Tracing Emotional Responses of College Students Listening to Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons” Using Color Psychology

Level of Education of Students Involved


Faculty Sponsor

Katharina Uhde

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Symposium Date

Spring 4-29-2023


Most music connects with individuals using words or repeated rhythmic sequences in today’s music. However, are we able to identify emotional connections to music from the classical era? Antonio Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons” contains four distinct movements, each expressing a different season. With these contrasting movements, many researchers in the field of Psychology have used “The Four Seasons” to understand mental activity. Researchers like Leigh M. Rigby, R. G. Thompson, C.J. A. Moulin, S. Hayre, and R. W. Jones used this piece of music in their studies. Nicholas Lockey also expresses that the musical contrasts and similarities in the movements express much to the individual listener. One way to track human emotion and behavior is through color psychology. John Gage and June McLeod have done research in the past on how color expresses emotions. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's Theory of Colours (1840) set a foundation for this approach. Using Gage's and McLeod's research along with the history of color psychology, a research experiment was designed to better understand how individuals could depict emotions within each movement of Antonio Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons”. Using undergraduate student volunteers and the ImageJ software, the results were calculated with the total percentages of different colors used on various coloring sheets during each trial. Calculations were done on the average color percentages, and an inferential statistical analysis was used to determine if differences between the means were significant or not using a p value of 0.05. The results are displayed in graphical format.

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