From Emotion to Affect: The visualization of feelings in Deftones’ “Be Quiet and Drive (Far Away)” (1997)
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This thesis proposes an expansion of Michael Spitzer’s theory to analyze musical emotion in A History of Emotion in Western Music. Exploring Spitzer’s theory leads to the conclusion that his framework focused on score analysis to delineate emotions falls flat in the case of contemporary popular music. Therefore, moving away from emotion-based score analysis and instead opting for a method of analysis incorporating concepts of modern sound design through recording technologies and affect will provide this expansion. Spitzer’s examination of modern recording technologies is expanded upon by the exploration of modern sound design done by Zachary Wallmark and Paul Théberge. Similarly, sources by Margeret Wetherell, Ian Tucker and Richard Elliott will provide further examination of the concept of affect. This updated framework will be used to analyze the song “Be Quiet and Drive (Far Away)” by the American metal band Deftones. Furthermore, one hundred comments taken from ten YouTube videos are examined for their affective responses. These videos are uploaded by fans of the band and are part of a social media trend aiming to visualize what it feels like to listen to the music of Deftones. The affective responses present in YouTube comments will be compared with the findings of the updated musical analysis in order to prove its effectivity. Ultimately, this thesis provides a new perspective on contemporary popular music analysis through the proposed incorporation of affect and sound design as an expansion of Spitzer’s framework.