Architecture, mood and music

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


I draw on psychological theory to suggest that music makes greater claims on the emotions than architecture. The story begins with people's immediate responses to sounds as indications of threats and pleasures, and progresses to the role of musical sounds in influencing our expectations. I suggest that this narrative only accounts in part for the emotional potency of music and architecture. The phenomenology of Martin Heidegger would suggest a reversal of this experiential hierarchy. Emotional experience starts with expectations about the world. Architecture is good at creating a climate of expectations, an atmosphere, i.e. a mood, and operates over different time scales to a piece of music. I end with the provocative thought that in order for
architecture to invoke intense emotional experiences it would need to replicate what it's like to listen to a piece of music.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-39
Number of pages4
JournalWorld Architecture (Monthly) 建筑与音乐:挥霍时间
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • architecture
  • emotion
  • mood
  • music


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