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.


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.

Related Articles

    Emotional responses to music: The need to consider underlying mechanisms Patrik N. Juslin and Daniel Västfjäll Department of Psychology, Uppsala University, SE-75142 Uppsala, Sweden; Department of Psychology, Göteborg University, SE-40530 Göteborg, Sweden