Three Controversies of Music and Emotions

Neuroscience and the Psychology of Sadness and Music

Authored by: Tuomas Eerola

The Routledge Companion to Music, Mind and Well-Being

Print publication date:  December  2018
Online publication date:  December  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138057760
eBook ISBN: 9781315164717
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter summarizes the current state of the art in psychology and neuroscience of music-related emotions by examining one particularly problematic yet common emotion, sadness. Three controversial yet eminent theoretical constructs from the field of affective sciences are covered, namely affect dimensions, esthetic emotions and the role of body in emotion induction. A hierarchical framework for constructing emotional experiences is proposed to solve the discrepant and incompatible observations in the topic. Sadness in music demonstrates the way core affects, basic emotions and complex esthetic experiences are mapped with different mechanisms and levels of explanation.

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