SELECTED PUBLISHED WORK

Peer Reviewed

Public Library of Science ONE, 2020

MUSICAL EMOTIONS IN THE ABSENCE OF MUSIC: A CROSS-CULTURAL INVESTIGATION OF EMOTION COMMUNICATION IN MUSIC BY EXTRA-MUSICAL CUES

Research in music and emotion has long acknowledged the importance of extra-musical cues, yet has been unable to measure their effect on emotion communication in music. The aim of this research was to understand how extra-musical cues affect emotion responses to music in  two distinguishable cultures. Australian and Cuban participants (N = 276) were instructed to name an emotion in response to written lyric excerpts from eight distinct music genres, using genre labels as cues. Lyrics were presented primed with genre labels (original priming and a false, lured genre label) or unprimed. For some genres, emotion responses to the same lyrics changed based on the primed genre label. We explain these results as emotion expectations induced by extra-musical cues. This suggests that prior knowledge elicited by lyrics and music genre labels are able to affect the musical emotion responses that music can communicate, independent of the emotion contribution made by psychoacoustic features. For example, the results show a lyric excerpt that is believed to belong to the Heavy Metal genre triggers high valence/high arousal emotions compared to the same excerpt primed as Japanese Gagaku, without the need of playing any music. The present study provides novel empirical evidence of extra-musical effects on emotion and music, and supports this interpretation from a multi-genre, cross-cultural perspective. Further findings were noted in relation to fandom that also supported the emotion expectation account. Participants with high levels of fandom for a genre reported a wider range of emotions in response to the lyrics labelled as being a song from that  same specific genre, compared to lower levels of fandom. Both within and across culture differences were observed, and the importance of a culture effect discussed. 

Arts Education Policy Review, Forthcoming

PROMISING PRACTICES IN MUSIC TEACHING AND LEARNING: PRACTICAL RECOMMENDATIONS AND POLICIES ACROSS CULTURES

Forthcoming 2021

Empirical Musicology Review, 2019

NEGATIVE EMOTIONS RESPONSES TO HEAVY-METAL AND HIP-HOP MUSIC WITH POSITIVE LYRICS

This research investigated whether negative emotional responses to heavy-metal and hip-hop music could be stereotypes of the music genres. It was hypothesized that heavy-metal and hip-hop music with positive lyrics would be perceived as expressing more negative (negative valence/high arousal) emotions, compared with pop music excerpts with identical lyrics. Participants listened to either two heavy-metal or two hip-hop test stimuli and two pop control stimuli. They then responded by stating what emotion they perceived that the music expressed. Results indicated that heavy-metal and hip-hop stimuli were perceived as expressing more negative emotions than pop stimuli. Lyrics were recognized above chance in both heavy metal and hip hop, suggesting that the negative emotion bias was not a result of misunderstanding the lyrics. The Stereotype Theory of Emotion in Music (STEM) explains the findings in terms of an emotion filter which is activated to simplify emotion perception processing. The conclusions provide a novel way of understanding the cultural and social contribution of emotion in music.

SAGE Business Cases Originals, 2019

THE RIGHT SONG FOR THE BUY: HOW MUSIC INFLUENCES CONSUMER DECISIONS

Just as all human cultures have a language, every culture has music, and research suggests that music has the capacity to elicit an emotional response in a listener. From an applied business perspective, this phenomenon is often exploited: think of curated music in a restaurant to elicit contentment or music in ads for valentines to make us feel love. Yet how does music affect consumer behavior, and what are the important factors to take into consideration when choosing music for a product or business? This case reviews theoretical perspectives and empirical data on music and emotion in relation to their use in commercials and branding, with the purpose of helping business students choose music that “fits” with the product and has the desired effect on the consumer.

Journal of Information Technology, 2014

EXAMINING THE EXAMINERS: INVESTIGATING IT AND MUSIC EXAMINATION BOARDS

Business–information technology (IT) initiatives in pedagogy are no longer a novelty. Still, some of the best known music examination boards seem reluctant to change, and continue to adopt a system largely bereft of it to run their business. Aligning business and IT in music examination boards is proving to be a theoretical challenge, and an unresolved issue at the corporate level. Involuntarily participation in the increasingly prevalent reliance on new technologies to augment business opportunity, as part of a wider process of globalization, is no longer a viable option. Although some boards are seeing this alignment as an enabler of business goals, others see it as an inhibitor. Who is right? Which strategy reaches the business goal of maximum enrollments? This paper opens a discussion on possible best-aligned business–IT decisions to enable best business activity and uses a case study to examine the underutilization of business–IT alignment adopted by one of the most successful music examination board in the world. This paper questions whether the use of IT in music examination defines being a market leader or not. By using a survey, in-depth interviews and a pilot study, this paper presents an IT alignment fit between the board and its IT platforms. Finally, the paper leverages the value of an initiative composed of thoughtful business strategy and IT to open up new business opportunities, and raises unanswered questions for the reader.

