Scientists have mapped the 13 emotions evoked by music

Music has the ability to bring forth any number of emotions. Now we know exactly how many: 13.

After quizzing 2,500 people in the US and China about their musical preferences using thousands of songs, scientists at UC Berkeley have determined that music results one (or more) of 13 different emotions. They are:

  1. Amusement,
  2. Joy,
  3. Eroticism
  4. Beauty,
  5. Relaxation
  6. Sadness
  7. Dreaminess
  8. Triumph
  9. Anxiety,
  10. Scariness,
  11. Annoyance
  12. Defiance
  13. Feeling pumped up.

This data has been converted into an interactive radio map. Move your cursor over to any dot in any quadrant to see if your emotional reaction is the same as those in the survey.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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