International Computer Music Conference 2016 Papers Track

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The Effects of Reverberation Time and Amount on the Emotional Characteristics

Though previous research has shown the effects of reverberation on clarity, spaciousness, and other perceptual aspects of music, it is still largely unknown to what extent reverberation influences the emotional characteristics of musical instrument sounds. This paper investigates the effect of simple parametric reverberation on music emotion, in particular, the effect of reverberation length and amount. We conducted a listening test to compare the effect of reverberation on the emotional characteristics of eight instrument sounds representing the wind and bowed string families. We compared these sounds over eight emotional categories. We found that reverberation length and amount had a strongly significant effect on the emotional characteristics Romantic and Mysterious, and a medium effect on Sad, Scary, and Heroic for the samples we tested. Interestingly, for Comic, reverberation length and amount had the opposite effect, that is, anechoic tones were judged most Comic. Reverb had a mild effect on Happy and relatively little effect on Shy.

Author(s):

Ronald Mo    
Computer Science and Engineering
HKUST
Hong Kong

Bin Wu    
Computer Science and Engineering
HKUST
Hong Kong

Andrew Horner    
Computer Science and Engineering
HKUST
Hong Kong

 

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