Psychology of Music ( IF 1.712 ) Pub Date : 2021-03-24 , DOI: 10.1177/0305735621991235 Simon Schaerlaeken, Donald Glowinski, Didier Grandjean
Musical meaning is often described in terms of emotions and metaphors. While many theories encapsulate one or the other, very little empirical data is available to test a possible link between the two. In this article, we examined the metaphorical and emotional contents of Western classical music using the answers of 162 participants. We calculated generalized linear mixed-effects models, correlations, and multidimensional scaling to connect emotions and metaphors. It resulted in each metaphor being associated with different specific emotions, subjective levels of entrainment, and acoustic and perceptual characteristics. How these constructs relate to one another could be based on the embodied knowledge and the perception of movement in space. For instance, metaphors that rely on movement are related to emotions associated with movement. In addition, measures in this study could also be represented by underlying dimensions such as valence and arousal. Musical writing and music education could benefit greatly from these results. Finally, we suggest that music researchers consider musical metaphors in their work as we provide an empirical method for it.