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Coutinho, Eduardo; Scherer, Klaus R. (2017): The effect of context and audio-visual modality on emotions elicited by a musical performance. In: Psychology of Music, Vol. 45, No. 4: pp. 550-569
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In this work, we compared emotions induced by the same performance of Schubert Lieder during a live concert and in a laboratory viewing/listening setting to determine the extent to which laboratory research on affective reactions to music approximates real listening conditions in dedicated performances. We measured emotions experienced by volunteer members of an audience that attended a Lieder recital in a church (Context 1) and emotional reactions to an audio-video-recording of the same performance in a university lecture hall (Context 2). Three groups of participants were exposed to three presentation versions in Context 2: (1) an audio-visual recording, (2) an audio-only recording, and (3) a video-only recording. Participants achieved statistically higher levels of emotional convergence in the live performance than in the laboratory context, and the experience of particular emotions was determined by complex interactions between auditory and visual cues in the performance. This study demonstrates the contribution of the performance setting and the performers' appearance and nonverbal expression to emotion induction by music, encouraging further systematic research into the factors involved.