A comparison of the effects of music and speech prosody on three dimensions of affective experience

Gabriela Ilie, William Thompson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionResearchpeer-review


Background Research suggests that music and speech prosody communicate emotions in similar ways (Ilie & Thompson, in press; Juslin & Laukka, 2003). Exposure to music can even induce changes in mood and arousal (Husain, et al., 2002). In this study, we compared the capacity for music and speech prosody to induce changes in mood valence, energetic arousal, and tension arousal. Loudness, pace, and pitch height were manipulated in samples of music and speech. After exposing listeners to stimuli for eight minutes, affective consequences were assessed. Aims Our goal was to (a) confirm that exposure to auditory stimuli can influence mood valence, energetic arousal, and tense arousal; (b) determine the effects of manipulating loudness, pace and pitch height on these affective dimensions, and (c) compare the effects in music and speech. Method Eight music and eight speech samples were manipulated in loudness (loud, soft), pace (fast, slow) and pitch height (high, low). Listeners heard one of the conditions for eight minutes and were assessed for changes in affective experience using the “Profile of Mood States” and direct measures. Results Manipulations influenced affective experience similarly in music and speech. Loudness influenced tension; pace influenced energy; and pitch height influenced mood valence. A few differences in the experiential effects of music and speech were also observed. Conclusions Exposure to acoustic qualities induced changes in affective experience similarly whether embedded in music or speech. Comparing results to an earlier (perceptual) study, experiential effects appear to be more specific than perceptual effects. We propose that music and speech are associated with a common underlying mechanism for linking acoustic qualities with affective experience.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAbstracts - 9th International Conference on Music Perception and Cognition. 6th Triennial Conference of the European Society for the Cognitive Sciences of Music
EditorsMario Baroni, Anna Rita Addessi, Roberto Caterina, Marco Costa
PublisherBononia University Press
Number of pages2
ISBN (Electronic)88-7395-155-4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2006
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'A comparison of the effects of music and speech prosody on three dimensions of affective experience'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this