Key processing precedes emotional categorization of Western music.Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2005 Dec; 1060:443-5.AN
To investigate whether key processing precedes the appraisal of valence in music, participants listened to pairs of clips of same or different valence, played either in the same key or one semitone apart. They judged whether the second clip expressed the same emotion as the first one. Our predictions were confirmed: the response times obtained were shorter when both clips were played in the same key than when they were played one semitone apart.