Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Open Peer Commentary

Musical expectancy: The influence of musical structure on emotional response

Carol L. Krumhansla1 and Kat R. Agresa1

a1 Department of Psychology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853. clk4@cornell.edu katagres@gmail.com http://www.psych.cornell.edu/people/Faculty/clk4.html

Abstract

When examining how emotions are evoked through music, the role of musical expectancy is often surprisingly under-credited. This mechanism, however, is most strongly tied to the actual structure of the music, and thus is important when considering how music elicits emotions. We briefly summarize Leonard Meyer's theoretical framework on musical expectancy and emotion and cite relevant research in the area.

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