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"Worms" in (E)motion: Visualizing Emotions Evoked by Music

Music plays an important role in everyday human life. One important reason for this is the capacity of music to influence listeners' emotions. This study describes the application of a recently developed interface for the visualization of emotions felt while listening to music. Subjects (n = 38) listened to 7 musical pieces of different styles. They were asked to report their own emotions, felt in real-time, in a two-dimensional emotion space using computer software. Films were created from the time series of all self-reports as a synopsis. This technique of data visualization allows an appealing method of data analysis while providing the opportunity to investigate commonalities of emotional self-reports as well as differences between subjects. In addition to presenting the films, the authors of this study also discuss its possible applications in areas such as social sciences, musicology, and the music industry.

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