Proceedings abstract




Patrik N. Juslin

Department of Psychology

Uppsala University

Box 1225

SE -751 42 Uppsala


Background: A number of philosophers, psychologists, and natural scientists have speculated that speech and music share a common origin - a notion that implies that the two modalities should have much in common. However, despite considerable interest in this issue, there has been little empirical evidence to support such cross-modal parallels. This is unfortunate since evidence of cross-modal parallels could offer a partial explanation of why music is perceived as expressive of emotion.

Aims: This paper eavesdrops on the results from a systematic review of studies of emotional expression in speech and music performance. The principal aim of the review was to explore the extent to which there are cross-modal similarities between speech and music performance by integrating the results from a large number of empirical studies in both domains.

Main Contribution: The results show that there are many parallels between speech and music performance with regard to (a) accuracy, (b) coding, (c) code usage, (d) cue intercorrelations, (e) gender differences, and (f) the use of expressive contours. However, the results also show that many of the acoustic cues remain to be studied systematically, and that the relationships among acoustic cues and emotions are not consistent across different conditions.

Implications: The results support the often suggested hypothesis that speech and music share a common origin. A theoretical explanation of the obtained results is provided and implications for future research are discussed. It is argued that cross-modal comparisons yield insights that would be difficult to obtain from studying the two domains separately.


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