Sunday, November 21, 2010

Music Mapping Speech

The notion that the minor third often suggests sadness in music has been around for a long time. What's new in this article is the connection made to that interval being present in sad speech as well.

The tangible relationship between music and emotion is no surprise to anyone, but a study in the June issue of Emotion suggests the minor third isn't a facet of musical communication alone—it's how we convey sadness in speech, too. When it comes to sorrow, music and human speech might speak the same language. . . 

 . . .Since the minor third is defined as a specific measurable distance between pitches (a ratio of frequencies), Curtis was able to identify when the actors' speech relied on the minor third. What she found is that the actors consistently used the minor third to express sadness. . . 

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