Author Date


Degree Name





Fine Arts and Communications

Defense Date


Publication Date


First Faculty Advisor

Jared Pierce

First Faculty Reader

Jihea Hong-Park

Honors Coordinator

Steven Johnson


Film music, emotions, technology, emotions and music, orchestra


Music software is becoming advanced enough to make it difficult for the average person to tell the difference between a MIDI mockup and a recording of an orchestra. This study compares the emotional responses subjects have to electronically created recordings to the emotional responses subjects have to orchestral recordings. Little research has been done on this subject. I hypothesized that the two recordings would communicate the same emotions, but the live recordings would create more emotional intensity. 65 subjects between the ages of 18 and 24 from various musical backgrounds were tested. They listened to both types of recordings of three pieces (six recordings total). They filled out a survey using the GEMIAC emotional intensity checklist to record which emotions they felt and how much they felt each emotion. The data from each MIDI recording was compared with the data from the orchestral recording of the same piece. The music communicated the same feelings and approximately the same intensity of feeling regardless of type of recording. This result was the same for each piece. This suggests that MIDI mockups are as effective at communicating emotions as orchestral recordings.