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Five Facets of Musical Expression: A Psychologist's Perspective on Music Performance

Patrik N. Juslin Psychology of Music 2003 31: 273 DOI: 10.1177/03057356030313003

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Five facets of musical expression:

a psychologist’s perspective on music performance






Psychology of Music

Psychology of Music Copyright ©  Society for Education, Music and Psychology Research vol (): ‒ [- () :; ‒; ]


The aim of this article is to outline a psychological approach to

expression in music performance that could help to provide a solid foundation for the teaching of expressive skills in music education. Drawing on previous research, the author suggests that performance expression is best conceptualized as a multi-dimensional phenomenon consisting of five primary components: (a) Generative rules that function to clarify the musical structure; (b) Emotional expression that serves to convey intended emotions to listeners; (c) Random variations that reflect human limitations with regard to internal time-keeper variance and motor delays; (d) Motion principles that prescribe that some aspects of the performance (e.g. timing) should be shaped in accordance with patterns of biological motion; and (e) Stylistic unexpectedness that involves local deviations from performance conventions. An analysis of performance expression in terms of these five components – collectively referred to as the GERMS model – has important implications for research and teaching of music performance.


KEYWORDS : computational modelling, emotion, expression, music education, music performance

He put the bow to his instrument

sang through the hall. At once the spell began to work. Was this really the

music of a violin? What grandeur in these slurred notes, what absolute purity! There came roulades of double-stop harmonic notes, and a long run across four

Then came a noble,

moving theme, which sounded as though a human voice was singing

the seemingly endless applause had subsided, Paganini began to play the second movement. It was an adagio, and showed the virtuoso from quite a different angle. There were none of the devilish tricks that had stunned the audience during the first movement. A sublime, angelic song of great noblesse and sim-


octaves, played staccato in a single stroke of the bow

and then, the first notes, bold and fiery,

plicity touched the hearts of the listeners

The notes followed one another as

sempre :

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though growing out of the instrument, and it seemed incredible

wooden object was not an integral part of the man who played it, a part of his

The audience sat as though paralysed until the rhythm of a grace-

an infinitely tender pizzicato accompanied the

melody, and it finally soared away into a happy dance tune. (Farga, 1969:


ful rondo changed their mood

very soul

that this

In this description of a music performance by Nicolo Paganini in Vienna 1828, many of the recurrent ideas about musical expression are included:

the captivating experience, the voice-like quality of certain musical instru- ments, the idea that music may alter a listener’s moods, the close connection between music and expression of emotions, the notion that expression is embodied in acoustic parameters of the performance, the belief that expres- sion ‘springs from the performer’s very soul’, the importance of the musical piece itself in shaping the expression, and the ‘devilish tricks’ commonly attributed to the expressive virtuoso. 1 Could researchers ever hope to explain this seemingly inexplicable phenomenon? Judging from the comments by some performers, we would be inclined to think not (Dubal, 1985). As noted by Sloboda (2000), ‘the folk psychology of the musical world can often seem to be designed to keep the answers shrouded in mystery’ (p. 398). Yet I believe that it is not only possible for psychologists to investigate musical expression successfully, it is a matter of responsibility. I argue that the primary aim of a psychological approach to music performance should be to explain perform- ance expression in order to provide a solid foundation for teaching of expres- sion in music education. To explain musical expression may be difficult, but it is no more difficult than many other problems that psychologists struggle with every day (e.g. explaining consciousness). For much too long, psycholo- gists have deferred to philosophers in matters concerning expression. I believe it is time for psychologists to reclaim the study of expression. 2 Many, if not all, issues concerning expression are such that they can be resolved empirically. Why do I regard expression as the primary topic? Because expression is largely what makes music performance worthwhile. It is expression that makes people go through all sorts of trouble to hear human performances rather than the ‘dead-pan’ renditions of computers; it is expression that makes possible new and insightful interpretations of familiar works; and it is on the basis of expressive features that we prefer one performer rather than another. Moreover, questionnaire research indicates that most musicians and music teachers regard expression as the most important aspect of a per- former’s skills (Lindström et al., in press; Laukka, 2003). However, despite the importance attributed to expression in music performance, there is evidence that expressive skills are often ignored in teaching (e.g. Persson, 1993; Rostwall and West, 2001; Tait, 1992). As I have noted elsewhere (e.g. Juslin and Persson, 2002), one reason may be that teachers lack a theory of per- formance expression that can guide teaching. The problem is compounded by

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the fact that musical expression involves tacit knowledge that is difficult to convey from teachers to students. Research on expression could help to ren- der the tacit knowledge explicit. Rather than surrender to individual differ- ences in expressive ability in the name of musical talent, we could address them through theoretically informed teaching. Thus, a proper and scientifi- cally grounded understanding of the mechanisms that underlie musical expression has scientific as well as social and educational implications (Sloboda, 2000). In this article, I consider the role of the performer in musical expression. I want to convince the reader that performance expression is a problem amenable to empirical investigation, and that psychological theory is critical to an understanding of this problem. Looking back, psychologists have tend- ed to approach performance expression mainly by measuring various acoustic variables of music performances (e.g. Gabrielsson, 1999, 2003, this issue). Often, a purely descriptive approach has been taken, in accordance with the tradition first established by Seashore (1938) and his co-workers. As a consequence, the notion of expression has been poorly conceptualized. 3 Matters of expression have largely been reduced to tables or graphs of acoustic data, whereas the question of what these data actually tell us about the origins of musical expression has somehow been lost. But perhaps psychology is uniquely suited to investigating expression? After all, psycholo- gy was right from the beginning studying the kinds of psychophysical relationships that seem to underlie musical expression (Leahey, 1987). Yet, psychology has arguably not fulfilled its potential role in helping to provide a theoretical organization of the field. In my view, a psychological approach to performance expression should consider how this phenomenon reflects basic human abilities and characteristics that are not necessarily unique to the musical domain. Recent research reviewed in this article will provide some support for this view. The remainder of this article is structured as follows: first, I provide working definitions of interpretation, expression and communication, and consider problems in performance research that have prevented cumulative progress. Second, I outline a psychological approach to musical expression that distinguishes five aspects of expression. Unfortunately there are few attempts to integrate these different aspects; and so, I outline a meta theory of music performance, which is an attempt to integrate different aspects of expression. Not very surprisingly, empirical findings derived from this model suggest that emotion is a major aspect of expression. Therefore I briefly review findings about emotion in music performance. Finally, I consider various implications of a psychological approach for performance research and music education, and also acknowledge some limitations of this approach.

