While listening to any genre of music can be precepted as highly subjective, an interesting approach has been taken by the University of Berkeley, California. A recent study conducted indicates that humans may experience 13 emotional cues based on the type of music and the current state of the person. The following study might be the answer to bridging the gap explaining the feeling of why we might get motivational after dashing through a certain playlist or even feel completely powerless after listening to another.
The study was led by Alan Cowen, a doctoral student who based his findings using a jam-packed sampling of over 2,000 music samples in order to measure how a variety of musical choices can affect the emotional being of a certain subject.
“We have rigorously documented the largest array of emotions that are universally felt through the language of music,” quoted the study’s senior author Prof. Dacher Keltner. The study findings can be found published in PNAS.
For the entire study, a wide range of participants with different backgrounds were recruited. From the U.S. 1,591 participants and 1,258 participants from China were asked to listen to the sampling batch of 2,168 music samples. At the beginning of the experiment, a subset of the participants from the U.S and China were asked to listen to a library of 1,841 musical samples. The participants were then asked to rate the samples on a scale of 11 that further measured the samples on a broad variety of features.
A further study was conducted on the composite groups of participants who were asked to pinpoint the different experiences that they encountered after hearing the sample. Further experimentation was conducted after collecting the huge dataset which led the researchers to map down the 13 emotions which were found to be in conjecture with most of the participants.