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Music and VibrationEssay

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¶ … detecting emotion in music and movement. Specifically, the literature involved in this analysis will focus on children's decoding of emotion in expressive body movement and the modeling of cue attunement. The literature presented in this review will demonstrate that the ideas behind children's learning is significantly based on movement and musical vibration. The literature will also reveal that there is a need to further investigate this subject in order to gain more practical knowledge that can be used to encourage better parenting skills, heal abused children and provide a new means of communication that transcends the normal models presented in the past examinations on the subject.

Cue Attunement and Emotional Translation in Children

As children evolve into adults there are many factors that contribute to that transition. The environmental factors certainly play a larger role as seen in socioeconomic impacts on children adaptation. The genetic factors of any individual being also must be placed into strong consideration when measuring the impact of determining emotional meaning. However, the idea that cue attunement, as a significant means of emotional translation and communication of ideas and expressions has been undervalued in its contribution to child development.

Boone & Cunningham (1998) agreed with this summation as they gathered information on to formulate a study on this very subject. Their research was premised on the idea that little research has been dedicated on children's decoding of emotional meaning through body movement, and more specifically, the types of movement cues that create such reactions have also not been sufficiently calculated and modeled. Their study documented in this article aimed to determine the ability to decode and indentify various emotions such as happiness, anger, fear and sadness in dance forms of expressive body movements.

This study is valuable because it breaks the surface on an important subject that affect many realms of academics including psychology and education. The subjective nature of emotions, however place this study at risk of being invalid and slightly biased. While the methods used in this study were based on sound scientific principles, the ambiguity of children's emotions and their ability to understand more complex adult emotions, places doubt on the ideas placed forth in this study.

The authors eventually concluded that more research on the subject needs to be performed due to their self admitted weaknesses of the study. The authors wrote " more research on the development sensitivity to stimulus cues and its impact on emotion decoding is needed. The current study is limited by the fact that only two cues were studied. Further investigation should also consider the joint manipulation of several cues, " (p. 1015). Regardless, this article provides key insights on certain attributes of this model involved in the discussion of children's ability to interpret movement cues.

Tempo and Familiarity

The tempo of any song or expression has obvious effects on those receiving the message. The novelty of that message also plays a significant role in how that message is interpreted as well. By understanding how these two variables affect a child's ability to emotionally connect to that music or expression provides key insight on the subject of movement cues and how children interpret them. While tempo and familiarity are two distinct qualities that do not seem related in any explicit way, these two ideas can assist researchers in identifying what cues children react to in learning situations.

Mote (2011) examined the effects of tempo and novelty on how children interpret music. Their study was premised on the idea that the knowledge of how an individual learns to associate emotion with music is not generally understood. To investigate this matter, the author created a study that examined preschool children's reaction to multi-tempo music. The tempos used in the songs were to determine if the music was to be sad or happy.

To assist in controlling this experiment and to add depth to its content, instrumental versions of children's songs, some familiar some not, were played at varying tempos. The study eventually concluded that novelty did not have a strong impact on the way children interpreted the emotional content of a song. The tempo of the song, however, did have a strong impact on the children exposed to this study. The author suggested that both children and adults are able to identify emotion in music based on tempo in a manner similar to adults. Both children and adults rated fast songs as happier than slow songs but with children under the age of 4 failed to rate faster songs different than slower songs.

The study was a good introductory research effort on the subject and can contribute to the general discussion in many ways. Mostly by identifying that between the ages of 3-4 emotions become more prevalent in a person's personality. The study also suffers from some weaknesses as only two emotions, happiness and sadness, were used in the study. The emotional complexity of any person provides the necessary paths to investigate this subject further to identify how time, tempo and emotion blend within the psyche to produce behaviors conducive to well being and health.

Dance and its Emotional Reflection of Music

The relationship of dance and its means of interpreting music is obvious in many ways by the popularity of its practice. The structural and expressive qualities of music are important factors in emotional materialization and by investigating how dance creates this phenomenon melds the ideas of science and art together in an attempt to forge a practical method or model that can be used for educational and learning purposes.

Krumhansl & Schenck (1997) posed the question as to whether or not dance can mirror the structural and expressive qualities of music in their research study. The research was premised on the idea that relationship and synthesis of music and dance as a tandem, has been investigated from many viewpoints to understand their relationship in a more clear fashion. In other words two modalities, in this case, music and dance, can potentially communicate or express similar expressions of emotion and behavior.

By suggesting that dance can indeed interpret musical and tonal qualities in its expression, a literature review of extant research was presented by these authors to support their efforts into this investigation. The information contained in this review prior to the explanation of the study conducted in this research, helps provide a basis for the argument presented in this article. The use of this rhetorical device was useful in creating an emotional and logical connection to the study. The literature review itself describes some very obvious, but necessary similarities between dance and music, most importantly that they are both based in time. Regardless of the obvious relationship between these two modes of expression, the authors argued that there was little empirical evidence to support these claims, yet plenty of descriptive evidence is abound.

The authors of this study, in an effort to help create a more substantial base of knowledge on the subject rooted in empirical and inductive study, arranged an experiment to measure the expressive abilities of dance as they relate to music. The study consisted of 27 Cornell University students that participated in an hour long exercise. The study aimed to explore then extent to which these students were sensitive to mappings between music and dance when correspondence exist. The researchers used a dance choreographed to a Mozart musical piece and either presented the music only to the students, presented the dance only to the student or showed both the music and dance.

During the presentation of the stimuli the students were given 4 online tasks to perform s they watched or heard the piece. The tasks included judging section ends, amount of tension, new ideas and emotions. The authors explained that these factors were important because they could identify parallels between music and dance when one or the other is absent suggesting a causal relationship between the variables.

After completing the tasks the students filled out a questionnaire that probed into their own personal emotions while being exposed to the videotape or music. Many of the students selected for this study did have significant training or education in music or dance which affected many of the responses that were reported on the questionnaire. The data collected from this experiment was quantified by chart and graph. Discrete evaluations that measured certain emotional content were mapped out to provide visual analysis and academic acumen.

The researchers eventually concluded that their results strongly support the idea that observers of music and dance are sensitive and aware to correspondences between music and dance. The authors of this studied used their own knowledge of music and dance to help interpret the data of this study. This subjective interjection affected the study and biased it towards a personal point-of-view as the authors readily admitted. Their findings are helpful as they included a model that provide a groundwork of ideas on which other researcher may delve deeper into that can eliminate some of the inherent bias included in this… [END OF PREVIEW]

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