Social Influences and Musical Emotion

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Previous music and emotion literature has focused on emotional responses in the individual, while he or she is alone and listening to music. However, music is often experienced in a social context- think pubs, clubs and festivals. With this in mind, the influence of a social setting on the emotional responses to music needs to be considered.

Research has largely ignored the influence of social factors on emotions (Manstead, 2005). This is unfortunate, as music is commonly associated with many social aspects apparent in everyday life (North & Hargreaves, 2008). For example, peer groups are known to influence the musical preferences of adolescents (Müller, Glogner, & Rhein, 2007) and the social bonding aspects of music have been suggested as the origins of music (Cross, 2009; Freeman, 2000; McNeill, 1995).

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