J Korean Med Sci.  2023 Feb;38(5):e30. 10.3346/jkms.2023.38.e30.

The Study on the Identification of Musical Passages for an Emotion Perception Scale for People With Developmental Disabilities

  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Chung Ang University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 2Department of Music Therapy, Ewha Womans University, Seoul, Korea


Emotion recognition is essential to the social adjustment and social interaction of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDDs). Given that music is a medium for expressing and conveying human emotion, we conducted this preliminary study to identify musical passages representing the basic human emotions of happiness, sadness, and anger, with the goal of developing a music-based emotion perception scale for IDDs.
To identify musical passages for emotion perception, 20 certified music therapists evaluated 100 selected musical passages and established 60 pieces that yielded the highest agreement for each emotion category. During the second phase of this study, 300 neurotypical participants rated 60 passages in terms of the perceived type and intensity of emotions expressed.
The 60 passages showed high reliability and were statistically classified into three factors: happiness, sadness, and anger. The k-means cluster analysis yielded a cut-off score of 41 for the low emotion perception group (F = 1120.63, P < 0.001). The hierarchical logistic regression analysis revealed that only model 3 (musical passages) was significantly associated with low emotion perception (step χ 2 = 227.8, P < 0.001).
The selected musical passages demonstrated high reliability and established three factors for identifying perceptions of happiness, sadness, and anger. Neither psychological status nor individual demographic characteristics affected the emotion perception results.


Music for Emotion Perception; Musical Passages for Emotion Recognition; Kaiser-Meyer-Olkin; Cut Off


  • Fig. 1 The process of selecting musical passages for emotional perception composition and validationMPEP = musical passages for emotional perception test.


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