contagion is not always an immediate process requiring little prior information processing; rather, emotional contagion contributing to music processing may constitute a more complex decoding mechanism for information inherent in the music, which may be subject to a time course of activation.

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