A component-based approach to study the effect of Indian music on emotions

Venkata Subramanian Viraraghavan, Arpan Pal, Hema Murthy, R Aravind


´╗┐The emotional impact of Indian music on human listeners has been studied mainly with respect to ragas. Although this approach aligns with the traditional and musicological views, some studies show that raga-specific effects may not be consistent. In this paper, we propose an alternative method of study based on the components of Indian Classical Music, which may be viewed as consisting of constant-pitch notes (CPNs) providing the context, and transients, the detail. One hundred concert pieces in four ragas each in Carnatic music (CM) and Hindustani music (HM) are analyzed to show that the transients are, on average, longer than CPNs. Further, the defined scale of the raga is not always mirrored in the CPNs for CM. We also draw upon the result that CPNs and transients scale non-uniformly when changing the tempo of CM pieces. Based on the observations and previous results on the emotional impact of the major and minor scales in Western music, we propose that the effect of CPNs and transients should be analyzed separately. We present a preliminary experiment that brings outs related challenges.


 DOI: 10.21437/SMM.2018-7

Cite as: Viraraghavan, V.S., Pal, A., Murthy, H., Aravind, R. (2018) A component-based approach to study the effect of Indian music on emotions. Proc. Workshop on Speech, Music and Mind 2018, 31-35, DOI: 10.21437/SMM.2018-7.


@inproceedings{Viraraghavan2018,
  author={Venkata Subramanian Viraraghavan and Arpan Pal and Hema Murthy and R Aravind},
  title={A component-based approach to study the effect of Indian music on emotions},
  year=2018,
  booktitle={Proc. Workshop on Speech, Music and Mind 2018},
  pages={31--35},
  doi={10.21437/SMM.2018-7},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/SMM.2018-7}
}