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Working definitions

Interpretation, expression and communication are complex concepts, and no matter what I say about them here, I am sure that this article will not be the final word on these topics. However, for the practical purposes of this article, we need to have at least preliminary working definitions of each term. The term interpretation typically refers to the individualistic shaping of a piece according to the musical ideas of the performer (Palmer, 1997: 119). This might involve an intention to express something (e.g. an idea, an emotion) beyond the musical structure (Gabrielsson, 1999), but such expression is usu- ally accomplished through the ways in which the structure is articulated (in how it is played). The process of interpretation is still little investigated (but see Hallam, 1995; Persson, 1993), although it seems to be influenced by both ‘internal’ (e.g. emotions, wanting to express something personal) and ‘exter- nal’ factors (e.g. musical style, the structure of the piece, the composer’s intentions) (Lindström et al., in press; Persson, 2001: 278–81). Expression, in my view, refers to a set of perceptual qualities that reflect psychophysical relationships between ‘objective’ properties of the music, and ‘subjective’ (or, rather, objective but partly person-dependent) impressions of the listener. Expression does not reside solely in the acoustic properties of the music (different listeners may perceive the expression differently), nor does it reside solely in the mind of the listener (different listeners usually agree about the general nature of the expression in a performance). Expression depends on both of these factors, in ways that, although complex, can be modelled in a systematic fashion (Juslin, 2000). Our perception of expressive music per- formances reminds us, somehow, of the ways humans express their states of mind in real life (why would we otherwise use the term expression in the first place?). Indeed, we have an ‘anthropomorphic’ tendency to perceive expres- sive form even in inanimate objects (e.g. Eibl-Eibesfeldt, 1989). Occasionally the perception of an expressive performance will also evoke an emotion in the listener (he or she is ‘moved’), or even an aesthetic response (a more complex and profound response that involves emotional, cognitive and social factors; Konecˆni, 1979), but such a response is not required for a listener to hear the music as expressive (Davies, 1994). The emotion induced in the listener may be the same as that expressed (through emotional contagion; Juslin, 2001), or it may be a complementary response (Juslin and Zentner, 2002). As Clynes (1977: 60) notes, when we hear a convincing expression, this is perceived as ‘sincerity’; we therefore tend to feel sympathy for the performer of the music. If the general notion of expression is accepted, the question is: what does music express. A survey of the literature suggests a large number of different ideas about what music may express. Music has been regarded as expressive of emotion, physical aspects (motion, force), tension and release, personality characteristics, beauty, events, objects, musical conventions, religious belief and social conditions (Gabrielsson and Juslin, 2003). A generous view on

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expressivity would hold that there is truth to all of these ideas as long as there are individual listeners who claim that they find music expressive of these qualities. One problem with this generous approach is that it tends to embrace any arbitrary association that one could have to a music performance. This would be simply a form of conditioning that does not relate to the per- formance as such; it says more about the listener than it says about the music. It seems more fruitful to look for expressive aspects that relate to the nature of the music, at least if we want to explain performance expression. A more restrictive approach to expression that is common in research holds that music is expressive of a certain quality only to the extent that there is some minimum level of agreement among the listeners (presumably because there is something in the actual performance that gives rise to simi- lar listener percepts). Thus, for example, we might agree that the slow move- ment of Beethoven’s Eroica symphony is expressive of, say, sadness (although the expression could, of course, change rapidly during the piece). In such cases of intersubjective agreement, we may be inclined to say that ‘this piece has a sad expression’. But note that expression (as defined here) does not require an expressive intention. The concept of communication (of emotion, for instance), in contrast, goes further: accurate communication, I believe, requires that there is both a per- former’s intention to express a specific concept and recognition of this concept by a listener. Perhaps, it may seem strange to talk about communication accuracy in the context of music. Still, most performers are probably – or should be – worried about whether their musical interpretation is actually perceived by listeners the way they intended it. (What is the purpose of a spe- cific interpretation if every listener fails to perceive it?) The performer may, for instance, wish to highlight an emotional character that is latent in the com- position. The extent to which performer and listener agree about the emotional expression of the performance could pragmatically be seen as a measure of the accuracy of the communication. (Precisely which perceptual qualities I think are involved in performance expression is discussed later in the description of a psychological approach.)

Problems in research on performance expression

To do music performance justice as a meaningful event in a particular time and place, with certain individuals taking part (Small, 1999), we would have to take into account a very large set of complicated real-world relationships. To get some sense of the difficulties involved in such an endeavour, consider the list of factors that – in principle – may influence expression (Table 1). As can be seen, this includes numerous factors related to the piece, the instru- ment, the performer, the listener and the performance context (for further discussion of factors that might be relevant, see Gabrielsson, 2003, this issue; Rink, 2003, this issue). To model all the factors simultaneously may be

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outright impossible. To simplify matters, researchers have been forced to bracket most of the factors listed in Table 1, and to focus instead on core prin- ciples of performance that transcend a particular time and place (in the Western world, at least). In practice, this has meant focusing on measure- ment of performances, with occasional attempts to relate the measures to other aspects (e.g. the score, the performer’s intention, the listener’s percep- tion, etc.). Yet, even with this narrow focus researchers have been struggling to account for the nature of a typical performance of music. Why is this so? Clearly, there are many problems that performance researchers are confronted with. First, it is usually difficult to obtain large samples of music

TABLE 1 Examples of factors that might influence expression in music performance


Examples of factors


The musical composition itself Notational variants of the piece Consultations with composer or composer’s written comments Musical style/genre


Acoustic parameters available Instrument-specific aspects of timbre, pitch, etc. Technical difficulties of the instrument


The performer’s structural interpretation The performer’s expressive intention with regard to the mood of the piece The performer’s emotion-expressive style The performer’s technical skill The performer’s motor precision The performer’s mood while playing The performer’s interaction with co-performers The performer’s perception of/interaction with audience


The listener’s music preferences The listener’s music expertise The listener’s personality The listener’s current mood The listener’s state of attention


Acoustics Sound technology Listening context (e.g. recording, concert) Other individuals present Visual performance conditions Larger cultural and historic setting Whether the performance is formally evaluated

