The violin and erhu are two of Western and Chinese music’s main bowed string instruments. Recent work has compared the different emotional characteristics between the violin and erhu on the Butterfly Lovers Concerto. In our study, we examine several hypotheses to investigate whether the previous studies’ results hold generally. Four musical excerpts were extracted from four famous Chinese and Western classical pieces, and the excerpts were divided into four emotional categories: Happy, Sad, Agitated, and Calm. Based on the Butterfly Lovers results, we expected that: (1) the violin has a more Happy emotional characteristic than the erhu, while the erhu is comparatively more Sad, and (2) the violin is better at conveying high-Arousal excerpts. We used the Bradley–Terry–Luce (BTL) paired-comparison model to obtain the ranking scores and identify statistically significant differences between the two instruments. The erhu was consistently perceived as sadder than the violin for all Sad excerpts, while the violin was generally calmer and more agitated for those categories. Further study with more listeners and excerpts is needed to verify whether these results generally hold and at a statistically significant level.
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Uncovering the differences between the violin and erhu musical instruments by statistical analysis of multiple musical pieces
Wenyi Song, Andrew B. Horner; Uncovering the differences between the violin and erhu musical instruments by statistical analysis of multiple musical pieces. J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 1 October 2022; 152 (4_Supplement): A55. https://doi.org/10.1121/10.0015520
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