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Social Influences On Emotions Experienced During Music Listening

There are many social aspects of music in everyday life. These include, for instance, the influence of peers on personal music preferences or the social interaction of audiences during music performances. Furthermore, numerous studies have shown that music is a powerful means to induce emotions. But past studies have primarily concentrated on the experience of individuals listening to music alone; the interpersonal influences on the induction of emotion through music have not been the focus of previous research. This project investigated the influence of a) others’ opinions about the emotional effects of music pieces and b) listening to music together as a group. Accordingly, new and innovative methods were employed: by using Web experiments as well as multi-channel physiological and psychological measurements of multiple participants, we investigated the extent to which musically induced emotions are subject to these social influences.

This project has received funding from the German Research Foundation (to the Hanover University of Music and Drama, PIs: Prof Eckart Altenmüller & Reinhard Kopiez).

Project run time: 2009-2013

Key publications: