Tuesday, October 25, 2005
Let me tell you how sad I am, slowly
Dave Munger has a good post describing a recent study by Isabelle Peretz and Lise Gagnon on emotional effects of music. It turns out that tempo is more important than mode (major vs. minor keys) in creating the sensation of happiness or sadness. However, I find the tempo choices to be quite bizarre. The slowest tempo was 110 beats per minute, well above the accepted normal range. Dave doesn't say how the primary beat was determined, a very complex matter as Peter Martens could tell you. But typical music definitions of slow tempi are in the range of 40-60 beats per minute, half of the study's speed.