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performances from expert musicians (however, see Repp, 1998). This prob- lem can be partly overcome through large investments of time and money, and also by trying to conduct research more on the performers’ own terms. Second, even if we do manage to obtain sufficiently large samples of perform- ances, it is a difficult and time-consuming task to analyse all relevant acoustic variables (Palmer, 1997). There are currently some promising attempts to develop computer algorithms for automatic extraction of such vari-

ables (e.g. Friberg et al., 2002), which might help researchers to analyse larg- er samples of performances quickly. Thus this problem may eventually be solved. The most serious problem for studies of performance is perhaps not to obtain sufficient amounts of data, but rather to find ways of interpreting the wealth of data in a meaningful way (Gabrielsson and Juslin, 1996). It is here that psychological theory can make a crucial contribution to how we conceive of expression. I think that the greatest impediment to progress in explaining expression has been the common tendency to regard expression as

a single entity, a homogeneous natural category. Given the controversy that

has surrounded the concept of expression throughout history (Davies, 1994), it is perhaps understandable that many researchers have tended to leave the concept undefined or simply ‘defined’ it in terms of ‘deviations from the score’. But it is troubling to note how many studies have treated expres- sion as a mysterious quality of which there is simply ‘more’ or ‘less’, without specifying what is meant by the term expression (the expression is simply

‘appropriate’, ‘exaggerated’, or ‘lacking’). There is no serious consideration of what is expressed, or how it is expressive, which implies that there is only one way of performing expressively (by ‘appropriate expressive deviations’). At times, it seems that expression is simply equated with everything that might be good about a performance, but what is good is, of course, not specified. What is at stake is not the usefulness of the generic word ‘expression’ as such,

it is rather whether this is the most fruitful level at which to investigate and

teach expression (‘Put some expression into it’). I reject on empirical grounds the idea that music can be expressive ‘in general’ without being expressive in some particular way, because any music performance has certain acoustic features that renders it different in expression from a performance with differ- ent acoustic features. (Two performances with the same rated level of ‘expressivity’ or ‘emotionality’ may exhibit quite different acoustic character- istics, and may be perceived quite differently with regard to how they are expressive.) Even more important, the expressive variations that are typically found in

a human music performance are not all of the same kind; they do not all

share the same origins, and they should therefore not all be taught in the same manner. In my estimation, the ‘single-factor approach’ to expression has contributed to the fragmented state of affairs in studies of performance. It has not encouraged integrative attempts even among researchers who have recognized that expression is multidimensional. I argue that a satisfactory

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model should incorporate the fact that expression is a multi-dimensional phe- nomenon including distinct components of information. Precisely what these components are is a theoretical and empirical matter. In the following discus- sion, I take stock of what previous research on music performance can teach us about this problem.

A psychological approach to performance expression

The ultimate goal of research on expression in music performance is to understand what, exactly, the performer ‘adds’ to a written piece of music. It may be instructive to look closer at what this endeavour actually entails. Performance researchers are faced with complex patterns of behaviour; they must describe and explain the nature and origin of intricate patterns of vari- ability in acoustic measures shown over the time-course of a performance of music (see Figure 1). The problem is that ‘using measurements of actual per- formances alone, it is difficult to separate the effects of combined, though psychologically distinct, expressive actions’ (Thompson et al., 1989: 64). This explains why single-factor conceptions of expression have been so prevalent.


Note. The solid line shows the first performance, the dotted line the repetition. (Reproduced with kind permission of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music)

FIGURE 1 Deviations in timing from mechanical performance in a performance of Mozart’s Piano Sonata in A Major (K 331) from a classic study by Gabrielsson (1987).

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As long as the expressive features are simply lumped together as ‘expressive deviations from the score’, it is hard to reach beyond a single factor. One heuristic tool could be to rely on the advice of professional performers, as shown by the work by Sundberg (1988) and co-workers. However, perform- ers are commonly unable to explain the details of how they apply expressive features (Sloboda, 1996). Psychologists early realized the limitations of intro- spection in explaining psychological mechanisms (e.g. Leahey, 1987), and many of the mechanisms that underlie music performance are clearly not available to introspection. What is needed, I believe, is a psychological theory of expression. What would such a theory look like? First, a psychological approach would involve an attempt to go beyond the performance and to consider the nature of the person behind the perform- ance. ‘What are the proximate and ultimate causes of the behaviour in the performer, and how can we make sense of this behaviour from what we know about humans?’ Second (and partly as a consequence of what we know about humans), it would have to be a component approach. Some researchers have suggested a general mechanism to account for performance expression (e.g. Todd, 1992), though it seems that a single mechanism cannot success- fully account for all the variability in a music performance. Such a model is bound to be incomplete in certain respects, as indicated by some recent stud- ies (Clarke and Windsor, 2000; Juslin, 2000; Repp, 1989; Van Oosten, 1993; Thompson et al., 1989). A careful review of the literature suggests that performance expression is better thought of as a multi-dimensional phenom- enon, consisting of five components of expression that I collectively refer to as the GERMS model. The five components are summarized in the following sections (for more extensive reviews, see Gabrielsson, 1999, 2003, this issue).


One function of performance expression may be to convey the musical struc- ture to listeners as clearly as possible. This forms the basis of the so-called generative approach (Clarke, 1988). In this line of research, expression is regarded as rule-based transformations of nominal score values that origi- nate in the performer’s cognitive representation of the hierarchical structure. By means of variations in such acoustic variables as timing, dynamics and articulation, a performer is able to clarify group boundaries (Gabrielsson, 1987), metrical accents (Sloboda, 1983) and harmonic structure (Palmer, 1996). One of the most robust findings is that tempo variations (rubato) have a strong tendency to be determined by the phrase structure; phrase endings are usually marked with decreases in tempo, and the amount of slowing reflects the depth of embedding in the hierarchical structure (Todd, 1985; see also Figure 1). This is the most well-studied aspect of expression, and to the extent that a performer aims to clarify the structure, we may explain part of the variance in the acoustic features. However, the absence of a generally accepted system for structural analysis still makes prediction difficult.

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Furthermore, rules for the transformation of a generative structure into pat- terns of expression are highly dependent on conventions related to specific musical styles. The generative approach dominated research on music per- formance until the 1990s (for excellent reviews, see Clarke, 1988, 1995). But there is clearly more to expression than merely the conveying of structure (Shaffer, 1992; see also Rink, 2003, this issue).


A second function of performance expression might be to render the perform-

ance with a particular emotional expression. As noted by Shaffer (1992), ‘a performer can be faithful to the structure and at the same time have the free- dom to shape its moods’ (p. 265). A series of studies in the 1990s indicated that professional performers are able to communicate discrete emotions to lis- teners. To accomplish this goal, the performers use a large number of acoustic variables in the performance. For example, if a performer would like to express tenderness in a performance, he or she may use slow tempo, low

sound level, legato articulation, ‘soft’ timbre, slow tone attacks, regular tim- ing, reduced contrasts between ‘long’ and ‘short’ notes, and an intense vibra- to (for a review, see Juslin, 2001). This component of expression is actually the last to receive attention in performance research, but it could well be one of the most crucial as far as music performers and listeners are concerned (see Lindström et al., in press; Persson, 2001). One reason for the relative neglect of this component may be that it not always operates on the explicit level that is required in order to study it empirically. (The emotion component

is discussed in more detail in a later section of this article.)


