The field of music and emotion research has grown rapidly and diversified during the last decade. This has led to a certain degree of confusion and inconsistency between competing notions of emotions, data, and results. The present review of 251 studies describes the focus of prevalent research approaches, methods, and models of emotion, and documents the types of musical stimuli used over the past twenty years. Although self-report approaches to emotions are the most common way of dealing with music and emotions, using multiple approaches is becoming increasingly popular. A large majority (70%) of the studies employed variants of the discrete or the dimensional emotion models. A large proportion of stimuli rely on a relatively modest amount of familiar classical examples. The evident shortcomings of these prevalent patterns in music and emotion studies are highlighted, and concrete plans of action for future studies are suggested.
- Received October 28, 2011.
- Accepted April 17, 2012.
- © 2013 by The Regents of the University of California