The Minor fall, the Major lift: inferring emotional valence of musical chords through lyrics

We investigate the association between musical chords and lyrics by analysing a large dataset of user-contributed guitar tablatures. Motivated by the idea that the emotional content of chords is reflected in the words used in corresponding lyrics, we analyse associations between lyrics and chord categories. We also examine the usage patterns of chords and lyrics in different musical genres, historical eras and geographical regions. Our overall results confirm a previously known association between Major chords and positive valence. We also report a wide variation in this association across regions, genres and eras. Our results suggest possible existence of different emotional associations for other types of chords.

Publication Date:
Nov 15 2017
Date Submitted:
Aug 10 2018
Royal Society Open Science
A freely accessible, full text version is available using the link(s) in External Resources.
External Resources:

 Record created 2018-08-10, last modified 2019-04-03

Rate this document:

Rate this document:
(Not yet reviewed)