A third aspect of performance expression that has mostly been studied in

domains other than music is random variability. It appears to be generally agreed that human music performance is not controlled by a completely deterministic motor-system (e.g. Repp, 1997a; Yamada, 1998). Performance expression always contains some random fluctuations, although they may be quite small. How is this feature relevant in understanding expression, espe- cially since practice usually aims at minimizing error? From an aesthetical

point of view, random variations contribute to the ‘living’ character of music

– that slight unpredictability that makes each performance absolutely

unique. Research on human limitations in perceptual-motor skills, mainly studies of isochronous interval finger tapping, have revealed that the random variations have certain characteristics: (1) the magnitude of random fluctua- tions increases with inter-onset-interval duration, so that longer intervals tend to yield larger deviations (Wing and Kristofferson, 1973; see also Repp, 1997a); (2) there is a negative first-order dependency with regard to inter- onset-interval durations; that is, a performed interval that is shorter than the mean is usually followed by one that is longer than the mean, yielding zig-zag

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patterns (Madison, 2000); (3) there is a positive higher-order dependency,

or tempo drift, over time (a linear trend that can be extracted from tapping

data; Madison, 2000); and (4) the random fluctuations may be successfully simulated by a combination of 1/f noise and white noise, two kinds of random variability (Gilden et al., 1995). Although these random variations are subtle – in expert performance, at least – they do contribute to the sound of a human music performance. Therefore, if we really intend to model performance expression, this component should be included also (Juslin et al.,



A fourth aspect of performance expression is motion. There is a common

assumption that music and motion are closely related to one another.

However, this hypothesis needs to be made more specific to be useful. Shove and Repp (1995) argue that ‘without proper constraint the idea that change

in music induces an experience of motion has little explanatory power’ (p. 58).

One way to constrain the hypothesis is to limit it to a specific kind of motion called biological motion (e.g. Johansson, 1973). This refers to the dynamic patterns of movement that are characteristic of humans. It should be noted that such patterns in music performance may be of two kinds. First, it can be assumed that performers intentionally (though not necessarily consciously) try to re-create such patterns. Shove and Repp propose that an aesthetically pleasing performance is ‘one whose expressive microstructure satisfies basic constraints of biological motion’ (p. 78). One example is the shaping of final ritardandi. Friberg and Sundberg (1999) showed that final ritardandi of music performances follow a mathematical function similar to that of run- ners’ decelerations. (This was also the ritardando function preferred by listen- ers in a listening test.) A second kind of biological motion is non-intentional patterns of variability that reflect anatomical constraints of the body in con- nection with motor requirements of specific musical instruments (e.g. Penel and Drake, 1999).


An additional way in which a performance may be expressive involves the

fact that musical emotions often occur when musical expectations are violat-

ed in some way. Thus, Meyer (1956) suggested that expressive variations in a

music performance may serve an aesthetic function by ‘delaying an expected resolution’, or otherwise ‘creating psychological tension’ (p. 206). This could happen when a performer deviates from stylistic expectations with regard to performance conventions for a certain part of the structure. For example, the performer might be expected to clarify the structure in a certain manner (as described by generative rules), but instead he or she does something com- pletely different. This momentarily creates psychological tension that is resolved when the performer resumes ‘expected playing’. Something of the

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effect is captured in the following description of the Italian style of perform- ance at the beginning of the 18th century:

He’ll have passages of such an extent as will perfectly confound his auditors at first, and upon such irregular notes as shall instill a terror as well as surprise into the audience, who will immediately conclude that the whole concert is degenerating into a dreadful dissonance; and betraying [them] by that means into a concern for the music, which seems to be on the brink of ruin, he imme- diately reconciles [them] by such regular cadences that everyone is surprised to see harmony rising again, in a manner, out of discord itself and owing its great- est beauties to those irregularities which seemed to threaten it with destruction. (François Raguenet, cited in Meyer, 1956: 208)

This component is probably the least researched so far, but it may be criti- cal to developing a truly original interpretation. For examples of music per- formances by experts that feature various bold and unexpected patterns of expression, see, for example, Repp (1997b). No attempt has yet been made to model this component in terms of expressive rules, perhaps because of the paradox inherent in developing rules for how to break other rules, and the difficulty in deciding precisely on what basis such rule breaking is done (not all rule breaking is musically satisfying).


Research on the five components of expression outlined previously has tend- ed to be descriptive, and to the extent that theoretical models have been pro- posed, they have not been integrated with other models. (For an overview of various models of music performance, see Gabrielsson, 1999, 2003, this issue.) Therefore, I propose a model of expression – the GERMS model – that integrates different facets of expression (see also Juslin et al., 2002). The assumption is that, in principle, it is possible to decompose patterns of expres- sion into five different components (Generative rules, Emotional expression, Random variability, Motion principles, Stylistic unexpectedness). Further, it can be assumed that the different components of expression:

(1) have different origins (2) involve patterns with different characteristics (3) are processed by somewhat different brain regions (4) have different effects on listeners’ perception of music

The last of these criteria also means that each GERMS component will tend to make a unique contribution to the emotional and aesthetic impact of a given performance. Although the aesthetic impact of a music performance is a complex topic indeed, it may be hypothesized that it involves commonly sug- gested features, such as beauty, recognition, symmetry, tension/resolution, arousal, order, originality and personal expression (Eibl-Eibesfeldt, 1989; North and Hargreaves, 1997). We are, in my view, only just beginning to explore differences between

