The same, only different: What can responses to music in autism tell us about the nature of musical emotions?

Rory Allen, Reubs Walsh, Nick Zangwill

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

This article discusses how musical responses can convey the nature of musical emotions in individuals with autism. The logical first step is to enquire how far these responses resemble naturalistic emotions, that is, those that are not specifically musical, but have ordinary non-musical content. Many authors suggest that whilst certain emotions are exclusive to music there is considerable overlap between musical and naturalistic emotions, while others deny that musically induced emotions are naturalistic. Perhaps consideration of music’s origins might clarify the issue. If the universality of music in human society were the consequence of biological selection, this would support the naturalistic interpretation. Taking the longitudinal view, and focusing on just one musical sub-culture, that of Western music, its development during the past millennium from Gregorian plainchant to modern electronic music illustrates that the evolution of music operates several orders of magnitude faster than human evolution. The authors conclude that musical emotions, if they are emotions at all in the conventional sense, are fast track emotions. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFrontiers in Psychology
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Publication series

NameFrontiers in Psychology
Volume4

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