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

An Investigation into How Reverberation Effects the Space of Instrument Emotional Characteristics

Mo, Ronald, So, Richard and Horner, Andrew (2016) An Investigation into How Reverberation Effects the Space of Instrument Emotional Characteristics. Journal of the Audio Engineering Society, 64 (12). pp. 988-1002. ISSN 15494950

Item Type: Article


Previous research has shown that musical instruments have distinctive emotional characteristics and that these characteristics can be significantly changed with reverberation. This paper considers whether these changes in character are relatively uniform or instrument-dependent. We compared eight sustained instrument tones with different amounts and lengths of simple parametric reverberation over eight emotional characteristics. The results show a remarkable consistency in listener rankings of the instruments for each of the different types of reverberation, with strong correlations ranging from 90 to 95%. These results indicate that the underlying instrument space does not change much with reverberation in terms of emotional characteristics, and that each instrument has a particular footprint of emotional characteristics. Among the tones we tested, the instruments cluster into two fairly distinctive groups: those where the positive energetic emotional characteristics are strong (e.g., oboe, trumpet, violin) and those where the low-arousal characteristics are strong (e.g., bassoon, clarinet, flute, horn). The saxophone is an outlier and is somewhat strong for most emotional characteristics. In terms of applications, the relatively consistent rankings of emotional characteristics between the instruments certainly helps each instrument retain its identity in different reverberation environments and suggests possible future work in instrument identification.

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Depositing User: Ronald Mo


Item ID: 15804
Identification Number:
ISSN: 15494950
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Users with ORCIDS

ORCID for Ronald Mo: ORCID iD

Catalogue record

Date Deposited: 20 Mar 2023 16:45
Last Modified: 20 Mar 2023 16:45


Author: Ronald Mo ORCID iD
Author: Richard So
Author: Andrew Horner

University Divisions

Faculty of Technology > School of Computer Science


Performing Arts > Music

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