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How Does Parametric Reverberation Change the Space of Instrument Emotional Characteristics?

Mo, Ronald K., So, Richard H. Y. and Horner, Andrew (2017) How Does Parametric Reverberation Change the Space of Instrument Emotional Characteristics? In: International Computer Music Conference, Oct 16, 2017 - Oct 20, 2017, Shanghai, China.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


Previous research has shown that the distinctive emotional characteristics in musical instruments 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, and those where the low-arousal characteristics are strong. 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: 15840
Official URL:

Users with ORCIDS

ORCID for Ronald K. Mo: ORCID iD

Catalogue record

Date Deposited: 22 Mar 2023 15:57
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2023 12:00


Author: Ronald K. Mo ORCID iD
Author: Richard H. Y. So
Author: Andrew Horner

University Divisions

Faculty of Technology > School of Computer Science


Performing Arts > Music

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