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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 Brass Musical Instruments with Different Pitch and Dynamics

Chan, Hiu-Ting, Mo, Ronald, Keyes, Christopher and Horner, Andrew (2019) The Emotional Characteristics of Brass Musical Instruments with Different Pitch and Dynamics. In: International Computer Music Conference, Jun 16, 2019 - Jun 24, 2019, New York, USA.

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
bowed strings. This work differentiates the distinctive emotional characters of the brass instruments, and investigate how pitch and dynamics influence their characters. We conducted listening tests where listeners compared the brass instrument sounds pairwise over ten emotional categories. The emotional characteristics Happy increased with pitch. Heroic, Romantic, and Comic generally increased with pitch in an arching shape that peaked at C5 and decreased at the highest pitches. Calm, Mysterious, and Shy are also in arching shape but peaked at C3. Angry and Scary was somewhat U-shaped and especially strong in the extreme high register. Sad decreased with pitch. In terms of dynamics, the results showed that Heroic, Comic, Angry, and Scary were stronger for loud notes, while Romantic, Calm, Mysterious, Shy, and Sad
were stronger for soft notes. These results help orchestrators and composers make the jump from knowing a particular pitch is technically possible on an instrument, to understanding how its pitch register shapes its emotional

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More Information

Depositing User: Ronald Mo


Item ID: 15845
Official URL:

Users with ORCIDS

ORCID for Ronald Mo: ORCID iD

Catalogue record

Date Deposited: 22 Mar 2023 16:02
Last Modified: 22 Mar 2023 16:02


Author: Ronald Mo ORCID iD
Author: Hiu-Ting Chan
Author: Christopher Keyes
Author: Andrew Horner

University Divisions

Faculty of Technology > School of Computer Science


Performing Arts > Music

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