Eline Smit

Research Student

Research Program: Brain Sciences - Music Cognition and Action(opens in a new window)

Thesis Title

Affect Perception in Unfamiliar Music

Research Project

For most of us, music is an important part of our daily lives. Music can have a great impact on our general wellbeing, mood and emotions. Even though, we all have our personal preferences for which types of music affect us, there seem to be some universal underpinnings of music that consistently elicit specific emotional responses in listeners.

Why do we perceive emotions while listening to music and what makes music sound happy or sad? Is this due to our long term exposure to specific types of music or is there something in the music itself that makes us perceive happiness or sadness?

My research aims to explore these (and other) questions by using an unfamiliar musical system (the Bohlen-Pierce system) to test affective responses to music. By using an unfamiliar musical system, we can explore innate and learned processes in music perception.

Qualifications and Honours

  • 2011-2014 Bachelor of Arts, (Magna Cum Laude), University College Roosevelt, The Netherlands
  • 2014-2017 Bachelor of Music (Cum Laude), Royal Conservatory of Antwerp, Belgium
  • 2015-2016 Master of Arts and Culture: Musicology, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands


For a full listing of my publications, please see my Google Scholar(opens in new window) page.


Phone+61 2 9772 6107
LocationWestern Sydney University Bankstown campus (Bullecourt Ave, Milperra)