Date of Award
Master of Music
Edward A, Roth, M.M.
Brian L. Wilson
Dr. Lisa E. Baker
Musical dissonance, musicians, nonmusicians, emotional response, music therapy
Masters Thesis-Open Access
The purpose of this project was to investigate the influence of music education on individuals’ subjective and physiological responses to consonant and dissonant excerpts. Participants were categorized as having high experience (HE) or low experience (LE) in music education. Participants listened to 40 randomized excerpts of music, half of which were consonant, the other half dissonant. Electrodermal Activity (EDA) and Facial Electromyography (EMG) data were collected for each participant, as well as self-reports of perceived pleasantness for each excerpt. It was expected that HE participants “learned” dissonance through music education, and therefore would respond more strongly to dissonant excerpts. As expected, dissonant excerpts received significantly more negatively-valenced subjective ratings than consonant excerpts across all subjects (F(1,28)=58.4, pF(1, 28)=1.47, p=.236). This study supports that most individuals find dissonance to be more unpleasant than consonance. Further analysis of the physiological data acquired during these trials could potentially add to the body of research examining the impact music education has on physiological responses to dissonance and consonance.
Bumgarner, Rebecca Joan, "Emotional Responses to Musical Dissonance in Musicians and Nonmusicians" (2015). Masters Theses. 558.