Emotional Responses to Music

Patrik N. Juslin

in Oxford Handbook of Music Psychology

Published in print December 2008 | ISBN: 9780199298457
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

Emotional Responses to Music


This article explores the question of why music touches us so deeply. While music philosophers, musicologists, and aestheticians have written a lot about musical emotions, psychologists have been slow to catch up due to both conceptual and methodological problems. Hence, the article focuses mainly on research carried out during the last decade. The study of music and emotions is fraught with considerable controversy and disagreement. Current debates in the field revolve around such questions as which emotions music induces, whether there are uniquely musical emotions, and what the relationship is between perceived and induced emotions. An important direction for future research is to consider how emotions might be one of several features of an aesthetic response to music – the appreciation of music as ‘art’.

Keywords: music psychology; musical emotions; music

Article.  6442 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Cognitive Psychology

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