Using Bach’s Well Tempered Clavier to explore cues used to convey emotion

Toronto, Ontario

BachExcited by developments in tuning during his lifetime, Johann Sebastian Bach wrote The Well Tempered Clavier in 1722 to explore the then-novel possibility of using all 24 major and minor keys.  Widely recognized as a landmark composition, it has captured the hearts and minds of pianists, harpsichordists, and audiences for generations.  From a music cognition perspective, it offers an ideal corpus for exploring the complex relationship between pitch height, modality, and timing – three cues known to be salient in the communication of emotion.  Dr. Schutz will discuss new insights on the communication of emotion in music taken from this landmark composition as part of the Brain, Perception & Cognition group series of talks at Ryerson University (starting at 2:30 in room 943 Jorgensen Hall).