Structural and affective aspects of music from statistical audio signal analysis

Shlomo Dubnov, Stephen McAdams, Roger Reynolds

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Understanding and modeling human experience and emotional response when listening to music are important for better understanding of the stylistic choices in musical composition. In this work, we explore the relation of audio signal structure to human perceptual and emotional reactions. Memory, repetition, and anticipatory structure have been suggested as some of the major factors in music that might Influence and possibly shape these responses. The audio analysis was conducted on two recordings of an extended contemporary musical composition by one of the authors. Signal properties were analyzed using statistical analyses of signal similarities over time and information theoretic measures of signal redundancy. They were then compared to Familiarity Rating and Emotional Force profiles, as recorded continually by listeners hearing the two versions of the piece in a live-concert setting. The analysis shows strong evidence that signal properties and human reactions are related, suggesting applications of these techniques to music understanding and music information-retrieval systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1526-1536
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Information Systems
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Artificial Intelligence


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