Judgement of mood in music following right hemisphere damage Academic Article uri icon


  • Evidence on hemispheric specialization has implicated the right hemisphere as having a special role in the mediation of emotion. Since music is an area in which both cognitive and affective aspects of perception can be assessed, the aim of this study was to investigate the effect of right hemisphere damage on perception of emotional meaning or mood in music. An initial pilot study was conducted to select music on which normal subjects were consistent in their judgement of musical mood. The musical stimuli consisted of extracts of classical piano music. The technique used as a measure of musical mood was the Semantic Differential. Tracks of music and adjectival scales were selected for the experimental study in which 15 right hemisphere lesioned patients and normal controls were compared in their response to music. The right hemisphere group demonstrated a characteristic response in their judgement of mood in music. The results are discussed in terms of the role of pitch in judgement of mood in music and in terms of the relationship between music and language.

publication date

  • 1990