Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Open Peer Commentary

Anticipation is the key to understanding music and the effects of music on emotion

Peter Vuusta1a2 and Chris D. Fritha1a3

a1 Center of Functionally Integrative Neuroscience, Aarhus University Hospital, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark [email protected]

a2 Royal Academy of Music, 8000 Aarhus, Denmark

a3 Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging, University College, London, WC1 N 3BG, United Kingdom [email protected]


There is certainly a need for a framework to guide the study of the physiological mechanisms underlying the experience of music and the emotions that music evokes. However, this framework should be organised hierarchically, with musical anticipation as its fundamental mechanism.