Emotions of musical scales

Source: https://github.com/pmcharrison/2022-musical-scales

This experiment studies the emotional connotations of different musical scales. The paradigm involves taking a base set of melodies and playing them in a variety of different musical scales, and asking the participant to rate their expressed emotions on numeric scales.

One important PsyNet feature that this experiment illustrates is the programmatic generation of stimuli. There’s a large number of stimuli that stem from the factorial combination of different base melodies with different musical scales, and it is very natural to explore these different combinations directly in Python. These stimuli can then be rendered using JSSynth, a simple browser-based synthesizer included in PsyNet that is good for playing long stimuli such as melodies without requiring any audio download time.

Another important feature this experiment illustrates is the integration with the popular SurveyJS survey creator tool. This tool is used here to implement a clean and intuitive user interface that allows the user to rate multiple emotions at the same time. It’s also used for the demographic questionnaires presented at the end of the experiment.