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different components, which is why my suggestions on how they might differ should be treated as hypotheses rather than as established facts. Table 2 shows some of the hypothesized characteristics of the components. The G-component originates in generative transformations of the notated musical structure, and reflects basic characteristics of human cognition, such as cate- gorical perception and gestalt laws (Bregman, 1990). It recruits the human capacity for syntactical processing, which is also involved in language. A positron-emission tomography study of sight reading in piano performance showed activated cortical brain areas distinct from, but adjacent to, those underlying language operations (Sergent et al., 1992), consistent with the task of translating a generative structure in a musical notation into expres- sive markings of structure. A magnetoencephalography study of musical perception suggested that musical syntax is processed in Broca’s area, which is also involved in syntactic processing during auditory language comprehen- sion (Maess et al., 2001). Generative rules are mainly bottom-up (i.e. determined by the local structure), but also reflect the hierarchical structure of the music. By conveying the structure and creating coherence and order, generative rules add to the beauty of the music. They may further have an arousing effect, but mainly by enhancing the emotional impact inherent in the structure. The E-component originates in emotion-specific patterns of cues in vocal expression (Juslin and Laukka, in press) and reflects evolutionary ancient human abilities for non-verbal communication of emotion. This involves a large set of probabilistic (uncertain) albeit partly redundant cues that are additive and compensatory in nature (one cue can to some extent compen- sate for another, see Juslin, 2000). Perception of the E-component can be instantaneous (Peretz et al., 1998) and involves parallel processing mainly in the right hemisphere of the brain (Bryden et al., 1982), perhaps in the basal ganglia, which are involved in perception of emotion in vocal expression (Cohen et al., 1994). The E-component is mainly top-down (i.e. a holistic interpretation of the mood of the piece influences local acoustic parameters), and offers a parallel channel of affective information, which may support or contradict the expression of the composed structure. The E-component con- tributes to the recognition aspect of art, but could also enhance arousal (Juslin, 2001) and personal expression (Lindström et al., in press). 4 The R-component originates in a hypothesized ‘internal timekeeper’ and associated motor delays (Gilden et al., 1995), and reflects human limitations regarding perceptual-motor precision. This involves two kinds of random patterns: 1/f noise (noise for which the power varies inversely with the fre- quency) that reflects the timekeeper and changes according to the inter- onset-interval duration, and uncorrelated white noise that reflects motor delays that are constant across different inter-onset-interval durations. It may be hypothesized that the internal time-keeper is localized in the lateral and medial parts of the cerebellum (see Ivry et al., 1988). This component

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TABLE 2 Summary of hypotheses regarding the primary components of performance expression according to the GERMS model









Origin of pattern

Generative transformations of the musical structure

Emotion-specific patterns of acoustic cues deriving from vocal expression

Internal timekeeper and motor delay variance reflecting human limitations

Biological motion; distinct patterns of movement typical of human beings

Deviations from expected performance conventions

Nature of pattern

Local expressive features related to the structural interpretation

Mainly overall levels of multiple uncertain, partly redundant cues that are compensatory

Semi-random patterns 1/f noise and white noise; very small in magnitude, irregular

Dynamic, non-

Local; not predictable from the structure


patterns; smooth

and global

Salient brain regions

Left hemisphere (adjacent to Broca’s area)

Right hemisphere (the basal ganglia)

Lateral and medial parts of the cerebellum, plus the motor cortex

Left hemisphere (adjacent to the superior temporal sulcus)

Anterior cingulate


Perceptual effects

Clarifies structure; affects the inherent expression of a piece

Expresses emotions and moods (mainly in broad categories of emotion)

Generates a ‘living’ and natural quality

Yields expressive form that is similar to human gestures

Heightens tension

and unpredictability

Knowledge dependence






Aesthetic contribution

Beauty, order,

Recognition, arousal,

Unevenness, novelty

Balance, unity,

Novelty, arousal


personal expression


Under voluntary control

Yes, mostly



Yes, partly


Juslin: Five facets of musical expression


involves involuntary patterns of variability that contribute a certain uneven- ness to a performance, and also may enhance the novelty aspect of art. The M-component originates in patterns of human movement (biological motion), like arm gestures, which reflect the unique construction of the human body (e.g. the unique composite of anatomical proportions, including both geometrical dimensions and distribution of mass between parts of the body). Perception of the M-component partly reflects the human ability to distinguish animate objects from inanimate objects on the basis of patterns of sounds, which could have great survival value. This involves complex, dynamic and non-compensatory temporal patterns that are processed by the left hemisphere (Natale, 1977; Peretz, 1990), possibly by brain regions adjacent to those that analyse biological motion in vision, like the superior temporal sulcus (Allison et al., 2000). The M-component contributes to the recognition aspect of art – by signalling human intentionality – but also lends balance and smooth gesturing to a performance. The S-component originates in a general human tendency to create schemat- ic expectations that can guide behaviour, and the consequent monitoring of such expectations that may give rise to emotional arousal, signalling that something important has happened. This notion is recurrent in psychological theories of emotion since the beginning of the 20th century (e.g. Oatley, 1992). As regards music performance, I have hypothesized that the S-component reflects a performer’s deliberate attempt to deviate from stylistic expectations concerning performance conventions in order to add tension and unpre- dictability to the performance. The S-component involves locally focused expressive features that contribute to the novelty, originality and arousal aspects of art. Monitoring of expectations is believed to be processed by parts of the anterior cingulate cortex (Ochsner and Feldman Barrett, 2001). What is the relationship of the S-component to the others? My guess is that the first four components are sufficient to achieve an acceptable performance, but that the S-component is what makes a performance really special. Thus, much of the artistic process aims at turning GERM performances into GEMS. That is, reducing random fluctuations to a minimum and increasing the originality of the musical interpretation.


Can this kind of psychological theory be turned into something useful in empirical terms? In a recent study, we made the first attempt to implement a component approach in a computational model, the GERM model, that simu- lates different aspects of expression (Juslin et al., 2002). 5 The model com- prised only four main sources of variability (Generative rules, Emotional expression, Random variability, Motion principles), since we had not figured out how to implement the fifth component, S, at the time. The model takes as its input (a) a musical notation, and (b) a performer interpretation. We assume that there is both a structural interpretation (e.g. phrase structure)

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and a mood interpretation (e.g. ‘joy’). Then, for each component, there is a module featuring a set of algorithms that convert the notation into patterns of expression. Space does not permit description of the rules, but some of them are derived from the KTH rule system (see Friberg, 1995), others were presented in Juslin et al. (2002). In a preliminary experiment, a subset of the rules featured in the GERM model was used to synthesize expressive perform- ances of a brief piece of music. The aim of this experiment was to examine (1) whether the four components would yield predicted effects on listeners’ judgements of the performances, and (2) whether the components would yield at least partly independent effects on these judgements (for further information about this experiment, see Juslin et al., 2002). The basic idea was to manipulate the four components of the GERM model in a factorial design; this was done by generating all possible combinations (16) of the presence and absence of each GERM component. For instance, a condition with only the G-component present and all other components absent would include only those rules that serve to convey the structure to listeners. We asked musically trained listeners to rate all 16 performances on scales believed to reflect various aspects of expression (clear, sad, human, gestural, musical, expressive). The results of this experiment suggested, first of all, that the different com- ponents yielded predicted effects on listeners’ ratings of the performance. For instance, the G-component yielded high ratings on the ‘clear’ scale; the E- component yielded high ratings on the ‘sad’ scale; and the M-component yielded high ratings on the ‘gestural’ scale. Multiple regression analyses revealed that listeners’ judgements of overall expressivity could be successful- ly predicted on the basis of a linear combination of the GERM components, which all contributed significantly but in different degrees to the judged expressivity; R = .77, F(4,184) = 66.143, p < .0001, with beta weights in order of predictive strength: Emotional Expression, β = .64, p < .0001; Motion Principles, β = .32, p < .0001; Generative Rules, β = .23, p < .0001; Random Variations, β = .14, p < .01). There were, of course, some interac- tions between the four components in how they affected listeners’ judge- ments. However, only 20 percent of the total number of possible interactions were actually significant, and the interaction effects were smaller than the main effects. Finally, the components produced different and at least partly independent effects on listeners’ judgements. This tendency is seen in exam- ples of dissociations between the four components. For instance, the perform- ance with only G present yielded a high mean rating on the ‘clear’ scale, but low mean ratings on the ‘sad’, ‘human’ and ‘gestural’ scales (Juslin et al.,



