Interesting work from Putkinen et al. (open source):
Music is inherently linked with the body. Here, we investigated how music's emotional and structural aspects influence bodily sensations and whether these sensations are consistent across cultures. Bodily sensations evoked by music varied depending on its emotional qualities, and the music-induced bodily sensations and emotions were consistent across the tested cultures. Musical features also influenced the emotional experiences and bodily sensations consistently across cultures. These findings show that bodily feelings contribute to the elicitation and differentiation of music-induced emotions and suggest similar embodiment of music-induced emotions in geographically distant cultures. Music-induced emotions may transcend cultural boundaries due to cross-culturally shared links between musical features, bodily sensations, and emotions.Abstract
Emotions, bodily sensations and movement are integral parts of musical experiences. Yet, it remains unknown i) whether emotional connotations and structural features of music elicit discrete bodily sensations and ii) whether these sensations are culturally consistent. We addressed these questions in a cross-cultural study with Western (European and North American, n = 903) and East Asian (Chinese, n = 1035). We precented participants with silhouettes of human bodies and asked them to indicate the bodily regions whose activity they felt changing while listening to Western and Asian musical pieces with varying emotional and acoustic qualities. The resulting bodily sensation maps (BSMs) varied as a function of the emotional qualities of the songs, particularly in the limb, chest, and head regions. Music-induced emotions and corresponding BSMs were replicable across Western and East Asian subjects. The BSMs clustered similarly across cultures, and cluster structures were similar for BSMs and self-reports of emotional experience. The acoustic and structural features of music were consistently associated with the emotion ratings and music-induced bodily sensations across cultures. These results highlight the importance of subjective bodily experience in music-induced emotions and demonstrate consistent associations between musical features, music-induced emotions, and bodily sensations across distant cultures.