Musical perception: The search for a common denominator – abstract

In the interdisciplinary pilot project “Healing Environment” the goal is to improve the waiting situation in the university clinic Eppendorf, Hamburg, with the help of the medium music.

Not only people with a western musical background visit waiting rooms, but in fact a broad spectrum of people coming from various cultures and diverse social backgrounds.

Every culture has its own specific ways of musical expression and traditions. There are different tonal systems, instruments and structures used, so the musical perception of every induvial relies heavily on cultural impacts.

To follow the question if there are commonalities in musical perception, disregarding cultural background, two example studies are presented.
Their common goal was to find out if the participants could detect emotions in music from foreign cultures and if so to detect the used expedients.

The results show that emotions in music from foreign cultures can be detected and named, however mostly by trend, they are rarely completely obvious. To correctly detect the emotions, the participants used so-called psychophysical parameters.

Max Rademacher