Book Chapter

The Perception of Emotion in Music

E Schubert, GE McPherson

The Child as Musician: A Handbook of Musical Development | Published : 2012


At what age can children perceive emotion in music? How might this evolve as they mature? These two questions form the focus of this chapter which deals with the perception of emotion in music from birth to adolescence. Drawing on available evidence, it proposes a framework that can be used to understand how children develop their abilities to perceive emotion in music. It provides a definition for emotion and the mechanisms for connecting emotion and music before surveying the general development of emotional perception throughout childhood. The main part of this chapter draws on literature that helps explain how children perceive emotion in music rather than the emotion a child experiences..

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