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

The Emotional Characteristics of Section String Instruments with Different Pitch and Dynamics

Chan, Hiu-Ting, Mo, Ronald, Chau, Chuck-Jee and Horner, Andrew (2018) The Emotional Characteristics of Section String Instruments with Different Pitch and Dynamics. In: International Computer Music Conference, Aug 5, 2018 - Aug 10, 2018, Daegu, South Korea.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


Recent research has shown that different musical instrument sounds have strong emotional characteristics. It has also shown how these emotional characteristics change with different pitch and dynamics for the piano and solo bowed strings. This paper investigates how the emotional characteristics of the section bowed strings vary with pitch and dynamics, comparing and contrasting the solo and section string results. We conducted listening tests where listeners compared the section string sounds pairwise over ten emotional categories. The section and solo string results were somewhat similar overall, but with some notable differences as well. The emotional characteristics Happy, Heroic, Romantic, Comic, Calm, and Shy generally increased with pitch in an arching shape that peaked at C5 and decreased at the highest pitches. The characteristics Angry and Sad generally decreased with pitch. Scary was somewhat U-shaped and especially strong in the extreme high register. In terms of dynamics, the results showed that Happy, Heroic, Comic, Angry, and Scary were stronger for loud notes, while Romantic, Calm, Shy, and Sad were stronger for soft notes. These results provide audio engineers and musicians with possible suggestions for emphasizing various emotional characteristics of the section strings in orchestral recordings and performances.

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More Information

Depositing User: Ronald Mo


Item ID: 15844
Official URL:

Users with ORCIDS

ORCID for Ronald Mo: ORCID iD

Catalogue record

Date Deposited: 22 Mar 2023 16:01
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2023 12:00


Author: Ronald Mo ORCID iD
Author: Hiu-Ting Chan
Author: Chuck-Jee Chau
Author: Andrew Horner

University Divisions

Faculty of Technology > School of Computer Science


Performing Arts > Music

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