Theses Doctoral

Emotion Recognition Education in Western Art Music Appreciation

Matsumoto, Akiko

Because Western art music is harmonically more complex than popular music and because it is written with musical notation, it may be challenging for certain people with no music training (non-musicians), those who did not grow up with Western art music, or those who did not choose to listen to this type of music for enjoyment to understand and appreciate it. Furthermore, there is a prevalent belief that Western art music is for the wealthy and elderly. This belief may be preventing symphony orchestra groups from cultivating new audiences. This study aims to determine if a narrative music listening activity would generate emotional response and cognitive engagement in a study group of non-Western art music listeners and prompt them to create musical narratives. Theoretically, narrative form music listening may present episodic memories, which can be built up into stories.

To test the effect of narrative music listening activities, an online survey was distributed to non-Western art music listeners in the 20 through 40 age range, and pretest–treatment–posttest activity was devised and administered to three groups, an absolute music listening group, a programmatic music listening group, and a polyphonic texture listening group. In the treatment section, the creative listening activity, participants were prompted to create musical narratives, which take the form of colors, shapes, dialogues, or explicit stories. Participants were then asked to write about the music they heard before and after the narrative music listening activity. Participants’ motivation to attend a Western art music concert was assessed via a motivation scale using Likert scales. The results suggest that this online activity’s multimodality was a promising method for enhancing the appreciation of Western art music.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Interdisciplinary Studies in Education
Thesis Advisors
Abeles, Harold F.
Okita, Sandra
Ed.D., Teachers College, Columbia University
Published Here
June 1, 2021