What can we conclude from these preliminary data? First, the GERM model suggests that different aspects of performance expression can be integrated

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into a common model. The reader may disagree with me about the specifics of this model, but the important point is that there are different facets of expres- sion. I suspect that researchers have found performance data confusing part- ly because they have treated them as if they reflected a single factor. If we are unaware of the different aspects of performance expression, or ignore some of them, we are likely to be confused by data that reflect some unknown mix- ture of the different modes of behaviour. Indeed, even some of the more sophisticated systems for synthesis of music performances, such as Director Musices (Friberg et al., 2000), may not have sufficiently differentiated between different kinds of expressive features. The rules in Director Musices were simply designed to make a synthesized music performance sound as good as possible, without categorizing expressive features theoretically. This makes perfect sense from an engineering point of view, although, unfortunately, it muddles important distinctions between psychologically different compo- nents of expression. Rules that reflect acoustic characteristics of certain musical instruments are mixed with rules that convey structure (Friberg, 1995), and rules that function to convey structure are ‘turned backwards’ to express emotions (Bresin and Friberg, 2000). A genuine understanding of performance expression may require that we take greater care in distinguish- ing different categories of expressive features. Distinguishing different com- ponents of expression could help us to better explain individual differences among performers. Different performers may be characterized in terms of the relative weights they give to different aspects of expression. (Some may emphasize precision, others may emphasize emotional expression at any cost, yet others may emphasize structural communication.) Furthermore, differ- ent musical styles may put different emphasis on different facets of expres- sion; the G-component may be crucial to the classical pianist, but is less important to the blues guitarist. Finally, a componential approach might help to resolve some inconsistent findings in the previous literature. For example, the fact that experienced listeners have shown refined ability to detect expres- sive aspects in some studies but not others (Rohwer, 2001) could be explained by the fact that these studies have investigated different components of expression (e.g. generative structure vs emotional expression). How can we be sure that the particular components I have postulated are the appropriate ones? This is, ultimately, an empirical question, which is far from settled. I remain open to the possibility that a different set of components can provide a more cohesive account. However, I have argued that psycholog- ical theory in combination with findings from listening experiments, per- formance measurements, and brain imaging could help us to resolve this problem. As should be apparent, I hypothesize that all components in the GERMS model have their origins in human phenomena outside the music domain. (From this perspective, it may be premature to view some compo- nents as more ‘musical’ than others.) Thus, one implication of the GERMS model is that it agrees with Palmer’s (1997) view of music performance as ‘a

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seemingly unique human ability that is not unique in its underlying cognitive mechanisms’ (p. 134). But far from depreciating the performance of music, this idea suggests that music performance is an activity that recruits many different aspects of human behaviour in a wonderful way. It also implies that psychological theory about various aspects of human behaviour such as lan- guage, emotion, motor-coordination, movement and expectancy may be highly relevant to an understanding of performance expression.


The GERMS model offers an example of how research could benefit teaching by helping to ‘demystify’ expression. Indeed, based on my research on expres-

sion over the last decade, I have come to believe that there are certain myths about expression, which have had a negative impact on music education. (For

a discussion of common myths about expression, see Juslin et al., in press.)

One of these myths is that ‘expression cannot be studied objectively’. This myth is associated with the notion that expression is a completely subjective quality, which cannot be explained in scientific terms. However, as demonstrated by the GERM study, acoustic correlates of perceived expression can readily be obtained and manipulated in performances, and listeners’ ratings of expression can be systematically and reliably related to these correlates. This paves the way for a more theoretically informed approach to teaching of expression. One implication is that, at certain stages of learning, different aspects of expression might need to be taught separately, since they have different char- acteristics. According to the GERMS model, a music performance should (a) convey the structure of the music, (b) express emotions, (c) exhibit motor pre- cision, (d) be suggestive of human motion and gesture, and (e) deviate from

stylistic expectations in creative and aesthetically pleasing ways. The convey- ing of structure (G) is perhaps the aspect that has received most attention in music education, presumably because it is the most tangible aspect; ‘struc- ture can be seen, heard, demonstrated’ (Epstein, 1995: 126). Certainly there

is no substitute for a thorough understanding of the musical structure in

shaping an interpretation. This aspect of expression may be guided by struc- tural analysis, by consulting the composer’s writings, and also by studying visual graphs of performance variables alongside the score. The motion com- ponent (M) can be trained by using some of the methods outlined by Davidson and Correia (2002: 246–7), like having a student conduct the expression in the playing of the teacher, and developing a non-verbal narra- tive of physical gesture for individual phrases. The stylistic unexpectedness component (S) requires extensive knowledge of musical styles and perform- ance conventions, and an ability to conceive of the performance structure in terms of a ‘narrative’ of musical expectations that may be experimented with in creative ways. The aspect of expression in most need of a formalized teach- ing strategy is emotion (E). This is regrettable, considering that the strongest

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predictor of listeners’ judgements of expression in the GERM experiment was the emotion component. This suggests that music teaching should pay more attention to the emotion component of expression. And, so, in the final part of my article, I turn specifically to emotion.

