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Sunderland Repository records the research produced by the University of Sunderland including practice-based research and theses.

The Effects of Reverberation on the Emotional Characteristics of Musical Instruments

Mo, Ronald, Wu, Bin and Horner, Andrew (2015) The Effects of Reverberation on the Emotional Characteristics of Musical Instruments. Journal of the Audio Engineering Society, 63 (12). pp. 966-979. ISSN 15494950

Item Type: Article


Though previous research has shown the effects of reverberation on clarity, spaciousness, and other perceptual aspects of music, it is still largely unknown to what extent reverberation influences the emotional characteristics of musical instrument sounds. This paper investigates the effect of simple parametric reverberation on music emotion, in particular, the effect of
reverberation length and amount. We conducted a listening test to compare the effect of reverberation on the emotional characteristics of eight instrument sounds representing the wind and bowed string families. We compared these sounds over eight emotional categories. We found that reverberation length and amount had a strongly significant effect on the emotional characteristics Romantic and Mysterious and a medium effect on Sad, Scary, and Heroic for the samples we tested. Interestingly, for Comic, reverberation length and amount had the opposite effect; that is, anechoic tones were judged most Comic. Reverb had a mild effect on Happy and relatively little effect on Shy. These results give audio engineers and musicians an interesting perspective on simple parametric artificial reverberation.

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Depositing User: Ronald Mo


Item ID: 15803
Identification Number:
ISSN: 15494950
Official URL:

Users with ORCIDS

ORCID for Ronald Mo: ORCID iD

Catalogue record

Date Deposited: 20 Mar 2023 16:41
Last Modified: 20 Mar 2023 16:41


Author: Ronald Mo ORCID iD
Author: Bin Wu
Author: Andrew Horner

University Divisions

Faculty of Technology > School of Computer Science


Performing Arts > Music

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