The emotional characteristics of brass musical instruments with different pitch and dynamics

Hiu Ting Chan, Ronald Mo, Christopher Keyes, Andrew Horner

Research output: Chapter in book/report/conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

Abstract

Recent research has shown that different musical instrument sounds have strong emotional characteristics. It has also shown how these emotional characteristics change with different pitch and dynamics for the piano and bowed strings. This work differentiates the distinctive emotional characters of the brass instruments, and investigate how pitch and dynamics influence their characters. We conducted listening tests where listeners compared the brass instrument sounds pairwise over ten emotional categories. The emotional characteristics Happy increased with pitch. Heroic, Romantic, and Comic generally increased with pitch in an arching shape that peaked at C5 and decreased at the highest pitches. Calm, Mysterious, and Shy are also in arching shape but peaked at C3. Angry and Scary was somewhat U-shaped and especially strong in the extreme high register. Sad decreased with pitch. In terms of dynamics, the results showed that Heroic, Comic, Angry, and Scary were stronger for loud notes, while Romantic, Calm, Mysterious, Shy, and Sad were stronger for soft notes. These results help orchestra-tors and composers make the jump from knowing a particular pitch is technically possible on an instrument, to understanding how its pitch register shapes its emotional character.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2019 International Computer Music Conference, ICMC-NYCEMF 2019
Subtitle of host publicationInternational Computer Music Conference New York City Electroacoustic Music Festiva, June 16-23
PublisherInternational Computer Music Association
Pages371-376
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)0984527486, 9780984527489
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2019
Event45th International Computer Music Conference, ICMC 2019 and International Computer Music Conference New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival, NYCEMF 2019 - New York, United States
Duration: 16 Jun 201923 Jun 2019

Publication series

NameInternational Computer Music Conference

Conference

Conference45th International Computer Music Conference, ICMC 2019 and International Computer Music Conference New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival, NYCEMF 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew York
Period16/06/1923/06/19

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Media Technology
  • Music
  • Computer Science Applications

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