Emotion and communication

Although music and emotion is a topic that has attracted much interest since ancient Greece (Juslin and Sloboda, 2001; Sloboda and Juslin, in press), a sys- tematic research program on emotions in music performance did not take off until the 1990s. There are several reasons for this: first, the structuralist approach in musicology rendered expressive aspects of music off-limits for research until the rise of the ‘new’ musicology (see Cook and Dibben, 2001). Second, researchers may have sensed ‘a general aversion among musicians to scientific study of music, especially when related to topics such as emotion, expression and aesthetics’ (Woody, 2002: 214). Finally, although it may appear obvious to the reader that emotion is strongly related to musical expression, this very idea has been questioned by some authors. On what basis can we claim that expression is about emotion, or even communication of emotion? A questionnaire study featuring 135 expert musicians from three coun- tries (England, Italy, Sweden) revealed that the great majority of the musi- cians defined expression mainly in terms of ‘communicating emotions’ and ‘playing with feeling’, as indicated by their own free responses (Lindström et al., in press). When directly asked whether music expresses emotions, 99 per- cent of the musicians thought that this was the case. Numerous biographies and interviews with performers confirm that they conceive of expression in terms of emotions and communication (e.g. Boyd and George-Warren, 1992; Carreras, 1992; Menuhin, 1996; King, 1996; Persson, 1993; Schumacher, 1995; see also Mills, 2003, this issue). Some composers may have argued that music is ‘absolute’ and ‘expresses nothing but itself ’, but this is simply not how most people think of music. When Small (1999) argues, plausibly, that the origins of ‘musicking’ (a term that serves to highlight that music above all is an activity, and that per- formance is its essence) are to be found in the ancient gestures, in which we affirm and explore our human relationships, it is perplexing that he denies that this involves communication of emotion, which is at the very heart of human relationships:

as the communication of emotions doesn’t

jibe at all with my own experience. I cannot remember ever being happy by a happy piece of music, or sad by a sad piece of music, and I am not sure I could tell you which was which. (p. 18)

Be that as it may (although I am certain that Small would be able to tell

to my mind the idea of music

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happy and sad pieces apart), we cannot ignore that most performers and lis- teners seem to think of music as a means of emotional communication. I do not claim that communication is the sole or main purpose of music, but 83 percent of music students in a questionnaire study claim that they try to express specific emotions in their performance ‘always’ or ‘often’ (Lindström et al., in press), and we know that listeners are able to recognize at least certain emotions expressed by performers (Juslin, 2001). This suggests that the concept of communication is viable in music, even if not every instant of music performance may be an example of the phenomenon. To what extent do music performers actually succeed in communicating emotions to listeners? In the most extensive review of emotional expression in music perform- ance to date (Juslin and Laukka, in press), including 41 studies, a meta- analysis of communication accuracy showed that professional performers are able to communicate basic emotions (happiness, anger, sadness, fear, ten- derness) to listeners with an accuracy approximately as high as in facial and vocal expression of emotions. The overall decoding accuracy was π = 0.89, which is equivalent to a raw accuracy score of p c = .70 in a forced-choice task with five response alternatives (i.e. the average number of emotions included in studies of music performance so far). 6 Amateur musicians communicate emotions less accurately, and tend to apply acoustic features inconsistently (see Juslin and Laukka, 2000; Rohwer, 2001). The available evidence indicates that the communicative process operates on a fairly broad level of emotion categories, whereas finer distinctions within the categories are diffi- cult to convey (Juslin and Lindström, 2003), at least without some context (London, 2002; see also Juslin, 1997c). It is not that music performances intended to express, say, anger and jealousy sound exactly the same or that listeners cannot hear a difference, it is just that they are not able to tell which performance is which. It has been argued by some authors that the specific ordering of successive emotional states could help to communicate subtler or more complex states (Levinson, 1990). This is an interesting possibility, but it remains to be demonstrated that this is possible. (In reviewing these findings, I do not intend to imply that performances that do not reliably convey a spe- cific emotion are without value, because, as I have tried to demonstrate in this article, musical expression involves a lot more than just emotion; and sometimes musicians may deliberately aim for emotional ambiguity.) Many studies have tried to capture the acoustic cues that musicians use to convey specific emotions (e.g. Jansens et al., 1997; Juslin, 1997a; Juslin and Madison, 1999; Kotlyar and Morozov, 1976; Mergl et al., 1998). These cues involve changes in tempo, sound level, articulation, timbre, timing, tone attack and decay, intonation, vibrato extent and frequency, accents on partic- ular notes, etc. Earlier studies have mostly been limited to a few emotions. Figure 2 offers examples of patterns of acoustic cues used by professional per- formers to express 12 emotions in a recent study (Juslin and Lindström,

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Intended Emotion Intended Emotion
Intended Emotion
Intended Emotion

Note. Sound level is expressed in decibels (dBs) down from an arbitrary reference level.

FIGURE 2 Overall levels of sound level and tempo (means and SDs) in professional pianists’ renditions of 12 emotions in performances of a theme by Haydn (adapted from Juslin and Lindström, 2003).

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2003). Both ‘basic’ (e.g. sadness, anger, fear) and ‘complex’ (e.g. jealousy, shame, pride) emotions were featured in an attempt to accommodate the sub- tleties of musical expression. In reality the emotional expression will often change quickly within a piece, or even within a single note. Thus we have recently experimented with real-time analysis of emotional expression over

time (Friberg et al., 2002). That the relevant cues have been described may be confirmed by programming synthesized performances of music on the basis of empirical data. Computerized performances with appropriate acoustic fea- tures can communicate emotions as reliably as human performers can (Juslin, 1997b), although they sound less musically satisfying (presumably because they lack other components of expression). An important question concerns the origins of the acoustic cues used by performers. Some authors have argued that emotions expressed in music have nothing in common with other forms of expression: ‘Musical feelings

the emotions [music] formulates are not identical

with those accompanying extra-musical experience’ (Lippman, 1953: 569). It is getting exceedingly hard to make such a case. A review of 145 studies (101 speech and 41 music studies) strongly indicates that patterns of musical cues used to convey discrete emotions mainly derives from the non-verbal aspects of emotional speech (Juslin and Laukka, in press), as proposed by Spencer (1857). Hence, musical emotions touch us deeply not because they are so different from everyday emotions, but because they are so similar. This may explain why music students find extramusical sources (e.g. life situations) useful in developing expression (e.g. Woody, 2000). One reason why singing musical phrases seems to be such good practice for instrumen- talists (e.g. Dubal, 1985: 221; see also Mills, 2003, this issue) could be that this helps the performer to connect with fundamental principles of vocal expression of emotion. 7 Although it may be tempting to connect musical expression of emotion to motion (Woody, 2002), a theoretically more plausible and parsimonious view holds that the origin of the emotion component is to be found in involuntary and emotion-specific physiological changes associated with emotions, which strong- ly influence different aspects of voice production (Juslin and Laukka, 2001; Scherer, 1986). Music performance shares with vocal expression of emotions not just the code but also the coding: the cues used to express emotions are uncertain but redundant to some extent, as conceptualized by the lens model (Juslin, 2000). This can account for some interesting phenomena, for instance that communication of emotion in music is generally successful despite individual differences in utilization of acoustic cues among both per- formers and listeners (Juslin, 2000) and different cues available on different musical instruments (Juslin and Laukka, in press). I envisage several important directions for future research. First, there has been almost no attempt to study how the emotional expression of a perform- ance interacts with the expression of the piece. In our recent work, we are

have their own character

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using an expanded version of the lens model, which features both composed and performed cues (Juslin and Lindström, 2003). Second, it is important that basic research is turned into useful applications for performers. We are thus currently trying to develop computer software that may provide per- formers with detailed feedback about their performances (Juslin et al., in press). Finally, it is crucial to explore how the emotion component interacts with other components of expression in yielding an expressive performance, which could explored by means of theoretical models (e.g. along the lines of the GERMS model).

