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Thursday, October 27 • 3:45pm - 4:15pm
Influence of Music on Perceived Emotions in Film

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Film music plays a core role in film media production and reception as not only it contributes to a film’s aesthetics and creativity, but it also affects spectators’ experience and enjoyment. Film music composers often aim to serve the film narrative, immerse spectators into the setting and story, convey clues, and importantly, act on their emotions. Yet, how film music influences spectators is still misunderstood. We conducted a perceptual study to analyse the impact of music on the perception of emotions in film. We developed an online interface for time-based emotion annotation of audio/video media clips based on the Valence/Arousal (VA) two-dimensional model. Participants reported their perceived emotions over time in the VA space for three media conditions: film scene presented without sound (video only), film music presented without video (audio only), and film scene with accompanying music (both video and audio modalities). 16 film clips were selected constituting four clips for four genres (action & drama, romance, comedy, and horror). 38 participants completed the study (12 females and 26 males, average age: 28.9, from many different countries). Density scatterplots enable to visualise the spread of emotion ratings in the VA space and differences across media conditions and film clips. Results from linear mixed effect models show significant effects of the media condition and film genre on VA ratings. The valence and arousal ratings across the three media conditions tend to be linearly related and increase going from film alone to film and music, and music alone. We illustrate this effect by plotting changes in the VA rating centre of mass across conditions. VA ratings for the film alone condition are closer to the origin of the space than in the two other media conditions meaning that the addition of music conveys stronger emotions as characterised by higher VA ratings. Some individual factors (musical ability, familiarity, preference) also seem to impact the perception of arousal and valence. The online emotion annotation interface was well received on overall and improvement suggestions are discussed.


Chaoyang Wei

Queen Mary University of London

Thomas Kronland-Martinet

PHD Student, Aix-Marseille University

Thursday October 27, 2022 3:45pm - 4:15pm EDT
Online Papers
  Psychoacoustics and Perception
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