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Emotional ornamentation in performances of a Handel sonata

Timmers, R. and Ashley, R. (2007) Emotional ornamentation in performances of a Handel sonata. Music Perception, 25 (2). pp. 117-134. ISSN 0730-7829


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ORNAMENTATION IS ONE ASPECT OF MUSIC ASSOCIATED with emotional affect in Baroque music. In an empirical study, the relationship between ornamentation and emotion was investigated by asking a violinist and flutist to ornament three melodies in different ways to express four emotions: happiness, sadness, love, and anger. The performers adapted the type of ornaments to the instructed emotion as well as the characteristics of the ornaments. The flutist specifically varied the duration, timing, and complexity of the ornamentation, while the violinist varied the complexity, density, and sound level of the performances. The ability of the performers to communicate the emotions was tested in a listening experiment. Communication was found to be generally successful, with the exception of the communication of happiness. This success was not due to general consensus about the expression of emotions through ornamentation. Rather the listeners were sensitive to a performer's specific use of ornamentation.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: © 2007 University of California. This is an author produced version of a paper subsequently published in Music Perception. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy.
Keywords: emotion; ornamentation; affects in; Baroque music; performance; perception
Institution: The University of Sheffield
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Arts and Humanities (Sheffield) > Department of Music (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Miss Anthea Tucker
Date Deposited: 25 May 2011 15:32
Last Modified: 08 Feb 2013 17:32
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/MP.2007.25.2.117
Status: Published
Publisher: University of California Press
Refereed: Yes
Identification Number: 10.1525/MP.2007.25.2.117
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/43009

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