CROSS-CULTURAL EMOTIONAL EXPERIENCE IN RESPONSE TO MUSIC

Peer-Reviewed Conference Proceeding

Psychology of Music, 2020

THE DEFINITION OF A MUSICIAN IN MUSIC PSYCHOLOGY: A LITERATURE REVIEW AND THE SIX-YEAR RULE

The aim of this paper was to investigate if a general consensus could be established for the term “musician.” Research papers (N = 730) published between 2011 and 2017 were searched. Of these, 95 papers were identified as investigating relationships of any sort connected with a musician-like category (e.g., comparison of musically trained vs. non-musically trained people), of which 39 papers detailing comparative studies exclusively between musicians and non-musicians were analyzed. Within this literature, a variety of musical expertise criteria were used to define musicians, with years of music training (51% of papers) and years of music lessons (13% of papers) being the most commonly used criteria. Findings confirm a general consensus in the literature, namely, that a musician, whether or not selected a priori, has at least six years of musical expertise (IQR = 4.0–10.0 years). Other factors such as practice time and recruiting location of musicians were also analyzed, as well as the implications of how this definition fits in relation to the complexities surrounding the construct of the musician. The “six-year rule,” however, was robust overall.

15th ICMPC/10th ESCOM, 2018

USING THE THREE-COMPONENT MODEL OF THE MUSICIAN DEFINITION, A MUSICIAN IS SOMEONE WHO HAS SIX YEARS OF MUSICAL EXPERTISE

Peer-Reviewed Conference Proceeding

Psychology of Music, 2019

CULTURAL STEREOTYPING OF EMOTIONAL RESPONSES TO MUSIC GENRE

This study investigated whether emotional responses to a music genre could be predicted by stereotypes of the culture with which the music genre is associated. A two-part study was conducted. Participants listened to music samples from eight distinct genres: Fado, Koto, Heavy Metal, Hip Hop, Pop, Samba, Bolero, and Western Classical. They also described their spontaneous associations with the music and their spontaneous associations with the music’s related cultures: Portuguese, Japanese, Heavy Metal, Hip Hop, Pop, Brazilian, Cuban, and Western culture, respectively. Results indicated that a small number of specific emotions reported for a music genre were the same as stereotypical emotional associations of the corresponding culture. These include peace and calm for Koto music and Japanese culture, and anger and aggression for Heavy Metal music and culture. We explain these results through the stereotype theory of emotion in music (STEM), where an emotion filter is activated that simplifies the assessment process for a music genre that is not very familiar to the listener. Listeners familiar with a genre reported fewer stereotyped emotions than less familiar listeners. The study suggests that stereotyping competes with the psychoacoustic cues in the expression of emotion.

CROSS-CULTURAL ANGER COMMUNICATION IN MUSIC: TOWARDS A STEREOTYPE THEORY OF EMOTION IN MUSIC

Anger perception in music was investigated to determine if this emotion is cross-culturally decoded. A literature review of studies which investigated anger cross-culturally revealed variance between encoders and decoders. In an attempt to explain this variance, these data were examined using existing cross-cultural theories in music psychology, but each was poor in explaining some of the variance observed. For example, none were able to explain explicitly why anger expressed in Japanese music was poorly decoded by Indian, Japanese, and Swedish listeners. New interpretations of the published data were conducted through Hofstede’s cross-cultural dimensions theory and the theory of musical fit. Building on these theories, the Stereotype Theory of Emotion in Music (STEM) was proposed. According to STEM, listeners filter the emotion they perceive according to stereotypes of the encoding culture. For example, Japanese culture is stereotyped as an anger-reticent culture, explaining the low anger decoder ratings for ‘anger-encoded’ music. STEM suggests that anger perception is culturally influenced by a stereotyping process. The theory predicts that anger will be perceived if the decoding culture has no stereotype associated with the culture the music is believed to be from, leaving the music free to be interpreted through psychophysical or culture-specific cues. STEM presents a new way forward in understanding the cognitive processing of emotion in music.