Limitations of a psychological approach

Performers are sometimes sceptical about research on expression, perhaps partly because research on performance lags far behind the actual perform- ance of music (to the extent that these endeavours can actually be com- pared), in terms of maturity and sophistication. Like the performer who first learns to play a musical instrument, studies of music performance have pro- gressed from a consideration of basic principles of expression (e.g. how does the performer convey the phrase structure?) towards more subtle and individ- ualistic aspects (e.g. what makes a performance truly special?). But music has been played since the beginning of recorded time whereas psychological stud- ies of music performance have been conducted for only a century; perhaps researchers should be excused for not having reached the same level of sophistication as the performers? There are many limitations of the psychological approach to performance expression. One limitation involves the fact that psychological research requires that all relevant concepts are formally operationalized, so that they can be measured with precision. This requirement severely limits the com- plexity that can be handled in any single empirical investigation. Thus, psy- chological studies are often criticized by musicians for their ‘simplicity’. Clearly, psychologists must strive to study music at an appropriate level of complexity. At the same time, musicians must also appreciate the conditions under which empirical research is carried out. Seemingly ‘crude’ models, for instance, could reflect practical limitations rather than insensitivity regarding musical matters. (The GERM model, for example, is admittedly sim- ple as compared to the long list of factors that can influence performance expression in Table 1. Still, you might be surprised how complicated that model is!) Practical limitations of a psychological approach are perhaps redeemed by the power with which experiments allow us to draw valid conclusions about causal relationships. Thus, folk theories of expression may ultimately be replaced, or at least improved, by empirically validated knowledge. Such a development may be welcomed by some performers (Dubal, 1985: 250), but not all are so inclined. A common sentiment is that too much knowledge

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‘destroys the magic’, or interferes with the artistic process (Dubal, 1985:


Ultimately, this could reflect the different needs of scientists and artists. Elsewhere, I have argued for an attempt to bridge the gap between art and sci- ence (Juslin and Zentner, 2002; see also Rink, 2003, this issue), because I believe that musicians and researchers have much to learn from each other. Art and science share many characteristics: they are both interesting ways of exploring the world around us; they both involve creativity; and they both provide certain perspectives or ways of looking at the world. However, I believe that we must accept that there will always be some tension between art and science, since art and science, ultimately, have different aims. Thus, for instance, research on performance expression aims to develop general models (i.e. simplified descriptions and explanations of a specific phenome- non), whereas the performing artist often strives to create something unique and personal. (The scientist usually opts out at the point where the artist thinks things are getting interesting.) There is no way in which a psychologi- cal focus on general models can fully capture the rich, personal and piece- specific ways in which musicians tend to approach their work artistically. And – after all – the most useful approach to performance as an artist may not be the most useful approach to performance as a researcher, given the quite different aims of these endeavours. But there is one important reason why we should at least try to establish some common ground: the teaching of performance expression clearly appears to benefit from explicit instruction and knowledge about expression (Juslin et al., in press; Woody, 1999). Hence, in this article, I have suggested that the primary goal of a psychologi- cal approach to music performance should be to explain the nature of per- formance expression in order provide a solid foundation for the teaching of expressive skills in music education. It remains to be seen whether this chal- lenge can be met in coming years. But even if it is not, I am sure that we can learn something important along the way.


This is an expanded version of an invited paper presented at the conference Investi- gating Music Performance, 12–13 April 2002, Royal College of Music, London. The research was supported by The Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Foundation. I am grate- ful to the members of the Feel-ME project for fruitful collaboration.


1. Some musicians, including Nicolo Paganini and blues singer Robert Johnson, have been accused of ‘selling their soul to the devil’ in order to gain their excep- tional skills.

2. One notable reason for doing so is that philosophical inquiry does not lend itself easily to applications in music education. To take but one example: which music teacher could seriously claim to have gained a better sense of how to teach

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expressive skills after having read Scruton’s (1997) complex chapter on musical expression?

3. Meyer (1956) notes that ‘because Seashore advances no theory or attempts no explanation of the relationship between deviation and affective aesthetic experi- ence, his viewpoint lacks substance and plausibility’ (p. 203).

4. The reader may wonder why Clynes’s (1977) work has not been included here. The reason is that independent attempts to replicate his essentic forms have yield- ed mixed results (Gorman and Crain, 1974; Nettelbeck et al., 1989; Trussoni et al., 1988).

5. A computational model means that the relevant relationships are expressed in terms of mathematical procedures. The calculations are handled by implement- ing the model in a program, which permits simulation of the phenomenon under investigation.

6. Rosenthal and Rubin’s effect size index, pi (π), allows researchers to transform accuracy scores involving any number of response alternatives to a standard scale of dichotomous choice, on which .50 is the null value and 1.00 corresponds to 100 percent correct recognition.

7. Recall also the use of principles from vocal rhetoric among composers in the 18th century.


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PA TRIK N. JUSLIN is Associate Professor of Psychology at the Department of Psychology, Uppsala University, Sweden, where he teaches courses on emotion, perception, and music psychology. He is the director of the inter-disciplinary research project Feedback-Learning of Musical Expressivity (Feel-ME) ( hemsidor/musicpsy/). He is a member of the International Society for Research on Emotions (ISRE), and received ESCOM’s Young Researcher Award in 1996. He co-edit- ed the book Music and Emotion (Oxford University Press, 2001) with John Sloboda. As well as his work as a researcher, Juslin has worked professionally as a guitar player and toured internationally with blues/jazz bands. Address: Patrik N. Juslin, Department of Psychology, Uppsala University, Box 1225, SE – 751 42 Uppsala, Sweden. [email:]

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